The new DreamWorks animated film The Boss Baby takes a look at some amusing what-ifs involving babies acting like adults. But surprisingly, it also offers some endearing, family-centric themes as well. Here’s our review for Catholic families.
by Adrienne Thorne
I remember, at some point in my adolescence, a new prime-time comedy show came out on one of the networks, a show called “Baby Bob.” The premise was this: A baby secretly talks like an adult. But…what was to happen when the baby got slightly older—say, to legit talking age? Not a lot of forethought in the concept, even if a talking baby is kind of a funny idea.
So when I saw the trailer for the animated movie The Boss Baby, I immediately realized how much better the idea of a talking, adult-like baby worked as a cartoon movie, as opposed to a live-action show. Especially since this movie looked freaking hilarious. I was eager to watch it, probably even more eager than my toddler.
It Didn’t Disappoint
It actually was hilarious.
I was worried, since I had watched multiple trailers (and, um, maybe possibly a couple funny-clip compilations of it on YouTube?) that there wouldn’t be any funny material left that I hadn’t already seen. But there was more.
Okay, it wasn’t the absolute funniest movie I’d ever seen, probably largely because I had already seen so much of the funny material. But it did keep us laughing pretty consistently.
In case you haven’t seen all the trailers that I did, here’s what it’s about: A little baby in a suit, voiced by Alec Baldwin, walking around with a briefcase and taking care of business. There’s an older brother named Tim, about 7 or 8 years old, who is actually the main character; and they make the whole thing plausible by telling us from the get-go that it’s all actually inside Tim’s active imagination.
The Heartwarming Part
See, Tim quite enjoys having all of his parents’ love to himself. He doesn’t want some new baby coming along and stealing all the attention. So he imagines this scenario that he thinks will end in the baby, who has taken over their house, eventually leaving and going back to his life as a boss baby for the baby-producing company. But over the course of the story, the two of them bond and Tim comes to learn just how cool it is to have a baby brother.
It’s pretty sweet. Without being overly-mushy.
It’s rated PG for some crude humor. Stuff like poopy jokes, vomit, things of that nature.
There’s also a brief conversation about the baby-producing factory, where Tim and the boss baby talk about how that’s where babies come from. And Tim says something about how his parents told him that babies actually come from… Tim whispers something to the boss baby. The baby is like, “Gross!” And Tim says, “I thought so too!” Some curious but uninformed kids might start asking what that was all about, but the movie never gives any hints of what that “gross” information was.
There is also a joke, which felt very out of place, in which Tim asks the baby if he is the Baby Jesus. The Boss Baby answers sarcastically, “Yes, I’m the Baby Jesus… No, of course I’m not!” It’s a little flippant, and really just felt forced and weird, but it doesn’t go any farther than that.
I wanted to love this movie, because it just looked so fun. And I was a little afraid all along that it would let me down.
But it didn’t. It was really quite good.
Adrienne Thorne blogs at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic’s Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.