The Boss Baby Review

The Boss Baby - Key Art #1 Header

The Boss Baby won’t blow away audiences but families should get a kick out of it.

DreamWorks Animation has had a wide spectrum of good and bad films. Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and Trolls represent DreamWorks’ good side. Then there are films like Madagascar, Megamind and Monsters vs. Aliens that represent the bad side of DreamWorks. The Boss Baby, based on the popular book, is the latest offering from the animation studio. So where does the film fall on the spectrum?

Sadly, The Boss Baby falls on the so-so side of the good/bad spectrum. The film doesn’t bring anything new to the table and feels mediocre at best. Conversely, the film does provide unique visuals and an important message for growing families.

The Boss Baby follows Tim, an imaginative seven-year-old who gets the biggest shocker of his lifetime: His perfect family is having a baby. His little brother is no ordinary baby. He consistently wears a suit and carries a briefcase. In order to get rid of his little brother, Tim must team up with Boss Baby and discover the secret hidden deep within Puppy Co.

The Boss Baby - Mom, Dad, and Boss Baby

There are a lot of moviegoers who consider DreamWorks Animation to be Hollywood’s third best animation house. They do have their fair share of misses, though. Their mentality of “quantity over quality” is what keeps DreamWorks a step below the rest. The Boss Baby is one of those generic DreamWorks films that doesn’t reach the same level as their A-list titles. However, the film does have a unique visual style and an important message that all children should hear.

Screenwriter Michael McCullers wrote a script that’s a little thin and a bit predictable. Audiences will be able to see what’s coming from a mile away. Unsurprisingly, the most fleshed out characters in the entire film are its two main characters, Boss Baby and Tim. Because they spend so much time on-screen together, their bond feels earned. McCullers included enough sentimental moments to make their relationship enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, McCullers didn’t flesh out the rest of the cast. They’re basically used to advance the story. In addition, the script lacked any meaningful subplots that audiences have seen in higher quality films. What you see is what you get.

Director Tom McGrath fully immerses himself in Boss Baby’s fantastical world. First of all, he truly captures the spirit of being a kid. This is why Boss Baby is a solid film for kids. From the world-building to the playtime fantasies, McGrath does a good job establishing the film’s creative tone. It’s fun to watch and inventive in its style. Most of all, the film never overstays its welcome. Running at 97-minute runtime, McGrath did a superb job establishing the film’s pace.

The Bossy Baby - Boss Baby and Tim

The stylish visuals are complemented by Boss Baby’s excellent leads. Alec Baldwin channels Jack Donaghy again as the film’s titular character. His amusing portrayal does lose its impact as the film goes on. Still, Alec Baldwin did a good job. The shining star of the film is Miles Bakshi as Tim. He’s able to convey the pain and jealousy of having a little brother in his portrayal. No doubt the film wouldn’t be as successful as it was without the performances of these two. As a matter of fact, families going through similar situations can use their relationship as a valuable teaching tool.

As a result of the expanded roles of its two leads, the supporting cast isn’t as good. Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow are barely in the film. Steve Buscemi has a small role as the villainous Francis Francis. While all three actors provide solid performances, you barely notice them in the entire film. In fact, the juiciest supporting character is actually the film’s narrator—adult Tim. When a film’s narrator has a bigger role than the supporting cast then there’s a bit of a problem.

Ultimately, The Boss Baby is your average run-of-the-mill animated film. It won’t blow away audiences but families should get a kick out of it. In any case, it definitely accomplishes what it sets out to do. It provides a meaningful message about sibling bonds as told through the solid performances of its two lead actors.

Rating: 3/5 atoms

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