The Boss Baby, rated PG
The Boss Baby offers some humor and ultimately a good message about the importance of family that will appeal to both children and adults.
This animated comedy from DreamWorks is directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar films), written by Michael McCullers (Austin Powers sequels, Mr. Peabody and Sherman) and is based on Marla Frazee’s 2010 children’s book. As the film opens, we see babies proceeding along a conveyer belt. Ultimately, a “tickle test” will determine whether they will go be delivered to a family or to positions in “management” with Baby Corp. Baby Corp is a competitor of Puppy Co. for the affections of families.
The Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) wears a suit, carries a briefcase and is delivered to the happy home of seven year old Tim (voiced by Miles Christopher Bakshi), his Dad (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel) and Mom (voiced by Lisa Kudrow). Tobey Maguire narrates the film as the older Tim. Dad and Mom both work for Puppy Co. Prior to the arrival of the Boss Baby, Tim was a happy seven year old with an active imagination, who loved to play with his parents. He was awakened every morning at 7:00 am by his Lord of the Rings wizard-inspired alarm clock. He had all of his parent’s attention and affection. Each night as he went to bed, he got hugs, stories read and was sung to sleep by his parents singing the Beatles classic 1968 song “Blackbird”. All that changes when his new baby brother shows up via a taxi cab. The Boss Baby immediately commands all of Dad and Mom’s attention and energy, much to the chagrin of Tim. Tim goes from receiving all of his parent’s attention to almost none of it.
But Tim is suspicious of the Boss Baby. Soon he finds out that the Boss Baby is not an ordinary baby. No, he can actually talk, and is on an undercover mission for Baby Corp, leading other babies in the effort. Tim seeks to expose him to his parents, so his life can go back to the way it was before the Boss Baby showed up. He eventually agrees to work with the Baby Boss to work against the Puppy Co. CEO (voiced by Steve Buscemi) and their anti-baby plot (they are developing a lovable new kind of puppy that will cut into the amount of family love available to babies). The Boss Baby agrees to leave the home after his mission is accomplished.
The film is mostly family friendly, with a bit of language, a good deal of “toilet humor” and several shots of baby bottoms, all played for humor. Adults may get some of the jokes that children will miss, such as the Boss Baby’s line, “Cookies are for closers”, which is a parody of Alec Baldwin’s famous line from Glengarry Glen Ross, “Coffee is for closers!”
Overall the film was better than I expected. It delivers a strong pro-family message and delivers some funny moments. In addition, the computer animation lives up to the high standards that we expect from DreamWorks.