Movie Review: The Boss Baby is a Bundle of Joy

Movie Review: The Boss Baby is a Bundle of Joy

About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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It’s rare movies with a (clearly) young target audience are both sweet and entertaining. But The Boss Baby is a modestly charming surprise for family audiences, in a simple, whimsical way. Not everyone can stand to be around this sort of character (as in, not everyone like hanging around babies), though for most the film is lots of fun.

Boss Baby is the newest animated comedy from Dreamworks Animation, and unlike most of their movies, this new story is refreshingly simple and intimate. It’s got the fun and fast-paced of their better works (like Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon), but it’s also cute without being saccharine sweet.

The plot is about a boy who struggles with a new baby brother (voiced by Alec Baldwin), who he imagines is a corporate legend for a fake company about babies around the world. Of course, they learn to work together, and eventually learn there’s nothing better than a family’s love.

It’s playful and silly without being juvenile, and more often than not, it’s really funny. It takes about 15 minutes to get comfortable with the style and the jokes, but soon the modest wit reveals itself. There’s one or two crude jokes, but the fact that it’s not those exclusively exceeds the expectation.

The corporate humour, for example, is great. It’s sharp and slick in a way that’s both simple for kids to understand and pleasantly cute for adults to enjoy. If you go in with an open mind and relax, you’ll be tickled pink in the best way.

Photo credit: Dreamworks Animation.

Many of the voice actors have are easy-going and fun, but Alec Baldwin is sensational. Maybe it’s weird to think a corporate infant would be his best role in years. That stops when you hear him start his gags and deadpan lines with whizzing speed. Once he starts talking he doesn’t slow down, and echoes many similarities to what Robin Williams did as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin 25 years ago.

The animation, music, and gentle tones all echo a retro, nostalgic style of cartoons. It’s charming and pretty to look at, and the “imagination worlds” the kids play in allow great creative freedom. It works effectively as animated film because of the colourful palate and way it can switch between animation styles of the past and present.

At the end, there’s a great message about family and it’s whole-hearted love. And there’s also a strong allegory about the balance of business, and what the source of real satisfaction and pride is. It’s just profound enough, but look twice and you might miss it.

This movie could have been a lazy, annoying disaster in the wrong hands. I’m happy to say The Boss Baby is a delightful and charming surprise, and a sweet treat for all ages. It’s definitely not worth going out of your way to seeing, but it’s a pleasant film to casually enjoy, and a great first trip to the movies for the bosses- er, bundles of joy.

The Boss Baby
3 out of 4 stars.

G, 98 minutes. Animated Comedy.
Directed by Tom McGrath.
Starring Alec Baldwin and Miles Christopher Bakshi.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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