DreamWorks Animation’s output has been a mixed bag as of late. They can turn out some amazing animated films like ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’, while on the other hand they have released some disappointing and forgettable films like ‘Trolls’ and ‘Home’. Going into their latest release ‘The Boss Baby’, I had very low expectations, and the trailers looked rather familiar and formulaic, however I did say maybe there’s something fun hidden in this set-up of a talking baby voiced by Alec Baldwin? Is this a film that audiences will go “gah-gah” for or is it another stinker?
‘The Boss Baby’ explores the perfect little family of the Templetons. A perfect family of three in which nothing can interfere… well except a baby that is dropped on the family’s home’s front doorstep. Competing for attention, Timothy is now feuding with a baby that can talk… and that’s just the surface level of the film.
‘The Boss Baby’ is taking on a lot. Not only is the film showcasing this rivalry between Timothy and “The Boss Baby” (that’s the baby’s actual name, no joke!), but it also has a larger, overarching plot that takes the backseat for a while to focus on this brotherly feud. Like other animated films, like Illumination’s ‘Sing’, the film has a bit of a hard time deciding on which plot thread should receive the attention. It feels like episodes glued together as a feature film.
Sure, the film has some humorous jokes that can get a chuckle every now and then, but the humor isn’t very consistent or, at times, can go way over-the-top to the point it just gets a bit too ridiculous (and yes, I’m talking about a film with a talking baby!) Like, explosions in a family home, really?! And the film misses some questions left unresolved at the end like “if Tim said no to a baby brother, then… why did his parents get a baby brother for him the next day?”
However, the film does have a soft side that I found somewhat compelling. Timothy’s life before the baby arrives is heartfelt and sincere, and does have some heartfelt moments later in the film between the characters of Timothy and the Boss Baby. However, with the latter, I felt like it didn’t quite have that emotional punch that it was going for.
Additionally, I didn’t mind Timothy’s day-dream sequences blending CGI and traditional animation styles, which reminded me of Nickelodeon’s ‘Rugrats’ series.
‘The Boss Baby’ is perfect for babies or kids under the age of ten. However, parents and adults will leave wanting more like Disney or a Pixar production does. While I find myself caught in the middle between liking and disliking the film, I do think it has some nice jokes, Timothy and the Boss Baby’s relationship can be sweet even if problematic. It’s just a shame the story is a bit jumbled in its execution.