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The movie: Storks

storks_lead

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Kelsey Grammer, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone
Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Duration: 87 minutes
Showing: Cinema Magic, Naalya, Century Cinemax Acacia Mall, Numax Cinema.

For an animated movie that’s ostensibly about where babies come from (they’re delivered by air, of course), Storks is targeted at the youngest of viewers: chirpers who won’t mind gobbling down a little pre-digested Inside Out or The Lion King—this vaguely recalls both films—on their way to a bland 89 minutes.

It’s not lazy; if anything, Storks tries too hard to create energy where none exists in its tale of beaked Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg), a handsome bird set to inherit the empire of his father (Kelsey Grammer), a stern blowhard who’s transitioned storks from the infant business to shipping cell phones and consumer products. But when a human baby mysteriously appears in the factory, it’s got to be dispatched, right?

Apart from one muted action sequence in which the participants try not to wake a sleeping bundle of joy (“Put that baby down,” one of them demands, and the order is obeyed, with a little tucking in), there’s scarce humor here for adults to relish. And Samberg’s characteristic snark has been sanded down to a nub.

It may be that we’ve come to expect our animated movies, often products of years of development, to function on too many levels: witty diversions for parents as well as head-bonking adventures for kids. Storks isn’t terrible; there’s some airy poetry to the images—especially an elongated stork headquarters high in the sky—while the no-nonsense voices of Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell (as a human married couple) go a long way to making it bearable. It’s just too generic for a marketplace that’s often a site of genius.

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