Animated Movies, DreamWorks, Reviews, Studios

DreamWorks Countdown 34: ‘The Boss Baby’

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I think everyone has one of those ‘never judge a book by its cover’ movies. The kind of film that looks bad from its trailers so your expectations are not very high, but when you actually see it you surprisingly enjoy it. For me, The Boss Baby is one of those movies. I thought it was gonna be awful when I saw the first teaser, but after I saw it I thought it was pretty good. Is it one of DreamWorks’ best? No, but it’s still an enjoyable watch.

The story concerns a boy named Tim, who seems to be living the good life being an only child and getting all his parents love and attention. However, this changes when a baby shows up wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase (which nobody questions), and seems to steal all the attention away from Tim. In another twist, the baby has the voice of Alec Baldwin.The unlikely duo don’t get along at first, but they have to put their differences aside to stop the evil head of a corporation called Puppy Co., whose new puppy could threaten to keep all peoples’ attention towards puppies (thus making them not want to have babies anymore).

I really enjoy the manic energy The Boss Baby has. There are some funny gags littered throughout and some pretty funny slapstick. It is directed by Tom McGrath, one of the co-directors of the Madagascar series, and you can tell as it has the same feel as those movies. I was expecting just nothing but baby jokes, but, while there are certainly those jokes, they’re not the majority.

Some of the lines can be quite hilarious and there are even some ideas that they throw out about this world that are so bizarre I couldn’t help but laugh. For instance, they actually give a reason why the babies can talk.The babies sent to management drink a magic formula that allows them to stay babies forever with the intelligence of adults; However, if they stop drinking it, they become normal non-speaking infants. What’s in this formula? Where do they get it from? Does it have any effect on adults? No answer, it’s just what it is. Because why not? Also, there’s a joke involving multiple Elvis impersonators that probably got the biggest laugh out of me in the entire movie.

Given DreamWorks’ output, obviously it’s put a lot of effort into the animation. It’s very smooth, colorful, fast paced, and there’s even some stylistic changes during Tim’s imagination sequences. He imagines everything from a pirate battle to a space mission and it is very creatively shown. Besides Alec Baldwin, there’s also some notable voice actors in the cast like Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Steve Buscemi, and they all do a good job in their parts.

Even the moments that are meant to be heartfelt work better than I thought they would. The two main characters share a nice brotherly bond and I enjoyed seeing their friendship grow. The ending especially was really well done. Without giving anything away, it really brought the message of family home and it’s not done in an overly schmaltzy way. Honestly I think anyone who has siblings can actually connect with this.

With all that said, The Boss Baby is not perfect. While there are plenty of jokes that do land, there are some that don’t quite hit. The villain is also pretty weak. His motivations don’t entirely make sense, and they throw in a twist with him that seemed pretty obvious. Plus, the last shot of the movie is confusing. After making it clear boss baby may just be in Tim’s imagination the final shot is very strange.

But even so, The Boss Baby is still an enjoyable film. It could have easily been nothing but a string of one note gags related to “Look, it’s Stewie Griffin in a suit” but DreamWorks actually put more effort into it than I thought it would. I guess I’m not alone on this as the movie grossed about $498 million worldwide, pretty much guaranteeing a sequel plus a Netflix series. I’m not really sure how DreamWorks would continue this story though, but I’ve been surprised before.

What did you think of The Boss Baby? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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