“Storks” opened on Friday, September 23. The animated film — from Warner Bros. Pictures and featuring the voices of Andy Samberg and Jennifer Aniston — tells the story of the title characters, who work for a company that transitions from delivering babies to delivering parcels. It’s the latest in a growing, wide-ranging field of potential Oscar contenders for Best Animated Feature that already includes acclaimed titles like “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Sausage Party.” So will “Storks” make the cut?
The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. Stoller, who also wrote the screenplay, is better known for his live-action films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008) and “Neighbors” (2014). Sweetland, however, is already an Oscar nominee for animation: he contended for Best Animated Short in 2008 for “Presto.”
“Storks” doesn’t have the glowing reviews of some of this year’s other toons (55 on MetaCritic, 57% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes), but it could break through anyway if it’s a big hit. Remember that “Minions” had a similar critical response in 2015 and still earned Best Animated Feature bids at the BAFTAs and PGA Awards after making a killing at the box office. It fell short of an Oscar nomination, but probably not by much.
Do you think “Storks” will be an Oscar contender? Check out some of the reviews below and click here to discuss all of this weekend’s new film releases in our forums.
Andrew Parker (The Globe and Mail): “One of the funniest family features of the year, Storks marks the animation debut of co-director and writer Nicholas Stoller … alongside former Pixar animator Doug Sweetland, Stoller has made the most amusing film of his career with this subtextual look at how modern corporate culture penalizes anyone wanting to become a parent.”
Christy Lemire (RogerEbert.com): “‘Storks’ also benefits from the fact that Stoller amassed his actors together as often as possible and let them improvise in person—a rarity in animation filmmaking. Totally unsurprisingly, longtime collaborators Key and Peele share a great chemistry with each other. But Samberg and Crown also enjoy some lively, snappy banter—he’s goofy and overconfident, she’s perky and neurotic—as do Burrell and Aniston in just a few scenes.”
Alonso Duralde (The Wrap): “Nothing about the marketing campaign of ‘Storks’ suggested that it was going to be the movie to give the three-act comedy a good name, but the script by Nicholas Stoller (‘The Muppets,’ ‘The Five-Year Engagement’) jabs at your funny bone and at your gooey sentimental center with equal agility, both by following the rules and knowing when to throw them out the window.”
Michael Rechtshaffen (Hollywood Reporter): “Co-directors Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland deliver big time with ‘Storks,’ a fittingly buoyant, delightfully madcap animated romp from executive producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller about an over-achieving stork who’s forced to embark on a road trip with a flame-haired orphaned teen and some precious cargo.”