From DreamWorks Animation comes another very peculiar concept for a family film. Behold, I give you, The Boss Baby. A fun kids film with a thinly spread plot and lots of toilet humor.
Everything seemed to be going great in the young life of Tim Templeton (Miles Christopher Bakshi), with two parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) who gave him all the love and attention he could ever ask for. Tim’s life unfortunately changes for the worst when a strange baby wearing a suit shows up in a taxi cab (don’t you hate it when that happens?). Tim, suspicious of a suit wearing, briefcase wielding baby, discovers that the baby can in fact talk like an adult. The baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin), actually works for a company called Babycorps, and was sent on an important mission to spy on Tim’s parents. Through a surprisingly complex chain of events, Tim and the baby must work together to save Tim’s unsuspecting parents from a sinister plot.
I thought the premise to The Boss Baby was very fascinating and creative, and DreamWorks does a lot with it. They go out of their way to design this entire company where the babies work at, as well as incorporating many other creative ideas. Unfortunately, there is a yin and yang to this. For a children’s film, the rules and logic The Boss Baby runs on is actually pretty complex.
There were a plethora of plot holes that I noticed in The Boss Baby, however I would prefer to not get into all of them. I guess when you’re watching a movie about a businessman baby, you really shouldn’t go looking for trouble. However, the issues with this film are pretty obvious and actually just make things more confusing. For example, towards the beginning of the film the mother is obviously pregnant with a child. But when the baby arrives, he arrives via a taxi with a suit and briefcase. Again, it’s a movie about a spy baby wearing a suit, I shouldn’t think about it too hard. But when DreamWorks makes these overly complex children’s films and not everything adds up, maybe they do need their hand smacked.
About half way into the film I could tell that the plot, while interesting, was going to be spread paper thin. Towards the final third of the film, scenes very obviously started dragging out to inflate the runtime. The ending of the film was so long and drawn out that it made me feel like I was watching Return of the King. I just don’t think this concept for a film was enough to satisfy a full length feature film. At least, without dragging it out a bit.
The animation in The Boss Baby is colorful and nice to look at, but isn’t nearly the best DreamWorks can do. The Boss Baby feels like a film DreamWorks already knew wouldn’t be a mega-hit, therefore they didn’t put all their resources in to make it. So while it’s pretty enough to keep you engaged in the film, if you’re looking for outstanding animation, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
In the end, I wouldn’t say that I hated The Boss Baby, because I actually enjoyed my experience watching it. I thought the characters (especially Alec Baldwin as the baby) and animation style were both entertaining, and I can guarantee that just about any kid who watches this will have a great time. There are even some good moral messages for kids about getting a baby sibling, and what that means in terms of future attention from their parents. This is an important message to give to kids, and I really liked it here in The Boss Baby.
So while there are plenty of aspects I liked about The Boss Baby, overall I feel there were too many issues involving the plot for me to completely like it.
The Verdict: C