In 2013 Warner Bros. Feature Animation dissolved in the place of new department the Warner Bros Animation group (WAG), leaving hand drawn animation in the past. Moving forward in 2014 WAG released their first feature film, ‘The Lego Movie’. What a fantastic debut and one thats success can be measured by the numerous sequels and spin offs already in the pipeline. For their second release another original film was the focus, as the often unanswered mystery for children all across the world of where babies come from would attempt to be clarified by ‘Storks’.
Whilst the initial concept of storks delivering babies isn’t all that original and the film maybe borrows a little from ‘Monsters Inc’ I thought the ideas featured here were rather creative and playful. There were plenty of gags in the movie that took advantage of this creativity too resulting in a good amount of laughs. Whether the humour was playing on babies, family life or birds there should be something that every audience member will be able to relate to and find funny. However the humour doesn’t require the audience to be able to relate to it to be funny, bearing in mind that this is a film for kids. There are several original comedy moments which don’t really take inspiration from anything which are just as effective, the most memorable being that of a very innovative wolf pack.
Just like ‘The Lego Movie’ this film managed to secure a very talented voice cast to bring their array of characters to life. Andy Samberg leads as star stork, Junior, his voice suits this character so well and he brings a lot of humour to the role. Other standout performers would be Kelsey Grammar as stork boss, Hunter and Stephen Kramer Glickman as everyone’s least favourite employee, Pigeon Toady. Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston also offer their talents as two of the human characters and have one very funny scene which plays on parenting quite well. On the whole the characters are fun and work well together, there are maybe a few too many antagonists though and as a result narratively speaking the finale goes on a little longer than it should but these issues don’t damage the film that much. Much like the trend of other animations these days, in particular Pixar, ‘Storks’ has some emotional drive behind it too. I thought it had a nice amount of heart without weighing the narrative down with this element, achieving a good balance allowing for a largely successful pace.
Other than babies ‘Storks’ successfully manages to deliver a fun family animation. The talented voice cast lift their characters off paper creating an energy filled film. The creative and playful ideas plus the comedy only help ‘Storks’ further entertain its audience. Whilst it can’t quite compare to the studios first film this is a solid follow up which should fill audiences with confidence of what to expect from them in the future and in a year jam-packed full of animations ‘Storks’ is comfortably within the top five of these efforts.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What has your favourite voice performance of the year been?
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