'Boss Baby' – What parents should know
If you’ve a parent who wonders, “Why can’t my kids just get along?” then you’ll love “Boss Baby.” It’s an animated comedy about a boy who gets jealous when his new baby brother arrives.
I expected this movie to be sarcastic and (having watched the trailer) not-all-that-great. However, I was pleasantly surprised. "Boss Baby was a lot better than I thought it would be.
The movie takes a common dilemma (sibling rivalry) and develops it into a clever story about brothers overcoming their differences and learning to get along. Yes, "Boss Baby" is one of those rare Hollywood movies that finally gets it right.
This movie is well-scripted, adventurous and engaging. Almost everyone will relate to the storyline, whether you’re a parent or child. What’s clever about this movie is that the plot seems far-fetched, and you don’t know if it’s the boy’s colorful imagination or if it’s really happening. That’s part of the magic that makes "Boss Baby" unique and fun.
The story begins with 7-year-old Tim Templeton (voiced by Miles Christopher Bakshi) who gets lots of attention from his parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow). One day, a newborn baby arrives in a taxi. The baby is wearing a suit, expensive watch, and carrying a briefcase. Tim names his brother the "Boss Baby" (voiced by Alec Baldwin).
Tim feels like his life was perfect before the new baby arrived. He is jealous the baby is showered with attention. Tim wants to win back the affection of his parents. He spies on his little brother, and discovers that his baby brother can talk, and that he has been manipulating his parents with sleep deprivation, constant crying and being fussy.
The baby and Tim “time travel” to Baby Corp, a futuristic space-age place where they learn where babies come from. Evidently, babies are manufactured in a factory, shuffled down conveyor belts on an assembly line, and then drop shipped to earth.
Tim’s baby brother reveals that Baby Corp is in danger of going out of business. People are adopting puppies instead of human babies. Yes, all the love in the world is being given to puppies, and people no longer want to have human babies.
Tim’s baby brother strikes a deal with Tim: If they can get the “secret file” on puppies then the baby will return to Baby Corp, and erase the memory of him ever existing on earth. Yes, it’s the ultimate plan for Tim to go back to being the only child in the family. Comic complications abound as Tim and his baby brother fly to Las Vegas in hopes of obtaining the secret file. Along the way, they get involved in a high speed chase, and tango with a group of Elvis impersonators.
Without giving too much away, the ending involves reconciliation and working together to overcome obstacles. Tim realizes that he doesn’t have to be the only child in the family. There is plenty of love to go around.
Appropriateness for children
You might be wondering if this is a good movie for children. As a parent, I feel that Boss Baby is a good fit for youngsters in elementary school. It is especially appropriate for families who are expecting a baby, or already have one. Younger children will relate to the main character, Tim, who is initially not happy about having a baby brother.
There are some perilous situations in the film, such as the high-speed chase to Las Vegas, where Tim and his baby brother are being pursued. Potentially scary scenes are imagined by 7-year-old Tim (attacking animals, creepy hallways, looming figures) and a brief sequence in which the kids investigate a mysterious dark room and are subsequently captured.
Since this is a film about babies, there’s a lot of potty humor, including an explosive fake-barf sequence, bare baby bottoms, and use of words like "fart," "poop," and "doody." There is a scene in which it's implied that Tim drinks a Long Island Ice Tea and didn't like it (although that will probably fly over the heads of most youngsters.)
Some viewers may be troubled by the movie’s take on where babies come from—that they are manufactured in a factory. The boys also travel to Las Vegas on their own, which may need to be explained that they were really too young to travel alone and unsupervised.
There is also a thug who dressed like a woman (and looks like a transvestite) in order to subvert authorities, which is treated as humorous. At the end of the movie, it appears that a same sex couple is adopting a baby, but it turns out to be the two brothers from the story, now grown up as adults.
Overall, the movie offers a positive message about teamwork and that love conquers all. Just because a family adopts a new baby doesn’t mean that the existing children are loved any less. There is enough love to go around.
Boss Baby is rated PG (for some mild rude humor) and opens in theaters March 31.