Happy TGIF! Amidst all the hot cups of coffee, cocoa and tea, let’s hope we have time for our weekend movie. It’s the first animation film we’re blogging about this year. Yay! It’s DreamWorks Animation “The Boss Baby”. You know the one about the suit wearing, briefcase carrying baby.
The film is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film, loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. Directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers, it stars the voices of Alec Baldwin as the title character, Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow and Tobey Maguire.
The story is centered on a baby who’s a secret agent in the secret war between babies and puppies. The boss baby (Baldwin) is top management staff from Baby Corp. (the company that supposedly makes babies) and is on a mission to uncover the plot of Puppy Co. to unleash a new kind of puppy that will reduce the love being received by babies.
DreamWorks Animation initially announced plans in June, 2014 to release the film on March 18, 2016, with the film being directed by Tom McGrath. But by December of the same year, The Boss Baby had been removed from the schedule and replaced with Kung Fu Panda 3. On January 22, 2015, the film’s release date was pushed back to January 13, 2017, and in September 2015, further back to March 10, 2017, and then to March 31, 2017.
The long delay caused a change in the voice of Miles Bakshi, son of the DreamWorks Animation’s producer Gina Shay and grandson of the film director Ralph Bakshi, who provided the voice of 7-year old character “Tim”. Miles was 10 when he began recording the voice and was 14 when the film was released. And according to him “by the end it got pretty tough”. He had to get his voice “very soft, but when I got that perfect tone it was great.” Though the studio initially asked Baski to only to provide a temporary voice for the character “Tim”, but after listening to 30 to 40 children, they decided that Miles was just “natural and charming. He had a little slur to his voice at the time and it was very endearing.” Three years later, Miles was told that he got the part.
The Boss Baby premiered in Miami on March 12, 2017, and was released by 20th Century Fox on March 31, 2017 in the United States. As of June 13, 2017, The Boss Baby has grossed $172 million in the United States and Canada and $314.5 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $486.5 million against a budget of $125 million, making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 2017.
The Boss Baby opened alongside Ghost in the Shell and The Zookeeper’s Wife, in North America and was initially projected to gross around $30 million from 3,773 theaters in its opening weekend. However after grossing $1.5 million from Thursday night previews and $15.5 million on Friday, weekend projections were increased to $50 million. It ended up debuting to $50.2 million, finishing first at the box office. It remained on top the box office in its second weekend, grossing $26.3 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “The Boss Baby’s talented cast, glimmers of wit, and flashes of visual inventiveness can’t make up for a thin premise and a disappointing willingness to settle for doody jokes.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A–” on an A+ to F scale.
Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times praised Baldwin and the adult humor, saying: “The contrast between the helpless-infant stage of life and corporate-speak is funny but fairly high-concept for a kiddie movie, and the plot grows denser as it goes along and the baby and Tim reluctantly join forces to stop a conspiracy by which puppies would corner all the love in the world.”
I don’t know about the thin premise or about the film being “too big for it britches”, but the concept of the suit wearing, briefcase carrying baby called “The boss” is as original has it gets. I particularly love the slogan “Cookies are for closers”. And Alec (my favourite of the Baldwins) capped it off with a reverting performance as “The boss”. Maybe it’s wasn’t quite as hilarious as Zootopia or Inside Out, which also had an adult themes (makes me wonder who the animations are being made for these days), but it did boast of several good laughs. My favourite quote from Boss baby “If this new puppy is as cute as we fear, then it could put the baby business out of business, baby!”
Anyways, in conclusion, The Boss Baby deserves the cookies and is a must watch. Fans will be glad to know that Universal Pictures and DreamWorks announced a sequel to be released on March 26, 2021, with Alec Baldwin reprising his role.
Waka with Debbie still has more tours planned for the year, like the longest canopy walk in June or the one to Morroco later in the year, which comes with the option of an Esusu payment. Hmm… nice. Just call the numbers on the fliers for more info. Do have a great weekend and remember to stay warm by keeping the kettle permanently on. Lol! Cheerios!