All Dreamworks movies try to bring a delicate message into them, sometimes a very original one. For The Boss Baby, it starts off in the view of Tim "Leslie" Templeton, a seven and a half year old who always has his head in a rainbow imagination of terror with terrifying and glowing enemies and vehement missions he can accomplish. He has what I would call a "C" average in school but that's not important to the movie. We learn of these grades if we peek at the file that his new baby brother looks through, a baby in a 200-dollar All-Size-1 carbon black suit and dark-black tie, with a smile that's a mix between terrifying and overly confident and is definitely not for a baby. The message at first is this new baby is taking over the entire house. He needs constant attention no matter which hour of the day it is and now the house is filled with his baby gadgets and pictures of him. Now Tim feels like he's been fired from his own life. His parents won't even sing to him anymore, which is much worse when it's a little boy like Tim. Then one night, he overhears a strange voice, and Tim realizes this baby is not just what we can assume a baby with a grown man's voice and attitude, but has a mission to make sure babies all over the world stay loved.
If there's one thing Dreamworks Animation also always does in its movies, it's have spectacular animation. This movie maintains that with character designs you wish you could pinch cheeks for, and the voice actors certainly help. Miles Bakshi, who has a family of impressive people in the animation company, and who only starred in a few Dreamworks projects, has one of the best protagonist voices I've heard in years. Whenever he's sad, you're sad with him. The other actors, like Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire (especially) and Steve Buscemi are all giving it a good effort, but what this movie really needed was a voice for The Boss Baby that was so sophisticated it was funny. Alec Baldwin, who I guiltily thought about as Donald Trump every time his voice came up, is an actor that delivers masculinity, power, and irony, and that's just what he gives to The Boss Baby, making this movie much less typical than it could've been.
And this movie has a laughing-gas charm to it, making it hard to simply dislike. I have a little sister, who wasn't so much younger than me that the conflicts these two face are different, but I can say from my experience that having a sibling can sometimes bring a burden, for both the older and younger, so this movie was in territory I knew about and when it focused on that in a chase scene across the house that actually brings a fast pace, I was transported, especially near the end when there's a pull that suggested if this movie kept this up, I'd be giving it a surprising A grade. And something that did keep up was the inventive ways Tim and the baby use their surroundings to their advantage to battle the bad guys in more fast-paced sequences. I also found the imagination sequences to be comparable to the short few seconds in one of my favourite Monster by Mistake episodes, Campsite Creeper, where kids' water-paint colours and one-dimensional but quirkily so shapes are everywhere.
But now for some of its flaws. There are some unanswered questions, most notably how babies are born. There's a subplot that seems too much borrowed from another kid's movie that came out last year about where babies come from, and here there's an obvious pregnant belly in here. This makes the idea a little strange after all has been said and done. The humour may also overdo the scatological road a bit too much, one or two jokes overdone. And throughout this movie, there are a few things that seem a little instantaneous, like a cure to something that is a part of the movie's main conflict, and a small crises near the climax that feels a bit phoned in.
However, I'm going to watch this movie again. Dreamworks has made a movie that has humour I want to rewatch as soon as I can. Thanks to this, I'm looking forward even more to the Captain Underpants movie that comes out this Friday. Early reviews have said that movie is heartwarming. Well, let's hope that the actors there can give the same punch that Alec Baldwin brought to The Boss Baby. He was the not-so-secret weapon.