Tuesday, October 4, 2016



Starring (voices): Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammar, Anton Starkman, Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston

Rated PG for Mild Action and Some Thematic Elements

Off the top of my head, I don't know where the legend of storks bringing families babies got started.  Wikipedia wasn't much help, and it doesn't have anything to do with the review so I'll just assume that the idea is a commonly known fantasy.  It is, however, the set-up for the most inane animated film in a recent while, bringing to mind "Norm of the North."  I grudgingly admit that this is a marginally better movie.

Storks, as our hero Junior (Samberg) tells us, have stopped delivering babies.  Now they deliver packages for a dotcom conglomerate led by Hunter (Grammar).  Apparently, one bird fell in love with a baby and wanted to keep her for himself, something went wrong and now no one knows where she belongs.  She's 18 now and since Tulip (Crown) is a liability to everyone in the building simply by standing there, Hunter wants Junior to fire her.  He does that, and he's the new boss.  But Junior has a heart and gives her a worthless job where she can't do any harm.  True to form, she does, and accidentally creates a baby for a boy named Nate (Starkman) who wants a baby brother (with ninja skills) because his workaholic parents don't pay attention to him.  Now they have to deliver the boy before Hunter finds out.

With a late September release and almost no marketing, Warner Bros. is making it clear that they had no hopes for this movie.  And rightly so.  This is a brain-dead movie with a flat plot and characters so annoying that halfway through I was wishing for them to die.

Who in the right mind would hire Nicholas Stoller, the moron behind "Neighbors" and "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" to make a kids movie?  Yes, he co-wrote "The Muppets," but that wasn't very good either.  The guy has no idea about what's funny and what isn't.  For example, he has Junior and Tulip argue about the most inane things and stretches out the joke long after anyone could conceivably think it's funny.  It sounds improvised, which is okay if you do it right.  But Stoller simply tells his actors to "make shit up" I guess and is more satisfied with the first take than Ed Wood.

I know there is a dearth of family entertainment out now (come to think of it, there's hardly anything decent for anyone, let alone kids).  It sucks, but please, don't waste your time and money on this.  Show your children what cinema can really do for their minds and hearts.  Rent something truly special, like "Spirited Away," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," or "Only Yesterday."  Don't spoil their love of movies by showing them this trash.

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