Baby likely to boss hol­i­day choices

Kapiti Observer - - WHAT’S ON - JAMES CROOT

THE BOSSBABY (G, 97 mins) Di­rected by Tom McGrath

‘‘Cook­ies are for closers.’’ Right from the first time we heard it in a trailer, this line from Tom McGrath’s (the Mada­gas­car tril­ogy) lat­est an­i­mated ad­ven­ture has taken hold in our house­hold.

It’s the mantra of Alec Bald­win’s Boss Baby and a riff on his Glen­garry Glen Ross‘ char­ac­ter’s ruth­less ap­proach to with­hold­ing caf­feine from un­der­per­form­ing real es­tate work­ers. Twenty-five years on, the com­pany in trou­ble this time is Baby Corp. Fac­ing a drop in mar­ket share thanks to the rise of Puppy Co, they have heard ru­mours of a new ca­nine in­no­va­tion that could put ‘‘the baby busi­ness out of busi­ness, baby’’.

En­ter The Boss Baby, a mi­dlevel ex­ec­u­tive charged with in­fil­trat­ing the fam­ily of two Puppy Co. mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tives – Ted (Jimmy Kim­mel) and Jan­ice (Lisa Kudrow) Tem­ple­ton. How­ever, his plans are ini­tially thwarted by seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bak­shi), who is not only un­happy about the ar­rival of his ‘‘lit­tle brother’’, but de­ter­mined to ex­pose his real iden­tity.

Brightly coloured, slickly an­i­mated and boast­ing just the right slap­stick-to-smart-gags quo­tient, The Boss Baby might just be the most fun for young and old at the movies th­ese school hol­i­days.

Sure it dis­penses potty hu­mour (both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively) per­haps rather too lib­er­ally, Mouse­trap– in­spired dan­gers and a Gan­dalf-es­que alarm clock, to a set piece in­volv­ing a plane full of Elvis Im­per­son­ators, it’s hard not to raise a smile.

Much of the joy comes from McGrath and screen­writer Michael McCullers’ (the Austin Pow­ers tril­ogy) at­ten­tion to de­tail, with the clever use of an­gles, the full-frame and dif­fer­ent an­i­ma­tion styles (from twodi­men­sional to some­thing akin to a pop-up book) pro­vid­ing plenty to keep even the most de­mand­ing young au­di­ence mem­ber fully en­gaged.

It also helps that the vo­cal cast­ing is spot on with Bald­win’s ( Cats& Dogs) trade­mark honey- toned smarm fab­u­lously sup­ported by Kudrow (TV’s Friends), talk­show host Kim­mel and Steve Buscemi ( Mon­sters Inc).

Dreamworks’ 34th an­i­mated fea­ture is a fab­u­lous ex­am­ple of tak­ing a one-joke premise and stylishly milk­ing it for all it has got.


Alec Bald­win’s smarmy, hon­eyed tones voice the Baby Boss.

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