How was 'Boss Baby' conceived?
Posted March 24
THE MOVIE THEATER — Do you remember how the last few weeks of grade school before summer break would drag on forever? After watching Dreamworks newest release “Boss Baby,” the summer movie season cannot come soon enough.
"Boss Baby" tells the story of a 7-year-old only child named Tim Templeton played by Miles Christopher Bakshi as he struggles to come to terms with the fact he is no longer the only child of his family and now has to share attention with a new baby brother, voiced by Alec Baldwin. Arriving by taxi cab in a business suit and briefcase, it is clear the new baby brother isn’t all that he appears to be.
I won’t ruin the plot because it is kind of interesting the way it unfolds, but it is safe to say the two brothers have to figure out how to work together to get what they both ultimately want.
“Boss Baby” is one of those films that just seems like a way to plug a hole in a studio's yearly lineup — not bad enough to send straight to video, but not good enough to release any other time of year.
This movie wasn’t horrible but was far from great. Here is why:
Funny in a few places
There were several times throughout the film I laughed hard enough I could hear myself (or as the kids call it I LOL’d.) The humor in the film did surprise me at times with some out-of-the-blue funny moments, and a little potty humor mixed in. The children in the theater thought this was funny too by their reactions.
I kind of assumed the overall story would be a little more generic than it was. The plot delivered an interesting twist that tied “Boss Baby” and Tim’s fates together and forced them to become allies. With Steve Buscemi voicing the role of the villain, the plot moves along in an entertaining way.
Alec nails the role of the fast-talking business baby, making a lot of otherwise weak scenes enjoyable because of his delivery. However, there is only so much that can be done with a script or character that isn’t already written into the part. Baldwin earned his paycheck on this one.
Two competing story lines
It is difficult to tell what this movie was really about beneath its surface, as the underlying story of this film is never made clear. Is this a story designed to help children come to emotional terms with accepting a new sibling into the home or is it a film about ruthless corporate ladder climbing? I can’t think of many things that have less to do with each other.
The problem is that there is never a clear connection between the two and you are left wondering “how on earth did these two things make it into the same movie for children?”
I guess it’s no surprise that there is not a lot of new ground to be broken in animated baby movies anymore, but this didn't stop Dreamworks from trying.
“Boss Baby” is loosely based on a picture book entitled “Bossier Baby” written by Marla Frazee. I think trying to make a full-length feature film loosely based on a picture book is like trying to make a movie loosely based on a nautically themed board game that features an alphanumeric coordinate system. There are a lot of holes to be filled to make this type of film production strategy work.
Even though I have more likes for the film listed than dislikes, they cannot make up for what the movie lacked. I laughed a few times and appreciated some voice acting, but in the end “Boss Baby” is just another unnecessary animated movie designed to keep movie theaters from going out of business in the offseason.