Storks is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure 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, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and Danny Trejo.
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Nicholas Stoller|
|Edited by||John Venzon|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$182.4 million|
The film follows a hotshot package delivering stork (Junior) and his female human partner (Tulip), working at the distribution center of an enormous online store, Cornerstore.com, situated high in the mountains. After a boy sends a letter to the company, the two accidentally create a female baby using the defunct baby factory the storks had formerly used in their original business of making and delivering babies. In order to protect the baby from the company's manager and ensure Junior's promotion to succeed him, the two set off on a journey to deliver the baby to the boy's family.
Storks premiered in Los Angeles on September 17, 2016, and was released by Warner Bros. on September 23, 2016, in 3D, IMAX and conventional formats. Storks received mixed reviews from critics and it earned $182 million worldwide during its theatrical run.
For generations, the storks of Stork Mountain delivered babies to families around the world, until one stork named Jasper attempted to keep an infant girl for himself. Jasper accidentally destroyed the infant’s address beacon and went into exile. Unable to deliver the orphaned girl, the storks adopted her under the name Tulip. CEO stork Hunter discontinued baby delivery in favor of package delivery with Cornerstore.com.
Eighteen years later, Tulip, now a young adult, tries to promote new ideas for Cornerstore, which backfire and cause the company to lose stocks. Hunter declares her to be a severe burden and liability due to this incompetence (the charts even justify this, as every time she tries to help, their profits go way down, and when they do make progress, it is when she's absent). Hunter assigns top delivery stork Junior to fire Tulip so he may be promoted to boss. Junior cannot bring himself to do so and instead transfers Tulip to the mail room.
Meanwhile, a young boy named Nate Gardner, who lives with his workaholic parents Henry and Sarah, is feeling lonely and wants a younger sibling. He sends a letter to Cornerstore and it reaches Tulip, who enters the defunct baby factory and inserts the letter into the baby-making machine, causing it to create a pink-haired infant girl. Junior injures his wing trying to shut down the machine. Afraid Hunter will fire him, Junior agrees to accompany Tulip and secretly deliver the baby to her family using a makeshift flying craft that Tulip invented. They eventually crash, escape a pack of wolves that fall in love with the baby, and reach civilization, during which Junior and Tulip bond with the baby and name her Diamond Destiny. In the meantime, Henry and Sarah open up to Nate’s desire for a younger sibling and spend time with their son by building a landing platform for the storks.
Junior and Tulip encounter Jasper, who had followed them from Stork Mountain. Jasper has nearly repaired Tulip’s delivery beacon, but is missing one piece, which had been in Tulip’s possession for years. Junior confesses to Tulip that he was supposed to fire her, and a saddened Tulip leaves with Jasper to meet her family while Junior continues alone to deliver Diamond Destiny. Cornerstore’s pigeon employee Toady learns about Diamond Destiny and informs Hunter, who reroutes her address beacon and leads Junior into a trap. Hunter fires Junior and has Diamond Destiny taken away to live with penguins until she is an adult in order to silence the incident and prevent more plummeting stocks.
Tulip reunites with Junior and they return to Stork Mountain during the highly anticipated Storkcon event to save Diamond Destiny from the penguins. When they are cornered in the baby factory by Hunter and the other stork employees, Junior sends millions of archived letters from families into the baby-making machine, causing it to rapidly produce babies and distract the storks. Hunter seizes control of a giant crane and tries to destroy the factory, only to have Diamond Destiny and abused birds help make the Cornerstore building collapse off Stork Mountain, causing Hunter, who is entangled in the building cables and trapped inside the crane, to fall to his death.
In the aftermath, Junior rallies the storks to deliver all the babies to their families. Junior, Tulip, and Jasper deliver Diamond Destiny to the Gardners, Tulip finally meets her family, and Junior and Tulip continue working as co-bosses at 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 and sadistic white stork who is the executive CEO of Cornerstore and has a hatred of baby delivery. Years ago, he closed the baby production due to upgrading the company as a postal service.
- Keegan-Michael Key as Alpha, a greedy-but caring wolf and the pack leader who wants to devour Junior and Tulip and adopt the baby.
- Jordan Peele as Beta, Alpha's advisor. The wolf 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 Cornerstore 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.
- Christopher Nicholas Smith as Dougland, a chicken incapable of flight who uses a jetpack.
- Awkwafina as Quail
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
|2.||"Our New Phones"||0:42|
|5.||"I Want a Baby Brother"||2:59|
|6.||"Bored, Bored, Bored"||0:36|
|7.||"Ninja Force Attack"||1:02|
|8.||"Monumental Screw Up"||1:40|
|9.||"The Baby Factory"||2:13|
|10.||"Deliver This Thing"||1:31|
|11.||"Five More Minutes, And Then We Stop"||1:40|
|12.||"Good Day Orphan Tulip"||1:07|
|14.||"Fleeting Moments, Precious Memories"||1:40|
|15.||"You’ll Find Your Family"||1:31|
|16.||"Suddenly, You’re In a Suit"||0:54|
|17.||"Wolf Pack Minivan"||2:03|
|18.||"Defusing Diamond Destiny"||2:01|
|19.||"I Have the Missing Piece"||1:09|
|22.||"Return To Cornerstore"||0:59|
|23.||"They Don’t Deliver Babies"||1:17|
|25.||"Hand Over the Package"||0:56|
|26.||"A Million Babies"||1:55|
|27.||"Destroy the Baby Machine"||2:07|
|28.||"This Is Our Mission"||1:16|
|30.||"Holdin' Out" (performed by The Lumineers)||3:06|
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 two-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.
Storks 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 $70 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.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 63% based on 123 reviews and has an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical 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 The 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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