It’s not often that I go to see kids movies — at least in my opinion. Having three daughters, I held about at least three years before actually watching Frozen. Seriously, I avoid kids movies like the plague. But when I heard about Boss Baby, I decided to give it a shot.
The plot is seemingly simple: 7-year-old Tim Templeton (Miles Bakshi, and Tobey Maguire providing the vocal narrative) lives happily as can be as an only child, until his family gets a delivery by way of Baby Corp. Enter one business-clad infant, the Boss Baby himself (Alec Baldwin). Attention is turned to the new kid on the block, and Tim’s parents (Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel) seem to somehow overlook his odd behaviour — and his briefcase. Now, with Tim living in existential crisis, he’s determined to find out what this elf-sized executive is up to.
It apparent that this is no ordinary baby, as Boss Baby would remind us time and time again. Coming from Baby Corp., babies are given two paths in life: family or career. Most fit into the family category, after having been primped, powdered and pacified, but others with only the highest of qualities are chosen for management. You can guess which one he was selected for.
As the plot unfolds, we find out that there’s a crisis in the baby community — a puppy that never grows up could push the world out of the baby-making business. Boss Baby has been sent on a mission to stop the puppy in its tracks. But he’ll need help.
It’s clear to see that we’re getting the story with a bit of embellishment thanks to the imagination of a 7-year-old. Tim is quite the world-builder throughout the story, probably because he gets to live a real childhood, making use of his mind and low-tech toys. You won’t see him, or just about anyone, fiddling with a smartphone and I think that’s important to note. Most of us grew up without a phone glued to us, and it was amazing. With pirate escapades, ninja stealth mission and action packed chases abound, it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly where reality ends. We’re taken on quite a journey with these two, and it’s filled with emotions, jokes and a solid pun or two along the way. From a visual perspective, the film does a solid job. We creative approaches to animation, it’s not easy to find yourself bored watching the story play out. Thanks to Tim’s active imagination paired with the capable hands of the Dreamworks team, we get a look at the world from a child’s point of view.
Adults will be amused just as much as kids throughout the film with plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle references to Baldwin’s more notable performances and other pop culture elements. If you don’t walk out of this wanting a wizard alarm clock, you’re crazy. The film has just the right balance of physical and visual humor to keep kids engaged and witty remarks that are subtle enough to over younger heads.
By the end of the movie audiences will have gone on quite an adventure filled with highs lows and a good twist or two. And you might walk away with a new love and appreciation for your own siblings.
3 out of 5 stars