How much easier life was when we were children! Santa Claus delivered presents in exchange for milk and cookies, the Tooth Fairy left us coins when our teeth fell out, and babies came by way of the stork, not pushed into the world screaming and covered in mucus as part of the worst home video ever.
And now Warner Bros. Animation — creator of The LEGO Movie — is set to take us back to those halcyon days with upcoming animation Storks, telling the tale of Junior, a delivery stork for internet giant Cornerstore.com (think Amazon.com, but with less copyright issues). Junior is the top dog at this stork delivery company, and he's about to receive the promotion of a lifetime when moderate disaster strikes.
Junior accidentally activates the unused Baby Making Machine, creating a surprise and unwanted baby girl (there are metaphors aplenty here). The arrival of this surprise child leads Junior and his human friend Tulip on a journey to find a new home for this bundle of joy, before his boss finds out and cancels Junior's big promotion.
Warner Bros. is pulling out all the stops in terms of casting for this baby, with a stellar voice cast comprised of A-list names and accomplished voice actors alike. Let's take a look.
1. Andy Samberg Is Junior
The Lonely Island and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg leads the cast in his sixth voice role in a feature-length film, previously appearing in Space Chimps, Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Junior is Cornerstore's top delivery stork, poised to become the successor to the entire company — provided he doesn't screw it up. And nothing says screwing it up more than the sudden appearance of an unwanted baby.
2. Katie Crown Is Tulip
Katie Crown is a voice actress and writer from Ontario, known for voicing Izzy in Total Drama and Fin McCloud in Stoked, in addition to roles on Adventure Time, Bob's Burgers and Clarence.
Crown's character, Tulip, is an orphan living on Stork Mountain who helps out around the place by inventing machines to help flightless birds soar. She's the last baby created on the mountain, since an accident destroyed her delivery address and left her stranded there. She's the only human worker at Cornerstore, and is an eternal optimist while searching for her family — a yearning that becomes intertwined with Junior's quest to find the unexpected baby a new home.
3. Anton Starkman Is Nate Gardner
13-year old actor Anton Starkman is already becoming one to watch, after starring in American Horror Story: Hotel and picking up parts in Teen Wolf, Dead of Summer and the quietly acclaimed Shovel Buddies.
Storks will be Starkman's first foray into voice acting as he portrays Nate Gardner, an only child who longs for a sibling to play with. When the baby doesn't arrive, he takes matters into his own hands, painting the house to make it an easier target and convincing his parents to knock down the chimney so the stork can deliver him someone to keep him company.
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4. Jennifer Aniston Is Sarah Gardner
Jennifer Aniston is a name that needs no introduction. A Friends star turned Hollywood rom-com and drama darling, Aniston is no stranger to voice acting either, counting The Iron Giant, Disney's Hercules TV series and King of the Hill amongst her acting repertoire.
In Storks, Aniston voices Sarah Gardner, Henry's mother and a bit of a workaholic. She's not too sure about the prospect of having another child, despite her son and husband eagerly awaiting another bundle of joy. Doubtless, the pink haired baby of Storks will change her tune on the subject — motherhood, eh?
5. Ty Burrell Is Henry Gardner
Another familiar face comes in the form of Ty Burrell, Modern Family award winner and Back to You star. An accomplished voice actor, Burrell has also lent his pipes to Finding Dory, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Super Hero Squad Show, Glenn Martin, DDS, Doc McStuffins and The Penguins of Madagascar.
Burrell voices Henry Gardner — husband of Sarah and father of Nate — in Storks. Another busy working parent, he sympathizes with his son's loneliness and aids him in his schemes to encourage the stork to come calling.
6. Kelsey Grammer Is Hunter
Cheers and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer is best known for his portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane, but he's also a much sought after voice actor for his distinctive tone. Winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on The Simpsons as Sideshow Bob, Grammer has also provided voices in Animal Farm, Anastasia and Toy Story 2.
In Storks, Grammer portrays Hunter, the sadistic CEO of Cornerstore.com who doesn't believe there's a future in delivering babies anymore. When he discovers Junior and Tulip's plan to deliver the new baby, he sets out to stop them by any means necessary.
7. Key & Peele Are The Wolf Pack Leaders
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele — best known as the titular comedy duo of Key & Peele — are both voice acting veterans. While Key has worked on The LEGO Movie, The Angry Birds Movie and Hotel Transylvania 2 alongside Andy Samberg, Peele has focused on the TV show side of the pool, picking up roles in Axe Cop, Bob's Burgers and Robot Chicken.
In Stork, the comedy duo portray the as-yet unnamed leaders of the Wolf Pack, a tightly knit tribe consisting of a hundred wolves who share a hive-mind mentality. When they first encounter our intrepid trio, they want to eat the baby, but end up falling in adorable love with the small child, wanting to keep and raise her as one of their wolves. Very Princess Mononoke.
8. Stephen Kramer Glickman Is Pigeon Toady
Former bounty hunter Stephen Kramer Glickman has dabbled in many different creative endeavors, from acting to fashion design and producing to stand up comedy. He voiced Billy Bob in the YouTube/Hulu animated web series Trailer Trash, but Storks will be his first feature voice-acting role.
In the upcoming movie, Glickman voices Pigeon Toady — another employee of Cornerstone, but one who is almost as sadistic as Hunter himself. He's tasked with hunting down and retrieving Junior and the child, and goes after them with everything he has to stop the delivery of the baby.
9. Danny Trejo Is Jasper
Danny Trejo might be best known for wielding a machete and being terrifying, but he's no stranger to voice acting either. His repertoire thus far includes The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Phineas and Ferb. But he's also a big name in video games — doing voice acting work in Call of the Dead, Fallout: New Vegas and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, amongst others.
In Storks, Trejo voices Jasper, another stork working at Cornerstone. He's the stork who accidentally lost track of Tulip's delivery address when she was a baby, and so 18 years later, he still tries to look after her, raising her as his own to make up for the mistakes of the past.
Which character are you most looking forward to seeing in Storks? Sound off in the comments below!