Baby likely to boss holiday choices
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.