Australian Council on Children and the Media

Storks

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6; parental guidance recommended 6 to 8 due to violence and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Storks
  • a review of Storks completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 September 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to animated violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 6 to 8 Parent guidance recommended due to animated violence and scary scenes.
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Storks
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare very young children
Length 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Storks used to be responsible for delivering babies all around the world, but these days, it's more profitable and reliable for them to just deliver parcels. Babies are risky business!

At cornerstore.com, a huge offshore delivery company run by storks, an up and coming corporate climber, 'Junior' (voice of Andy Samberg) is looking forward to promotion. The only catch is that he has to find a way to fire the company's only human employee, the calamitous orphan Tulip (voice of Katie Crown).

Junior's chance at a promotion is jeopardised when Tulip accidently turns on the ancient baby-making machine and creates the first baby that the company has made for decades. Junior thinks that the best way to deal with the situation is to deliver the baby as quickly as they can without letting his boss find out. A wild adventure follows which sees Junior and Tulip form a strong friendship while on their perilous journey to deliver the baby. Meanwhile, head boss of cornerstore.com, Hunter (voice of Kelsey Grammer), has discovered their baby delivery plan and plots to sabotage their efforts.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The question of where babies come from; the importance of family; being an only child; being an orphan; adoption; friendship

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • There is a lot of slapstick violence. Examples include a scene where Junior must run through a glass factory as fast as possible. Because storks can't see glass, he continually smacks into large panes.
  • Hunter, the boss of cornerstore.com, likes to use cute little birds as objects to play with. He is seen squeezing one roughly as if it is a stress ball, using one as a golf ball, etc. Later in the film, the little birds take revenge.
  • Junior shouts at Tulip so loudly that she falls backwards out of an aeroplane.
  • Tulip makes the baby laugh by hitting Junior over the head repeatedly with sticks. This is used as a strategy to escape from a risky situation.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are many scenes that show the characters in very perilous situations, such as planes falling out of the sky and crashing, explosions, and buildings collapsing. These could make small children feel scared, anxious or nervous.
  • The pace of the movie is very fast and frantic. Some children may find this disturbing.
  • Junior, Tulip and the baby are chased by a pack of wolves that want to eat them. They have glowing eyes and howl and screech. They are sometimes very scary and other times very funny.
  • Hunter tries to destroy the baby-making factory by driving a huge robotic vehicle through the babies. Nobody is hurt.
  • The entire cornerstore.com factory collapses into the ocean.  

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could worry children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • A young boy feels sad and lonely because his busy parents emotionally neglect him and he doesn't have any siblings.  This is resolved during the movie.
  • Tulip is an orphan and talks about finding her “real family”.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Ther is nothing likely to disturb this age group

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

  • Google
  • associated merchandise is available

Sexual references

Adult characters laugh about how babies are made now that storks don’t deliver them and the story might lead to questions about how babies are made.

Nudity and sexual activity

One of the characters is in a sauna and when he steps outside his towel falls off. The bottom half of his body is seen as a blur.

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language and insults in this movie, including:

  • 'bummer'; 'lame'; 'you are so idiotic'; 'Tulip's dumb, there's a reason she doesn't fit in'; ‘shut up'

In a nutshell

Storks is a fast-paced comedy adventure which is sweet, silly and sometimes very funny. The film is not recommended for children under 6 and parent guidance is recommended for 6 to 8 year olds due to violence and scary scenes.  There is some humour targeted towards older viewers, and children may be puzzled and ask about how babies are really made. 

The main messages from this movie are the value of childhood and the importance of friendship and family.

Parents may also wish to discuss:

  • power relationships in companies and work places
  • how children feel when their parents don't have time to spend with them

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