Mom Does Reviews recently traveled to LA for an advanced screening of the all-new hit from Warner Bros. Pictures, STORKS. This movie has an all-star cast including Andy Samberg (Junior), Kelsey Grammer (Hunter), Steven Kramer Glickman (Pidgeon Toadie), Katie Crown (Tulip) and many more.
Based on the historical tale of how storks deliver babies to exciting and eager families, the movie takes a quick turn into modern times and shows how storks now deliver packages of other sorts from CornerStore.com! We had a chance to sit down with several members of the cast and crew and learn more intimate details about the movie, including some behind the scenes candid moments among them.
Andy Samberg as Junior and Katie Crown as Tulip
Andy has done animated work before, and when asked what he did to approach his role as Junior, Andy noted, referring to his close work with Katie Crown (Tulip), “It was a little different just in the process that Nick [Stoller, writer/director] had us working in.It was a little bit like working with Phil Lord or Chris Miller on the Cloudy movies … he was in the recording booth with us and he was very insistent that we be there at the same time, which I think really showed.” Katie added, “the performance is much more authentic too when you’re able to play off of each other instead of just like, “Neh, neh, neh,” going through the line.”
When asked about their favorite scene in the movie, Andy noted “I love the glass.” As you will find out when watching the movie, glass is a natural enemy of the Storks. Katie added, “I like the scene where we’re trying to get the baby to sleep quickly.” We noted that any parent of a young child can really relate to that scene.
When asked about the messages the movie conveys and what they want viewers to take away from the movie, Andy relayed, “I think that there’s no one definition of family. It’s whatever feels right to you and whatever, you know, your reality is. Also, maybe don’t just focus on your work. Make sure that you spend time with your kid(s).” I think I really loved Katie’s response best, “don’t underestimate folks.”
Kelsey Grammer as Hunter and Steven Kramer Glickman as Pigeon Toadie
Steven and Kelsey graciously strolled into the interview room (which was completely decorated like a HUGE baby shower) and sat with us to discuss their roles in the movie, as well as their thoughts.
From this movie, you will learn that Hunter and Pigeon Toadie are very opposite characters, but in many ways become quite similar as the movie transpires. We noted this and Kelsey replied with “we’re fighting the same fight”, and Steven added “we’re on the same team.”
During the interview, we asked each actor what drew them to the movie and their characters. We learned that Steven was initially a scratch actor (Voice Actors who record their voice and give it to others), but the director quickly discovered that he was the perfect fit for Pigeon Toadie. Steven also noted, “playing a character like this, who just wants to become powerful and is looking up to his character the whole movie, trying to achieve that greatness and will do absolutely anything to get it, those are really fun characters to play, because you’re not just playing like, “I’m an evil villain.” You’re playing a character that has goals and wants. Power hungry characters are always really, really fun to play.”
Kelsey noted his attraction to Hunter was because “I am attracted to animated films basically because I have children and because I am grateful to all the actors that voiced the movies that were important to me when I was a child. I still think that animated films are probably the best movies being made today, and I think that may have been true for a long time.”
We learned that these two did interact sometimes together in the studio; however, most of their lines were recorded individually. Image their surprise and delight to see it all come together with the animation. The both also noted that there was a bunch of improve and laughter in the booth and hopes that some of that comes out in behind-the-scenes footage later on with the DVD release.
Hunter is a pretty intimidating boss in the movie, and so we asked Kelsey if he ever had a boss like the one he plays in the movie. He replied, “I’ve had some very unpleasant bosses in my life, but not so sure they were intimidating. They were just sort of more buffoonish. And I think my character is a little bit of a buffoon.”
To find out more about how these to mesh and really come together in the movie, be sure to catch STORKS in theaters on September 23rd.
Writer/Director Nicholas Stoller, Director Doug Sweetland and Producer Brad Lewis
We also had a chance to meet the creative minds behind the movie. Writer/Director Nick Stoller, director Doug Sweetland and producer Brad Lewis all sat down to talk about their parts and creative process in making STORKS.
Nick Stoller is known for his prior work in live-action movies. When asked how it was for him to work the animation side of film-making, he replied “I went to an animation school for the last four years with Brad and Doug and John Venzon, our editor. The story guys, Craig [Berry] and Matt [Flynn] all taught me all about animation. One of the great things about working in the entertainment industry is constantly getting to learn new things, and this was just an awesome learning experience. And I was able to stretch myself visually. I don’t normally think visually. I it was great to learn about that. And they all were really patient with me and explained to me a lot, basically taught me how to do it.”
Brad Lewis added, “if there’s something different about Storks, it’s this combination, right, where there’s great animation pedigree on the movie in Doug and working at DreamWorks, Pixar on some great movies, and there’s great live action comedy pedigree from Nick. And the sole reason I did this project was because of these guys hoping to do something different.
The animation industry has been big. It’s been globalized. Everybody loves it, right? But what keeps it fresh? What keeps it fresh is something like this. It’s like how can we put a new combination together that can be a new chemistry for animation?”
When asked about the important message each of them wants viewers to get from STORKS, they each replied. Nick started with “I’ve always said, I think for parents, because that’s obviously the perspective I was coming at it from, is this movie is a love letter to parenting and it’s a celebration of family.” (As I side-note, we also love this message!)
Brad Lewis noted, “The thing about this movie is we’re all busy. Everybody in this room is busy, right? And so, for me, one of the messages, you know, it’s that it used to be stop and smell the roses, but this is like let a baby affect your life. And even if it’s not a baby, if it’s some little moment of innocence or beauty, stop, take it in, enjoy it, and then get back on the train. That’s what you’re going to do, right? So, the movie is about allow yourself to get connected.”
They all agreed early on in the process, Andy Samberg was the perfect guy to play Junior. Surprisingly, Andy did not know this until sitting down with us for his interview portion and someone told him what they had previously noted. He loved it!
To get you excited, check out the official trailer below
More about STORKS:
Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for global internet giant Cornerstore. Junior, the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.
Remember STORKS comes to theaters everywhere on September 23rd. Be sure to stop back for our full, spoiler-free review of the movie next week. Stay connected socially for all of the latest information on STORKS and Warners Bros.