DIRECTOR: TOM MCGRATH CAST: ALEC BALDWIN, STEVE BUSCEMI, MILES BAKSHI, JIMMY KIMMEL, LISA KUDROW, TOBEY MAGUIRE SCREENWRITER: MICHAEL McCULLERS PRODUCER: RAMSEY ANN NAITO EDITOR: JAMES RYAN MUSICAL DIRECTOR: HANS ZIMMER, STEVE MAZZARO GENRE: COMPUTER ANIMATED COMEDY DISTRIBUTOR: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION, 20TH CENTURY FOX LOCATION: UNITED STATES RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes
Technical assessment: 3
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V13
Narrator Tobey MacGuire says the last thing seven-year-old only child Tim Templeton (voiced by Miles Bakshi) wants is another baby in the family, for he is enjoying the undivided attention of his parents Ted and Janice (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow). Then one day a baby brother—Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin)—arrives, threatening to turn Tim’s world upside down, more so because this is no ordinary baby but wears a business suit and carries an attaché case filled with crayons and a nursing bottle. One day Tim discovers that not only can his baby brother talk like a bossy adult, but that he is actually in the Templeton home on a mission! Tim resents the brat’s invasion but the two become allies once Boss Baby admits that if he fails in his mission, he will have no choice but to remain in the Templeton household.
The voice cast is excellent, and the characterization consistent, but Boss Baby being an animated comedy, the movie can’t help but throw in potty humor, childish gags, and a silly chase to advance the plot. (What Hollywood movie can survive without a chase of some kind—whether it involves cars or cats?) The weirdness of it all may make the movie be dismissed as forgettable fun, disposable entertainment, but a closer look at the ending (or maybe a second viewing of the whole thing) will reveal that the silliness is intentional, for Boss Baby aims to prick adult conscience while giving kids the laughs.
Boss Baby addresses four issues: 1) where babies come from; 2) the trauma of an only child over the arrival of a younger sibling; 3) society and laws being more protective of dogs/puppies than of human babies; 4) the emptiness of worldly achievement without love. CINEMA cannot explain more without revealing spoilers, so we leave it to the viewer to put the “weird” and “silly” pieces together and listen to the final song in order to see the movie’s worthwhile message through the “flimsy plot”.