It seems that most animated movies aimed at kids these days are mostly exclusively laden with animal characters with human traits, but DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby has other ideas, and as I say in my video review above for lovers of genuinely amusing toons it is a wildly funny, original and entertaining flick for all ages. In fact it really seems a throwback to a zanier Chuck Jones-Ward Kimball form of animated treat — one full of non-stop antics, comic action and frenetic pace.
Based on the book by Marla Frazee, the story centers on 7-year-old Tim Templeton (voiced by Miles Bakshi), an only child who thinks he has it pretty good until his parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) decide it is time for a little brother. And boy do they get a doozey. Only Tim seems to realize that the adorable new arrival is really better suited to run Exxon Mobil than sit in a crib sucking on a pacifier all day.
This particular baby is part of a large operation in the sky known as BabyCo, and one of its key googooing executives is sent down on a mission to stop rival PuppyCo from creating such a cute dog that it will put babies out of business. This “baby” in a business suit is voiced by none other than Alec Baldwin and he doesn’t miss a beat, barking out orders and obviously having a great time bringing this kid to life. The thing is, only Tim seems to be able to see all this and know this baby has major ulterior motives; all the parents see is a sweet little bundle of love. Eventually the two brothers do bond and unite in a spy mission to thwart those with bad ideas.
The real fun is set by Tom McGrath’s strong instinct for keeping this all going at a frantic pace and letting the jokes land just long enough to slide into another. And there are plenty of them in a snappy script by Michael McCullers (Austin Powers). McGrath was responsible for the great Madagasgar series of films, and he adapts nicely here to taking on humans this time, proving we can live in a crazy zoo of our making.
There are great touches throughout, especially Tim’s cool and wise Wizard Alarm Clock, Wizzie. But this is Baldwin’s show and he knows how to deliver on this kind of material, a master of comic timing. Even Donald Trump will find nothing to complain about. The animation itself is bright and imaginative and should have tots and their families laughing throughout, even if sometimes it gets so wacko it threatens to go over the top, though it is that kind of energy that makes it all so appealing in the first place. Tobey Maguire narrates the tale as the grown-up version of Tim.
Ramsey Naito is the producer. 20th Century Fox releases the DWA production Friday. Do you plan to see The Boss Baby? Let us know what you think.