As the youngest child in my family, I’ve never had a problem with getting attention from my parents. My older sisters, though? Not so much. They most likely detested my presence as much as Timothy Templeton detested his brother, Boss Baby, in “The Boss Baby.”
“The Boss Baby” follows the story of a young boy named Tim (voiced by Tobey Maguire), whose perfect life as an only child shatters when he is introduced to his new baby brother, an undercover, arrogant, businessman-like infant called Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin). In a hilarious twist of fate, the two have to put aside their differences and work together to stop the villainous corporation Puppy Co., or else Boss Baby will lose his job and be forced to stay with Tim’s family forever. However, on the way, the two end up bonding much more than they had expected.
“The Boss Baby” is an animated comedy produced by Dreamworks Animation, directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers. It was inspired by the picture book of the same name, which was written and illustrated by Marla Frazee.
The film begins with a very inventive premise—babies are mass-produced in the heavens rather than born and are divided into two groups: those who will be sent to families and live normal lives and those who are too adult-like and will be sent to work at Baby Corp., a company whose goal is to make sure babies stay loved forever. Boss Baby, who is part of the latter, is sent to Tim’s family, tasked with the mission of infiltrating Puppy Co. and finding information on its plan to release a secret puppy that will replace babies in the public’s hearts.
However, “The Boss Baby” disappoints viewers due to this uninspired plot line. The antagonist’s goal of making puppies more beloved than babies and reasoning for doing so feels very uncreative and brainless, and so much more could have been done with it given the imaginative setting the film sets up. Overall, the film seems to drag on the plot for longer than necessary with somewhat repetitive “Tom and Jerry”-like chase scenes.
The film manages to keep the audience captivated, though, with humorous lines and scenarios, such as the brothers’ parents walking in on the two sucking on Boss Baby’s pacifiers and slowly walking back out. The gruff Alec Baldwin’s (who coincidentally plays Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”) portrayal of a baby is satisfying to hear, as he cracks some jokes and references more suited towards older audiences, like the line “Put that cookie down! Cookies are for closers!” alluding to one of his prior movies, “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
In addition, the constant juxtaposition of Tim’s imaginative, action-packed view against the duller reality is very clever, typically utilizing a 2D, cartoon-like visual for Tim’s dramatized mind, such as a scene using silhouettes where a ninja-like Tim sneaks through a hallway. It’s especially amusing to see the film shift from Tim clinging on to a dangerously fast police car for life to his parents watching him be sluggishly dragged by the Boss Baby’s toy ride, face-planted into the ground.
Though “The Boss Baby” is lacking in plot, it makes up for it in its budding relationship between Tim and Boss Baby. The two gradually shift from mortal enemies vying for their parents’ attention to brothers who truly care for each other, as they are forced by their parents to spend more time with one another. It’s sweet to watch the two brothers being forced to dress up in sailor costumes for pictures and playing as pirates together. Possibly one of the most touching moments in the film is when Tim sings Boss Baby the song his parents always sang to him, “Blackbird,” in order to bring him down. Tim sends Boss Baby a letter allowing him to stay with him and thousands of his small colorful toys, representing their love.
This brotherly love is what makes “The Boss Baby” so memorable, as the two brothers’ few heart-to-hearts feel truly genuine and personal. Perhaps we all could learn a thing or two about dealing with our siblings from Tim and Boss Baby.