To guide your summer getaway book selections, try this formula: E=FB²
According to centuries-old folklore, storks deliver newborn babies. Modern mythology asserts delivering a baby at all is a “choice,” but Hollywood seems to be slowly reconsidering that idea. The new animated film Storks takes the film industry another baby step in the right direction.
Nate’s parents spend little time with him, so he asks for a brother in a letter he mails to Stork Mountain. But the storks’ factory, having stopped producing and delivering babies years before, now operates as a more lucrative, Amazon-like package delivery business. Nate’s letter winds up in the hands of teenage Tulip (voiced by Katie Crown), the factory’s lone non-avian employee. To the storks’ consternation, Tulip feeds the letter into the Baby Making Machine, which churns out a small capsule with a baby inside.
Tulip sets out to deliver the baby with the help of a stork named Junior (Andy Samberg), who’s likely sacrificing a promotion by his assistance. Stork boss Hunter (outspoken pro-life actor Kelsey Grammer) and his right-hand bird, Pigeon Toady, give pursuit to prevent the delivery.
A pack of wolves joins the chase, trying to get their claws on the baby—with whom they’ve become smitten. These hilarious hounds steal the show. To overcome geological obstacles, clamping snout to tail, the wolves assemble themselves into various machines, with exclamations reminiscent of the Wonder Twins.
“Form of—a submarine!” The lupine craft propels itself underwater, pops up just above the surface to suck in a collective breath, then dives again. (Later: “Form of—a minivan!”) Imaginative graphics swell the film (rated PG for mild action and thematic elements), occasional pointless noisiness notwithstanding.
The resolution of Tulip’s backstory and the fate of the factory’s pile of unopened letters (frozen embryos?) had me dabbing my eyes. And I can just about bet who will be rolling theirs. As the film ends, Junior repeats his motto: “Make a plan. Stick to a plan. Always deliver.” I can’t say for sure whom he’s addressing, but if I were the nation’s largest abortion provider, I’d feel slammed.