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HomeArts & CultureFilm review: The Boss Baby is a timepass for both adults and children

Film review: The Boss Baby is a timepass for both adults and children

The Boss Baby

Director: Tom McGrath

Starring: Alex Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire

Three stars

A baby that talks, wears a suit and sounds like Alec Baldwin? Sign me up. Even the barest hint of its premise suggests The Boss Baby might be a lot of fun.

Of course many a good idea in Hollywood falters before the final reel. But this latest DreamWorks animation is more comforting than a warm bottle of baby milk. 

Directed by Madagascar’s Tom McGrath and adapted from the book by Marla Frazee, it springs from a couple of integral themes: childhood imagination and exactly where do babies come from?

In this film, they come from Baby Corp, a huge baby-making business in the sky that delivers kiddies to their parents.

Someone has to run the company, and some infants are selected to do so based on their business acumen, supping on a special baby formula to keep them from growing up as they dictate memos and drink double espressos.

Enter the Baldwin-voiced Boss Baby, the latest high-flyer at Baby Corp. We first meet him while he is engaged in a secret mission. Undercover, he is the new arrival at the Templeton family residence, much to the disgust of 7-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi). His parents, voiced by Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel, have no idea that their new bundle of joy can talk or understand the stock market, but Tim soon figures it out.

After a few sibling battles, Tim comes to the conclusion that the only way to get rid of his new brother is to help him complete his mission – to prevent the launch of a new canine by Puppy Co, where the Templeton parents work. The reason? Too much love in the world is being directed towards puppies and not enough to babies. It is weird and wonderful ideas like this that really give The Boss Baby its drive. Funny, smart and delightfully animated (switching styles with real invention at times), it is also very sweet – a heartfelt reinforcement of family values.

From the use of The Beatles’ Blackbird to Baldwin’s corporate-speak as if he is reprising his memorable role in Glengarry Glen Ross, this is a film to rival Pixar’s Inside Out in terms of its high-minded references.

Be warned, though: parents might have even more fun than their kids with this one.

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