(Gainesville, Ga) In a summer movie season laced with mostly franchise blockbusters and lackluster reboots, it was genuinely refreshing to sit down and watch a kid’s film that was not just fun for young ones, but was also smart and witty for the parents as well. After all, this film uses the old parental excuse that babies are delivered by storks as it’s launching pad.
As the film states “In this animated children’s fantasy, two storks (voiced by Kelsey Grammer and Andy Samberg) reveal the truth about their job delivering babies to new parents.”[rottentomatoes.com] They are also joined by an orphaned human child named Tulip (Katie Crown) who spends her time engineering nifty flying gadgets to help her be accepted by the rest of the storks. This being said however, it becomes apparent that her gadgets tend to cause trouble frequently, forcing Junior (Samberg) a stork seeking a job promotion within his ranks, to have to demote young Tulip to the mail room.
It is here then, that Tulip and Junior’s adventure begins, as they had accidentally turned on a “baby-making” machine and now would have to ensure that said child is then delivered to its parents. Throughout their travels the audience is treated to absurd scenarios that one would not see in the typical fare of children’s movies. An example of this is a pack of wolves that while chasing our protagonists, can turn into any absurd vehicle they can come up with. “Wolf pack!” the pack leader yells “turn into the shape of a minivan!”, “ You don’t see that in the nature channel!” Tulip observes. Another absurd scenario is a silent-fight scene where a group of penguins are fighting off the main protagonists, but are making sure not to make any noise, as the baby has just gone to sleep and they don’t wish to wake her.
The writing, while certainly aimed at children, was largely aimed at parents as well, as it makes clear observations on how we’ve allowed our culture of consumerism to completely sabotage our lives, and forget what it is that matters most. “You blink, and I’ll be in college” comments Nate Gardner, played by Anton Starkman, to his father. Nate wants the storks to deliver him a baby brother, and tries to guilt trip his parents into spending time with him, “I’m not a jerky teen yet! Fleeting moments, precious memories!”he says with finality in his tone of voice, reminding not just his parents, but the parents in the audience, of the importance of family.