If you wonder about the title of my review, this is because it is so packed with all kinds of animated birds, mostly the smaller ones. "A Stork's Journey" is an animated movie from 2017, so a still relative new production. This one is by experienced filmmaker Reza Mamari and Toby Genkel. It runs for 85 minutes and focuses on the life of a little sparrow, It is a co-production between all kinds of countries, so no surprise this film also exists in all kinds of languages. I watched the German version and the most known (voice) cast member in this one is probably Nicolette Krebitz who is also not only very successful as an actress these days, but also as a filmmaker herself. Anyway, back to this work here. The film starts pretty dramatically as we see how the sparrow loses his parents to a predator. Of course, it is a kids movie, so nothing too graphic here. A bit of a shame that we did not really care for the parents at that point, so the emotional impact by that scene is almost non-existent.
It is really just a bit of a prologue as almost the entire rest of the film takes place several months later. The sparrow is brought up by a family of storks, but things get complicated when they fly south for the winter and obviously the sparrow is not physically strong enough to join them. Problem is the sparrow thinks he is a stork too and thinks he is up to the challenge. So the storks fly away not telling him that they have to leave him behind, but the headstrong sparrow is ready to get to Africa on his own. Luckily he does not have to as he quickly finds new friends helping him on his journey, namely a schizophrenic owl (voiced by Glee's Jane Lynch in the English version) and a canary who is dreaming of a career in the music industry. The own is easily the best character in the entire film and it was a bit sad when we worried if she will die. Sadly, the other characters are frequently not on par. I did not like the canary at all. His entire existence with the music story disappeared so quickly as it appeared for whatever reason and very little about the character made sense, especially how all of a sudden he was such a great friend to the protagonist after not caring for anybody or anything other than himself before that.
There is no real main antagonist in here. You could say there are several really and each of them get one or two scenes, such as the canary's owner, one of the other storks, a trio of bats (that reminded me of the hyenas from The Lion King), some mafia crows (who had no real purpose either), the canary in his first couple minutes, the badger at the very end, a bunch of spiders or maybe even papa Stork to some extent early on. That's not a problem really as it makes sense. It is much more about the journey than the bad guys really. It was a decent watch. Sure obviously there would be a happy end, but it is still not entirely a predictable movie and has a sweet and a comedic moment here and there. The ending was particularly nice because not just one bird who would never make it to Africa got there, but three did. As a whole it is nowhere near the very best of the year, probably not even when it comes to animated movies, but everybody who likes this genre can check it out I believe and they won't be disappointed. The animation was pretty good I would say, but that's almost a given these days. Solid little adventure film I guess. It does not really work the moments it tries to be dramatic, not even with Olga's childhood, but from the pure entertainment perspective it is a success I guess. Thumbs up and I recommend checking it out.