The Boss Baby is a cinematic animated adaptation of the popular eponymous book by Marla Frazee. Even though the movie lacks a good story to back it up, it stays hilarious nevertheless owing to its slapstick humour and witty comebacks. It sells ‘different’ with its extraordinary animation, merging fantasy with reality, which I think is one of the areas the movie was able to score in.
Then again if you put The Boss Baby against the likes of Pixar flicks, it stands nowhere and feels like a dispensable drag. Surprisingly a concept very similar was shown to us in Storks last year and there was at least more substance to that if we compare it to this movie. So, in a way, it is Storks just with less story.
Metaphor in the Boss Baby
The movie is one apparent allegory that tries to depict how a baby is, in fact, the real boss around the house. Hogging up people’s lives by doing things as he prefers. He calls for attention, takes away all the focus away from his siblings. In short, bosses around everyone to get what he needs.
Even though the story here actually tries to image a baby wearing a suit all the time, who prefers talking with platitudes of bossiness, and who is on an evident mission to stop an evil mind from creating a perfect ceaseless cuteness machine in the form of the most adorable pup, the obvious metaphor is hard not to notice.
The best ones come from the mind of the fantastical child Miles Bakshi, who prefers seeing the world his own way, where things aren’t quite as they are supposed to be. The movie capers with the imagination of a young child who takes everything in our real boring life and tacks it against his flights of fancy. It is a joyride then when you begin seeing mundane things with his perspective, and you can’t applaud the creators enough for thinking that way. Almost makes you want to be a child once again.
That’s also when you realize the editing of the movie is done brilliantly. Bakshi’s talking wizard alarm clock, Wizzie (voiced by James McGrath) is one perfect example of his inventive imagination that tries to envision inanimate objects with life.
Even when the bad guy chooses to tell the story of his evil ingenious, he does so with an amazing pop-upgreeting card that mixes up great things together. All in all, the animation was simply brilliant. The presentation was properly done.
Story of the Boss Baby (Spoilers)
The one place that I felt the movie run out of substance – what it has to say. It is almost as if the flick is groping hard for a message but unfortunately there is no proper build up for one. Even though for a child, it could be that it’s alright to have a sibling and that we need to focus on the good stuff and not the unpleasant feeling of being left out.
Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) and Janice (Lisa Kudrow) are parents of a single child Miles. Then comes along a baby in a suit mysteriously arriving through a cab and through the door (are you trying to confuse children more on how babies are born?). It’s none other than Boss Baby, voiced by Alec Baldwin who is all dressed up in suit and behaves like a boss. Miles can see through the feigned identity of the baby but his parent’s apparently can’t. All his attempts to catch the baby red handed goes in vain as it’s hard to outsmart a toddler who has a bunch of toddlers working for him as employees.
Miles ends up getting grounded, his room, he compares to be like a jail he can’t leave. Another beautiful comparison there! Feeling sorry for Miles, the baby tells him who he really is, and what he aspires to be via a pacifier. Them suckling on a pacifier forcibly might chuckle you up.
He takes him to Baby Corp, a place where babies, who are all grown up in their minds take care of infant love all across the globe. They have to assure they be the first preference in a war for cuteness. Boss Baby’s mission is to see why puppies are being preferred to infants more, and that since Miles’ parents work for Puppy Co. he has a better shot at seeing things up close on the “take your children to work” day.
Oh! and there is a Secret Baby Formula involved that he has to take regularly otherwise he would turn into a regular baby.
Miles and Boss Baby work together on a mission to discover the big puppy plan which talks about a “Forever Puppy”. They end up getting trapped by the Puppy Co. boss Francis E. Francis voiced by Steve Buscemi. The antagonist tells them that he used to be the head of the Baby Corp. but his lactose intolerance issue had got him fired. As part of his maniacal revenge, he plans to release Forever Puppies all across the globe infecting them with Boss Baby’s secret baby formula.
Posing as caretakers to stop the kids from actually doing something, he leaves his bodyguard Eugene home as a babysitter while taking their parents to Las Vegas where he plans on releasing a rocket full of Forever Puppies. Fooling the babysitter the kids try to cut them in the airport but fail. Miles blames Boss Baby for pushing his parents in harms’s way, however, forgives him on being asked for forgiveness. They reach Las Vegas dressed up as Elvis impersonators to meet a furious Francis who locks up their parents in the same rocket.
After a fight-off, Francis falls into the formula which turns him back into a baby. They release their parents and the Boss Baby goes back to Baby Corp erasing all memory of his existence in their lives. But Miles and Boss Baby begin missing each other. Boss Baby fed up with his life ends up coming back to their house as his little brother.
Things are deliberately kept squalid because let’s accept it, babies make stuff poopy. So, I think it was one area where Tom McGrath, the director might have thought, people are going to relate to the most. So there are butt shots, close up drools etc. everything that might make you go “Eww!” at times. But there are some good punchlines too that will crack you up every now and then.
The time when Boss Baby does nothing but motivate Miles into doing things will definitely make you smile as it tries to make an allusion to bossy behaviour. Him talking about sending Memos, saying “We have to let you go”, talking about profits, hikes and salaries are subtle digs at the Corporate world.
With the level of jokes the movie retains, you can say it’s quite mediocre. Sometimes you are forced to shake your head as you can see through all the deliberate acts of chasing and fighting scenes. You know exactly what the movie intends on doing – making kids laugh.
The Final Verdict
The Boss Baby will beam you up on a lousy day anytime. It’s not a work of genius, we can establish that, but the animation gets very thoughtful at times. It can be watched if you are looking for something light-hearted and fun.
It isn’t thrilling exactly and you know that nothing in the movie is serious. Has a cartoonish feel to it that is simply meant to make you smile.
You can check out the trailer of The Boss Baby here: