Storks is predictable but fun

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2 ½ out 4 stars

Remember when storks delivered babies? That was so 20th century.

Now, Stork Mountain is home to the Amazon-like, which uses storks to deliver packages, not bundles of joy.

storks_film_poster_2But there’s a problem: one baby hasn’t been flown to her family – and it’s up to Junior and an undelivered orphaned named Tulip to get the cherub home without anyone blowing the whistle on the operation.

Junior, who is voiced by Andy Samberg, has a lot riding on the delivery, as the company’s fastest flier is on the verge of a promotion. But it won’t be easy for him and Tulip (Katie Crown) to get the baby home without anyone discovering’s secret.

While Storks is funny and predictable, it’s being counted on by Warner Bros to deliver something else: a global audience. Storks is the company’s first animated feature since it established itself as a force in the cartoon genre with The LEGO Movie, which took home more $469 million worldwide in 2014. The film, which had a 60-million budget, paved the way for The LEGO Batman Movie that’s scheduled for February.

Storks  isn’t as engaging as The LEGO Movie, which introduced moviegoers to “Everything is Awesome,” but it’s 86 minutes of fun for kids, whereas The LEGO Movie also was a hit for adults who grew up playing with the building blocks.maxresdefault

Directors Doug Sweetland and Nicholas Stoller, who also wrote the film, are effective in using celebrities to bring their creations to life, as Hunter –’s Donald Trump-like boss — is voiced by Kelsey Grammer, while comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele bring humor to a pair of wolves intent on making Junior and Tulip’s mission fail. Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell voice Sarah and Harry Gardner, who are hoping for an addition to their family, and Jasper, an outcast stork, benefits from being voiced by Danny Trejo.

The film moves fast and the action is even faster. Tulip and Junior’s trip throughout the city is filled with a mix of humor and fight scenes that keep the audience captivated. Storks is at its best when Junior and Tulip are accosted by a gang of stray animals and when they must elude a penguin platoon.

Storks’ visual elements compensate for its choppy plot, which is geared toward children in contrast to Zootopia’s adult themes. The computer animation, which was produced by Sony Pictures Imageworks is as good as any you’ll see, with the crisp, bright colors filling the screen every second.

Storks isn’t a film you’ll want to take home with you, but for one afternoon you’ll be glad you spent some time with it.