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Running Time:
1 hr. 37 min.

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for some mild rude humor

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A talented cast, glimmers of wit, and flashes of visual inventiveness can't make up for its thin premise and a plethora of doody jokes.

Additional Info:
Alec Baldwin ... Boss Baby
Steve Buscemi ... Francis Francis
Jimmy Kimmel ... Dad Lisa Kudrow Lisa Kudrow ... Mom (voice) Tobey Maguire Tobey Maguire ... Adult Tim / Narrator (voice) Miles Christopher Bakshi Miles Christopher Bakshi ... Tim (voice) (as Miles Bakshi) James McGrath James McGrath ... Wizzie / Elvis Impersonator (voice) Conrad Vernon Conrad Vernon ... Eugene (voice) ViviAnn Yee ViviAnn Yee ... Staci (voice) Eric Bell Jr. Eric Bell Jr. ... Triplets (voice) David Soren David Soren ... Jimbo (voice) Edie Mirman Edie Mirman ... Big Boss Baby (voice) James Ryan James Ryan ... Story Bear (voice) Walt Dohrn Walt Dohrn ... Photographer (voice) Jules Winter Jules Winter ...

The Boss Baby
It seems that babies are being manufactured by a heavenly outfit called Baby Corp before being sent—via an assembly line to their families. But there’s a wrinkle. Babies deemed unsuited to the world of human infants are assigned to office work at Baby Corp, and one of them (voiced by Alec Baldwin) is assigned to go undercover with the Templeton family on a special mission—to get information about the plan of Puppy Co, where Ted and Janice Templeton (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) work, to introduce a new canine breed called Forever Puppy. Adorable pooches, you see, are threatening Baby Corp’s core business, and the adorability deficit for babies versus puppies can’t be allowed to worsen.

There’s a problem with Baby Corp’s scheme: the Templeton’s son Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi), a seven-year old who loves having his parents’ full attention; they positively dote on him, and the thought of having a baby brother is appalling to him. When it arrives, he’s immediately suspicious of the newcomer, and uses his sleuthing skills to discover that the baby is not what he seems; no, he's a hard-talking, hard driving, ambitious corporate executive (Alec Baldwin) with a secret agenda as well as a gang of local baby helpers that join him for so-called playdates that are really strategy sessions. After a mini-war between the two, they settle on an alliance. Since if the baby fails, he will be cut off from a formula that keeps him a corporate exec and make him revert to infancy, forcing him to remain with the Templetons for good. Tim agrees to help him in stopping Puppy Co’s plan so that his kid brother will go back to his heavenly office and he’ll he an only child again.

Their joint effort will disclose why Puppy Co’s head, Francis Francis (Steve Buscemi), is so intent on introducing Forever Puppy, and why he and his henchman Eugene (Conrad Vernon) will go to such lengths to stop Tim and Baby from wrecking his unveiling ceremony in Las Vegas. Of course, in the process of fighting a common foe Tim and the baby bond, with entirely predictable results.

Based on a children’s book by Maria Frazee, does, however, provide an out for those for those who might find it too strange to stomach. Tim, you see, is (as his older self, narrating in the voice of Tobey Maguire, explains) an extremely imaginative kid, adept at inventing fantastic tales in which he rescues his parents from nefarious villains (or vice versa). So one can simply understand the entire scenario of The Boss Baby as the kid’s wild fantasy about how he heroically tries to save his family from a fate worse than death—a new, unwanted member of the clan. If taken in that light, the movie is intended to be more than just an oddly unsettling tale about a newborn that’s not a newborn at all, but a quasi-psychological narrative about overcoming sibling rivalry, though through fantastic means.

That’s a pretty profound theme for an animated kid's movie, and ultimately The Boss Baby falls short. It’s certainly energetic and colorful enough to hold kids’ attention, and Alec Baldwin's grumpy line readings will amuse grownups—for a while, at least. But it’s so intent on simply appealing to kids’ most obvious inclinations  that it simply opts easy laughs rather than reaching for the deeper issues it incidentally raises–though there is a goofy bit about Tim’s Gandalf-style alarm clock, voiced by James McGrath, that should give you a smile or two.


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