Arriving to the big-box blockbuster store at the last minute, only to discover that Ninjago is out-of-stock until September 2017, Warner Bros. Animation Group pulled a classic gift-giving move this afternoon. In lieu of the ninja-fighting minifigures it promised, the studio told an elaborate story, one apparently involving baby-transporting shorebirds, Dr. Frasier Crane, and a guy known for delivering a different type of bundle of joy.
As reported by multiple sources, Kelsey Grammer and Andy Samberg will lend their voices to the animated feature Storks, which takes the September 23, 2016 release date originally reserved for the Lego Ninjago movie. While Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, and The Wrap have described the film as a modern spin on the old story/cartoon convention/baby shower decoration involving storks distributing newborn humans, their older sibling, Variety, took a more pragmatic, world-weary approach:
In this uncertain time, when Warner Bros. is showing up one Lego movie short, there are but a few guarantees. For example, Storks will broaden the studio’s animation slate. Also: Whether or not they are playing storks, Storks will find Samberg and Grammer speaking the words of Muppets Most Wanted screenwriter Nicholas Stoller in a film co-directed by Stoller and former Pixar animator/director Doug Sweetland.
And though it can’t give you that Ninjago you wanted right this second (or even next year), Warner Bros. can promise this: Storks will be a less painful experience for Kelsey Grammer than that one time he spoke on behalf of a studio known for its animated product.