Storks is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated adventure buddy comedy film produced by Warner Animation Group, RatPac-Dune Entertainment and Stoller Global Solutions. It is directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland (in his feature debut), written by Stoller and stars the voices of Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Anton Starkman, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo, and Stephen Kramer Glickman.
The film premiered in Los Angeles on September 17, 2016, and was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 23, 2016, in 3D, IMAX and conventional formats. Storks has received mixed reviews from critics and earned $182 million worldwide.
Stork Mountain was a place known for delivering babies and its employees are primarily storks, along with a few other birds. Their current CEO, a stork named Hunter (Kelsey Grammer), discontinued the baby delivering business, seeing more profit by having storks operate a parcel delivery service called Cornerstore.com. However the last infant from before baby delivery was discontinued, Tulip, could not be delivered and was taken in by the company as an orphan.
Tulip (Katie Crown), having just turned 18 years old, is working to promote new ideas for Cornerstore, but they always backfire. Meanwhile, Junior (Andy Samberg), Cornerstore's top delivery stork, is about to be promoted to boss of Cornerstore while Hunter, Cornerstore's current boss, is about to be promoted as chairman of the board. Hunter demands that Junior fires Tulip from the company due to her antics causing Cornerstore to suffer losses. Junior cannot find the heart to fire Tulip due to her kindness and hard work, and he lies to her that she is being transferred to the mail room, instructing her to never leave her new office space.
Meanwhile, a young boy named Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman) feels lonely because his real estate agent parents, Henry (Ty Burrell) and Sarah (Jennifer Aniston), are too busy to spend time with him, and he yearns for a younger brother. When his parents scoff at the idea and he learns from an old brochure about Cornerstore and their former baby-making reputation, he writes a letter asking for a baby brother with ninja skills and sends it to Cornerstore. The letter makes its way to Tulip, who, having been put in charge of the mail room of the disused but still functional baby factory, disobeys order leaves the mail room to put the letter in a slot just outside the room after agreeing to cover for herself. Despite Junior's attempt to stop her, Tulip puts the letter in the slot, which leads to the shut down baby factory functioning again. Junior tries to stop it, but dislocates his wing trying to press the emergency off button. Although Junior presses it, a baby girl is created inside a metal container, whom they later name Diamond Destiny.
Knowing that Hunter will fire him for creating an unauthorized infant and not firing Tulip as ordered, Junior agrees to secretly help deliver Diamond Destiny. As Junior's wing is broken, they use Tulip's flying machine for transportation. However, they crash into a frozen tundra. After a brief argument, Junior takes Diamond Destiny in the hopes of getting back to Cornerstore, but is ambushed by two wolf leaders named Alpha (Keegan-Michael Key) and Beta (Jordan Peele) and their pack and taken to their cave, where Tulip is also captured. The two manage to save Diamond Destiny, whom the wolves have fallen in love with, and escape.
Back at Cornerstore, a pigeon employee named Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman) learns of Diamond Destiny's existence. He goes after Junior and Tulip to confirm this, and upon reporting back to Hunter, he promises to give Toady Junior's position as they scramble the coordinates Junior and Tulip have been following to mislead them to a different location. After another brief encounter with the wolves, Junior and Tulip run into Jasper (Danny Trejo), a giant and old stork that was ultimately responsible for Tulip being orphaned and the shut down of the baby delivery business after he broke her address beacon. Jasper reveals that he has been attempting to fix the beacon that would show Tulip's home but he was missing a piece, which Tulip had on her. Upon discovering this, Junior reveals that he was supposed to fire Tulip, leaving her in tears. Now knowing where her family is, Jasper decides to take her to be reunited with them while Junior sadly continues to deliver Diamond Destiny by himself, but he is captured and tied up by Hunter and his cronies at the false location and they kidnap Diamond Destiny.
Tulip comes to rescue Junior without having met her family and the two resend themselves back to Cornerstore. After fighting an army of penguins, Junior and Tulip are chased into the abandoned baby making room and start up the machine as a distraction. As thousands of babies are being made, Hunter angrily confronts Junior and Tulip with a large robotic machine and also threatens to destroy the baby making room, but Junior refuses to surrender Diamond Destiny with Hunter's re-offered promotion. With the infant's playfulness, Junior and Tulip are able to cause the machine to fall off the cliff elevating the collapsing Cornerstore, causing Hunter, who is trapped inside the machine, to fall to his death.
Junior rallies the storks, as well as the other birds, to help deliver the babies to the families who wanted them including the Gardners, and Nate accepts having a sister when he realizes that she has the ninja skills he asked for in the letter. The storks, former employees of Cornerstore, and the wolf pack reunite Tulip with her expanded family, and she and Junior continue their job of delivering babies as co-bosses of Stork Mountain.
- Andy Samberg as Junior, a white stork working at Cornerstore as the company's top delivery stork, in hope of being promoted to becoming boss.
- Katie Crown as Tulip, an 18-year-old orphan human worker at Cornerstore, who wishes to find her own family.
- Kelsey Grammer as Hunter, a golf-obsessed & mean-spirited white stork and the executive CEO of Cornerstore, who has a hatred on baby delivery. Years ago, he closed the baby production due to upgrading the company as a postal service.
- Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as the Alpha and Beta wolves, the leaders of the Wolf Pack, a tribe consisting of 100 wolves. The pack adore the infant Diamond Destiny as they treat her like one of their own.
- Anton Starkman as Nate Gardner, a 10-year-old boy whose parents are busy and is surrounded by brotherhoods leaving him lonely.
