Movie Review: Storks

Storks used to deliver babies. But let’s face it: There’s not much profit margin in delivering them. So Hunter, boss of Stork Mountain, decided to switch business models, becoming the primary shipping arm of the internet retail giant Cornerstore.com.

Hunter wants a corner office at Cornerstore headquarters, he’s ready to turn over the operation to a bird named Junior. But under one condition: Junior has to fire Tulip as she’s one of the main reasons why Cornerstore has fallen into the red.

But firing Tulip’s pretty harsh. So Junior decides to put her in charge of the letter-sorting department. But then, as fate would have it, a letter from a family asking for a baby boy comes in. Tulip innocently walks it over to the long-defunct baby factory and fires the thing up.

Junior runs over to stop the impending “disaster”, but it’s too late. The machine spits out a baby. There’s only one thing to do: Deliver the infant and get back to Stork Mountain before anyone finds out. If the baby’s going to get to its proper home, Junior and Tulip will have to deliver it.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS

Storks is about where families come from.

The Gardner family is where the movie’s pink-haired baby’s ultimately supposed to land. Prospective big brother Nate wrote the letter because his parents barely spend time with him. He’s lonely: A little brother, he believes, will be just the ticket.

As he begins to transform the family rooftop into a landing pad for a stork-delivered baby, his father breaks away from his latest call to see what’s up and finds himself helping. He realises how fun it is to spend time with his boy and how quickly Nate’s childhood is slipping away. Soon, Nate’s mom is joining in on the fun.

The second family is comprised of the makeshift clan of Junior, Tulip and the baby (nicknamed Diamond Destiny). Though the delivery itself only takes a couple of days, we catch a glimpse of the emotions that families naturally face over much longer durations.

Throughout these and other situations, we see the strange, domesticating influence that children can have. Selfish beings begin thinking of others. Mums and dads fall head-over-heels in love with these demanding little creatures. Storks is all about the curious power of family, how the love that its members have for each other can be one of the strongest forces in the world.

VIOLENT CONTENT

Diamond Destiny giggles as Tulip thwacks Junior with planks of wood, as wolves beat each other up and during a host of other physically painful mischiefs. The wolves, incidentally, were planning to eat the child. But as they pursue the child (whom they now hope to raise to be an “independent woman”), the pack winds up crashing into things and falling from great heights.

Storks smash into glass repeatedly. Hunter keeps a bevy of tiny birds at his disposal, which he squeezes, beats and uses as golf balls. A helicopter explodes. Birds apparently fall to their doom. A factory is set on fire. A wing gets injured in a bevy of sharp gears. A building falls from a great height. There’s a violent-but-quiet fight (so as not to wake the baby up) between Tulip, Junior and a pack of penguins, during which someone gets stabbed in the chest with a fork. Babies pull feathers and poke at the eyeballs of longsuffering storks.

CRUDE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE

Several uses of “of my gosh” and “heck,” and one of “jeez.” Someone says, “Suck it, wolves!” We also hear the incomplete exclamation, “What the …”.

OTHER NEGATIVE ELEMENTS

Junior and others sometimes sniff diapers to determine whether they need to be changed or not. Junior, complaining of internal bleeding, seems to vomit off-camera. He talks about how he urinated on himself during a moment of peril.

CONCLUSION

Cartoons these days seem to be made as much for adults as children, if not more so. So while kids will laugh at Storks’ slapstick antics, their parents may be more prone to sniffle a bit. Juxtaposed against the promise and joy of new life, the movie reminds us that these babies eventually grow up. That the time we have with them is fleeting.

Nate goads his parents with such reminders, telling them that he’s only a couple of years from his teens. “Blink and I’ll be in college,” he warns. It’s meant as a joke, and it is funny, but for parents of pint-size children, it may also be a poignant reminder: No matter how much time we’re able to spend with our kids growing up, it never feels like enough.


By Focus on the Family Singapore. This review was adapted from Plugged In: the entertainment guide your family needs to make family appropriate decisions through movie reviews, book reviews, TV reviews, and more.

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