Blu-ray Review: Storks

By , Contributor
Storks is a fun animated film that didn't quite find its footing at the box office. Maybe the early fall release was poor timing, coming after a summer that included major family-oriented blockbusters like Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets. Whatever the case, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has recently issued Storks on Blu-ray (and all the major formats: 3D Blu-ray, 4K UltraHD, DVD, Digital HD) so there's no excuse for missing this consistently amusing adventure. Just be prepared for the film to provoke "where do babies really come from" discussions.

The old legend about babies being delivered by storks is what serves as the impetus for Storks' plot. Turns out storks have moved into the retail shipping biz, since delivering babies was no longer paying the bills. Apparently humans have returned to the old-fashioned biological method of conception. CornerStore.com is the storks' Amazon-esque online empire, led by CEO Hunter (Kelsey Grammar). The "baby-making factory" has been long dormant. That is, until Hunter forces long-suffering CornerStore peon Junior (Andy Samberg) to terminate their sole human employee, Tulip (Katie Crown). Tulip was a mis-delivered baby who never wound up with her family, instead growing up in the CornerStore warehouse. 
 
STORKS 1.jpg Too sympathetic to Tulip to fire her (she did, after all, become something of a "pet" for the storks), Junior relegates her to the abandoned baby-making factory. Bored with her fake "job" in the now-defunct mail room, Tulip inadvertently plunges CornerStore back into the baby business by firing up the old gear and cranking out a newborn. Her inspiration? A stray letter from an only child arrived at her "office," requesting a sibling. Young Nate (Anton Starkman) is the author of the letter. He lives with his parents (Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell), who have seemingly closed the door on expanding their family. With a new baby to deliver, Junior and Tulip must journey out into the world in order to unite the child with her unsuspecting family. 
 
STORKS 2.jpg Now that's admittedly a lot of plot recap for a film aimed primarily at youngsters. And that's a big component of why Storks had difficulty hitting box office pay dirt. The plot is just a bit too busy, with just enough hints of "mature concepts" to make some parents squirm. Most of it will wash right over the youngest kids, who will simply revel in the fast-paced hijinks Junior and Tulip find themselves in (including pursuit by a hilariously relentless pack of wolves, whose leaders are voiced by Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele). But Parents might get more than they bargained for when older kids start piecing together the whole baby-making thing. The filmmakers open a can of worms by establishing that the storks handled all that for decades, then at some point were able to simply stop. By the film's end, it seems the storks are back to their old duties. It's actually pretty convoluted, but some of the weirdness is what makes Storks so oddly endearing. 
 
STORKS 3.jpg Warner delivers an attractive high definition presentation of Storks' boldly colorful animation (2D 1080p Blu-ray was reviewed). The audio is presented as an immersive DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround mix.

Special features: filmmakers' audio commentary featuring co-directors Douglas Sweetland and Nicholas Stoller, editor John Venzon, and storyboard artist Matt Flynn; deleted scenes (ten minutes); outtakes (two minutes); "Storks Guide To Your New Baby" (two minutes); Jason Derulo music video for "Kiss the Sky." Best of all: The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short, a five-minute short film that preceded Storks in theaters. It's pretty hilarious and should whet plenty of appetites for The LEGO Ninjago Movie (due September 2017 from Warner Bros.).
 
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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is film and music. His new jazz album Good Merlin is now available.

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