“Storks” is a film that works best if you try not to think too much.
The central conceit of the film is this: Storks used to be in the business of delivering babies. Now they don’t. Instead, they deliver packages for a giant Amazon-type internet megamart. One day, the old giant baby machine accidentally gets turned on, making a baby. Now they have to deliver the baby.
So. Many. Questions. Starting with: How were babies brought into the world after the storks stopped delivering them? Did they have a monopoly? Do parents want to bring their young children to a movie that will inevitably bring up the question, “Where do babies come from?”
So, best to just turn off that movie-ruining brain of yours and settle in for an animated Andy Samberg feature, which capitalizes on the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star’s trademark sense of humor that made him famous on “Saturday Night Live.”
Samberg voices Junior, a stork with dreams of moving up the corporate ladder. He’s brought into the office of the big boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer, putting his powerful voice to good use) and told that if he is able to get rid of one of the stork’s biggest mistakes, he’ll get that precious promotion. The mistake is Tulip (Katie Crown), a human girl who was the stork’s first failed delivery and ended up being raised in the warehouse. She’s good-natured and desperate to fit in, but ends up mostly wreaking havoc.
Tulip is also the one who accidentally causes a new baby to be manufactured. It’s up to Junior and Tulip to deliver the baby, which is made more challenging after Junior injures his wing.
The film is split into two sides. One is the storks’ world, complete with fight scenes with penguins and wolves, and the other focuses on the Gardner family, with two super-busy parents (Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell) and a son (Anton Starkman) dying for a sibling.
“Storks” is so overly jam-packed with ideas: It’s a road movie, a buddy comedy, a family drama, a horror story and an office farce. It moves around from plot point to plot point, occasionally offering glimpses of a superior film — there are some legitimately funny scenes and some touching family moments — but more often than not, it’s a muddled, nonsensical film that tries too hard to deliver the goods.