- Jennifer Aniston as Sarah Gardner, Nate's workaholic overprotective mother who opposes the idea of a brother for work reasons, but changes her mind after Henry convinces her.
- Ty Burrell as Henry Gardner, Nate's workaholic father who supports the idea of a brother for family reasons.
- Stephen Kramer Glickman as Pigeon Toady, an awkward, nosy pigeon working at Cornerstone who is eager to get any kind of attention, and who goes after Junior and Tulip to confirm the delivery of the baby to Hunter.
- Danny Trejo as Jasper, a giant stork working at Cornerstore. Before the baby process was shut down, Tulip was the last infant to be made, and Jasper wanted to keep her to himself.
- Chris Smith as Dougland, a chicken incapable of flight who uses a jetpack.
- Awkwafina as Quail
- Ike Barinholtz, Amanda Lund, and Jorma Taccone provide the miscellaneous stork voices.
Different baby sound effects were made to provide both Diamond Destiny's voice and other babies' voices too.
The project was first announced in January 2013, when Warner Bros. formed its animation "think tank" with some directors and writers to develop animated films, Nicholas Stoller was hired by the studio to create and write Storks, while Doug Sweetland was attached to direct the film. On April 20, 2015, Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammer were added to the voice cast of the film, and it was announced that Stoller and Sweetland would co-direct the 3D film, while Stoller would produce the film along with Brad Lewis. The original idea film was developed under Warner Bros. Animation. Sony Pictures Imageworks provided the film's animation service. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were also announced in the cast who provided their voices for the film. On June 15, 2016, Jennifer Aniston was announced in the cast.
|Storks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna|
|Released||September 16, 2016|
|Mychael Danna film scores chronology|
|Jeff Danna chronology|
The film’s score was composed by Mychael and Jeff Danna. The soundtrack also contains "Holdin' Out", performed by The Lumineers. The soundtrack was released on September 16, 2016, by WaterTower Music.
- Track listing
Storks was originally going to be released on February 10, 2017, which Warner Bros. had reset for The Lego Batman Movie. The film was released on September 23, 2016, which was previously set for The Lego Ninjago Movie, which has now moved to a year later. Storks is preceded by The Master, a five-minute short film based on the Lego Ninjago line of sets, the short was later re-released in theatres with The Lego Batman Movie in selected theaters in the UK.
Storks was released by Warner Home Video on Blu-ray (2D, 3D and 4K Ultra HD) and DVD on December 20, 2016, with a digital release on December 6, 2016. Extras included a 2-minute short film, titled Storks: Guide to Your New Baby (with onscreen title Pigeon Toady's Guide to Baby's), and the Lego Ninjago short film, The Master.
As of January 10, 2017, Storks has grossed $72.7 million in the United States and Canada and $109.7 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $182.4 million, against a budget of $75 million.
In the United States and Canada, Storks opened alongside The Magnificent Seven was originally projected to gross around $30 million from 3,922 theaters in its opening weekend, with some estimates reaching $36 million. The Hollywood Reporter noted that in recent decades, Warner Bros. has not been able to produce very successful and lucrative animated films except for The Lego Movie in 2014 and that the studio is hoping Storks would duplicate that success. It grossed $435,000 from its Thursday previews and just $5.7 million on its first day, lowering weekend projections to $20 million. It ended up opening to $21.8 million, finishing second at the box office behind The Magnificent Seven's $35 million debut. Internationally, the film opened in conjuncture with its North American debut across 34 foreign territories, including the likes of Russia, China, India and Japan. It ultimately grossed over $182 million worldwide, more than doubling its $75 million budget.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 63% based on 114 reviews and has an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "Colorful animation and a charming cast help Storks achieve a limited liftoff, but scattershot gags and a confused, hyperactively unspooled plot keep it from truly soaring". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review and said: "There's a nice, snappy playfulness in the rapport between Samberg and engaging newcomer Crown. That lively, back-and-forth vibe also extends to the Aniston/Burrell and Key/Peele dynamic." Peter Hartlaub of San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Whoever is running Warner Animation Group appears to be allowing the lunatics to run the asylum. And that is a wonderful thing." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film 3 stars out of 4 and said "Storks are known for delivering bundles that are irresistible, exhaustingly active at times, and frequently pretty darn messy. How completely appropriate, then, that Warner Bros.' 3-D animated feature Storks delivers the same."
Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a mixed review and called it "a strenuously unfunny animated comedy." Samantha Ladwig of IGN gave the film 4.5/10 and said "Storks starts off well enough and delivers a few laughs, but ultimately it isn’t quite sure of what it is." Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club noted the "filmmakers’ assumption [...] that if lines are said very fast and in silly voices, they will become funny," and criticized Warner Bros. for putting out a generic animation along the same, safe lines of what "other second-tier animation houses" are producing: "The Lego Movie brought with it the hope that the studio might reclaim some of the animation territory it has long ceded to other studios. Storks, though, is just another okay cartoon."
Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal gave the film a negative review, saying "The whole movie seems to be on fast-forward, with crushingly brainless dialogue, hollow imagery and no way of slowing down the febrile action or making sense of the chaotic plot." Barbara VanDenburgh of The Arizona Republic said, "Storks is charmless with rote obligation. This is a kid’s film for hire, with none of the creativity, emotion and design that elevate the genre to art, or even simply a fun time at the movies."
|Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Katie Crown||Nominated|||
|Heartland Film Festival 2016||Truly Moving Picture Award||Nicholas Stoller||Won|||
|Hollywood Film Awards||Hollywood Film Composer Award||Mychael Danna (also for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)||Won|||
|Village Voice Film Poll||Best Animated Feature||"Storks"||Nominated|||
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