Overview: The distribution of love for babies is threatened when a new puppy is due to hit the market. To prevent this, reinforcements are sent in via the Boss Baby; DreamWorks Animation; 2017; Rated PG; 98 minutes.
Look Who’s Talking: Babies and young children being portrayed with adult qualities? Still creepy. Admittedly, being one of the many who would get emoji-heart eyes when a tiny human dons hypebeast clothing, I have come to reject projecting adult characteristics onto children…all thanks to The Boss Baby. The deep voice of Alec Baldwin emitting from a human tamagotchi was cringeworthy from the first trailer release. The Boss Baby, as he is known throughout the entire movie, perfectly embodied the suit of corporate America. Perhaps this is DreamWorks’ way of crawling into the minds of adult viewers; capitalism will tackle anything, including monetizing love. Or maybe it’s meant to serve as a warning for young audiences to hold onto their imagination and avoid becoming a suit at all costs. As the Boss Baby shares his hopes and dreams of becoming the next top executive at Baby Corp with Tim Templeton (Miles Christopher Bakshi), the importance of creativity and childhood becomes superimposed as the Boss Baby fails to persuade Tim about the alluring aspects of corporate mediocrity.
Missed Opportunities: Although The Boss Baby was able to pull a few laughs from the audience (butt jokes apparently never get old for adults and kids alike), this movie reeked. The 1970s aesthetic clearly is an ode to author Marla Frazee’s original storybook, but it ultimately impedes its applicability to today’s child. In a similar dated fashion, instead of creating a story to last generations, The Boss Baby had the opportunity to represent a variety of family structures and instead only showcased households with a traditional nuclear family with both a mother and father. As Storks showed last year, it only takes one scene to show the studio’s attempts to include a variety of families. Inclusion remained stagnant, with the movie only showing diversity in the “where babies come from” scenes and within the Boss Baby’s team: Asian? Check. Black? Check. Girl? Check. White arrogant male who bullies others and is seen as a leader? Check. The movie doesn’t stop there; it reinforces gender roles and stereotypes: the muscle with no brain and the dim-witted, female secretary are highlighted.
DreamWorks also failed to illustrate the added value a new sibling may bring by reinforcing the notion that the older sibling cannot compete with the level of attention he previously attained as an only child. Yeah, The Boss Baby, a kid’s film, discourages tiny humans from wanting a baby brother or sister.
Technical Difficulties: Despite being a 3D animated film, DreamWorks gives the impression there wasn’t enough in the budget for the texture artists and effects animators as the subjects appeared flat and movement wholly nonexistent. Clothing, hair, and skin are supposed to move, wrinkle, bend, fold, and everything in between. DreamWorks didn’t get the memo that the new standard for eyes includes reflections in the whites as well. Lastly, the uncanny resemble of Francis E. Francis’ infant state to the current commander-in-chief is enough to make anyone vomit.
Overall: Read your kid the book; it’ll save you time and money.