Review: The Boss Baby

Directed by: Tom McGrath
Written by: Michael McCullers
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Miles Bakshi, Tobey Maguire, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow
Released: March 23, 2017
Grade: B+

The Boss Baby
The Boss Baby comes together surprisingly well but it does take a little time to wrap your head around the complex scenario.  It’s the latest animated feature from Dreamworks and is split between two worlds.  On the ground, Tim Templeton (Bakshi) is a 7-year-old who lives with his mother (Kudrow) and father (Kimmel).  They’re a happy, loving, tight-knit family.

Up in the sky, exists Baby Corp – a company that has a monopoly on the baby market.  They produce the newborns and deliver them to the doorsteps of waiting families via taxi.  Storks are no longer required apparently.  Not all babies follow that path though.  Those that aren’t quite as fun or ticklish are deemed to be “corporate” material.  They remain in the sky and keep the company running.  While they have adult-level intelligence, they retain their baby form because of special anti-ageing milk.  Confused yet?

This is where The Boss Baby (Baldwin) fits in.  He’s been sent by Baby Corp to the Templeton family on a secret mission.  There has been a worldwide drop in the demand for babies as families are leaning more towards puppies instead.  On top of that, the aggressive CEO of Puppy Co. (Buscemi) has revealed that he’ll soon be making an announcement that will send shockwaves through the industry.  It’s clear that puppies now have the upper hand in the battle for market share.

The Boss Baby and his team of spies must infiltrate Puppy Co. and put a stop to their plans before it’s too late.  Once Tim gets over the shock of having a baby brother who talks, drinks coffee, and holds business meetings, he agrees to help out too.  It’s a strange adventure that provides plenty of laughs for both and adults and kids.

The theme that comes through strongest is that of sibling rivalry.  The arrival of a new, attention-soaking baby into the families makes Tim feel like an outsider – something he doesn’t react well too.  Adding to this fun subplot is the fact he is also trapped.  He knows his brother isn’t a “real baby” but he’s unable to convince his parents who believe his silly claims are fuelled by jealousy.  There’s an overlaying theme of reality versus fantasy but you’re best to discover that for yourself.

Alec Baldwin has one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood and he’s great as the loud, angry, aggressive Boss Baby.  He’s the star of the show and soaks up most of the screen time.  Steve Buscemi makes the most of his quick cameo as the head of Puppy Co.  The other two voices you may recognise are Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as Tim’s parents.

Reviews from the United States on The Boss Baby have been mixed but as an animated feature that does things a little different from others, I’m siding with those who have their thumbs up.