“The Boss Baby” stars Alec Baldwin, Miles Christopher Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Tobey Maguire. Released on March 31, 2017, the film is about a seven-year old boy who discovers that his new baby brother is a secret agent and gets caught in a secret war between babies and puppies.
The film is directed by Tom McGrath, who also directed the Madagascar trilogy and Megamind. It is loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee. Remember that moment when your new baby brother or sister is added to the family and gets all of that special attention from your parents? That’s pretty much what this movie is like. The only difference is that the baby has the voice of Alec Baldwin. I was quite skeptical on how this will appeal to its target audience, which consists of families and little kids. Then again, they were attached to Rugrats back in the day. So far, the critics haven’t given the film as much love as I thought they would have, and Disney is still raking in the families (and the money) thanks to their Beauty and the Beast remake. Maybe this one might get some of the attention from those who have seen Beauty at least four or five times? I attended the Thursday night screening of the film, so if you want to experience it for yourself without looking at my review, I’m cool with that. Otherwise, here you go.
DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind this film, has plenty of ups and downs in terms of their filmography. They made films that are superb and memorable, like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon, and sometimes they made films that didn’t quite reach the right level of storytelling, but still provide plenty of fun for their target audience. For this film, however, well…this might be the first DreamWorks Animation film that left me with a mixed feeling, and it’s not because of how weird it looks. Before I tell you why, let me explain the things that I did enjoy. Besides the animation (which I will get to in a bit), DreamWorks Animation is known for assembling the most suitable voice cast in order to fit the personalities of the characters, kind of like what Disney did with their characters. This film proves that they still got it. I cannot tell you how much I personally enjoyed Alec Baldwin’s portrayal as the title character. He’s just that fun to listen to. Miles Bakshi also did a nice job voicing Tim and Tobey Maguire (AKA the original Spider-Man) was a suitable choice to narrate the film. Like the other films from DreamWorks Animation, the animation in this film was vibrant and, in this case, imaginative. I really like how the animation captures how a seven-year old boy sees when he’s got so much imagination in his brain. It almost felt like you’re a little kid again. So, why does this film left me with a mixed feeling when it’s got plenty of good things to enjoy? Well, it’s mostly because its diaper was filled with noticeable flaws instead of pure happiness. The story is a very generic and predictable tale that provides themes about family. Sure, there were some other generic animated films that DreamWorks Animation has made, such as Turbo and Home, but those were fun for me to watch despite their genericness. This film, in my point of view, was the opposite of what it’s going for. It still had some fun moments for the little ones, but I’m not sure if I can say the same for some of the strict critics. The humor was also a mixed bag. Even though it’s not as obnoxious as the other animated films with some bad puns, I still found it to be a bit flat. It’s funny in some occasions, but that’s about it. There were also some characters that’s almost as generic as its storytelling, including the main antagonist. It will be pretty hard for me to remember these characters, except the cast that voiced them. Those I will definitely remember.
Overall, “The Boss Baby” is definitely like having a new baby in the family. It’s cute and satisfying, but it can also have its share of problems. While the film does offer a suitable voice cast and its vibrant animation, they weren’t enough to cover up its generic storytelling, its predictable plot, and its flawed humor. It’s not the best film that DreamWorks has made, but it’s not the worst, either. Is it something that I would watch again? Maybe, but not right now. Is it at least better than Rock Dog? Yes, by like a few inches or so. It’s watchable for families who already saw Beauty and the Beast a few times. As for everybody else, don’t expect this to be the next Shrek or the next How to Train Your Dragon.