The Boss Baby
|The Boss Baby|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tom McGrath|
|Produced by||Ramsey Ann Naito|
|Written by||Michael McCullers|
|Based on||Nathan Archer|
by Marla Frazee, Kelsey Simon
|Narrated by||Tobey Maguire|
|Edited by||James Ryan|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$528 million|
The Boss Baby is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy buddy film loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee and produced by DreamWorks Animation. Directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers, the film stars the voices of Alec Baldwin as the title character, along with Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Tobey Maguire. The plot follows a baby who is a secret agent in the war for adults' love between babies and puppies.
The Boss Baby premiered at the Miami International Film Festival on March 12, 2017, and was released by 20th Century Fox on March 31, 2017. Upon release, the film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $528 million worldwide against its $125 million budget. The film received Best Animated Feature nominations at both the Academy Awards, Annie Awards, and Golden Globes (losing all to Coco).
An adult named Timothy "Tim" Templeton narrates a story about his 7-year-old self and his parents, Ted and Janice. Tim has a very lively imagination and is a happy and beloved only child. One night, as his parents tuck him into bed, they ask him how he would feel about a new baby brother. Tim says, "No thanks!", to his parents, then the screen pans out to show that his mom is in-fact pregnant.
Tim goes to sleep wondering about having a new baby brother. At an assembly line, babies are being made, except one baby seems more curious and alert than the others. When the babies come to a machine that determines if a baby goes to a family by laughing when they're tickled on the belly by a feather, the curious baby does not laugh when the feather tickles him. The machine flashes red with the word "Management", instead of the green heart with the word "Family", and the curious baby is put into an office in a black suit instead.
The next day, Tim is surprised when a baby wearing a business suit arrives at his house in a taxi, and Ted and Janice says it's Tim's new little brother. Tim is envious of the attention the baby receives, not to mention suspicious when the infant acts odd around him.
Soon, Tim learns that the baby can talk like an adult, and he introduces himself as "The Boss". Seeing an opportunity to get rid of him, Tim decides to record a conversation between Boss Baby and other infants who are at Tim's house for a meeting. Boss Baby and the other infants catch Tim with the recording, and the cassette tape is terminated after Boss Baby threatens to rip Tim's favorite stuffed animal, Lam-Lam. With no evidence to support him, Tim's parents ground him for three weeks.
The Boss Baby apologizes to Tim and has him suck on a special pacifier that transports them to Baby Corp, a place where infants with adult-like minds work to preserve infant love everywhere. Boss Baby explains that he was sent to see why puppies are being loved more than infants. He has infiltrated Tim's residence because his parents work for Puppy Co., which will unleash a new puppy in a pet convention in Las Vegas. Boss Baby stays intelligent by drinking a "special baby formula" that enables a baby to act like an adult. However, if a baby does not drink it after a period of time, he or she becomes a regular baby. When they overhear Boss Baby's boss threaten to fire him for not bringing in information, which would strip him of his formula and strand him at the Templetons', he and Tim agree to work together to prevent that.
Tim and Boss Baby start acting like they are buddies and getting along, so Tim's parents lift the grounding and take them to Puppy Co. for Take Your Child to Work Day. While there, they slip away and find what they think is the plans for a "Forever Puppy", but they are captured by one of Baby Corp's original baby bosses, Francis Francis. They discover that Francis used to be the head of Baby Corp and Boss Baby's idol, but was fired when it was discovered that his lactose intolerance kept the secret formula from working properly. Francis intends to have the Forever Puppies overshadow babies for love.
Tim's parents go with Francis to Las Vegas, and Francis has his brother Eugene pose as Tim and Boss Baby's babysitter to keep them from interfering. Without a steady flow of formula to maintain his intelligence, Boss Baby starts becoming a normal baby. Despite this, he and Tim evade the "babysitter" long enough to reach the airport but are too late to intercept Tim's parents. They sneak on to another plane bound for Las Vegas. There, they stall Francis' presentation when Eugene unwittingly gives away their plan. Furious at their interference, Francis locks Tim's parents up so he can burn them with exhaust from a rocket used to launch the Forever Puppies (which was presumably built in-house by Puppy Co.). Tim and Boss Baby defeat Eugene and move on to save their parents but are intercepted by Francis. Tim and Boss Baby push him off a ledge, making Francis tumble into the baby formula. Boss Baby opens the rocket to let the puppies out so they can save Tim's parents. His return to baby state is complete while on the rocket, but Tim sings to him with the family song and Boss Baby jumps off the rocket before it launches. After the rocket does launch, a reverted fat baby Francis tries to attack Boss Baby, but is picked up by Eugene and tells Tim that, "This time we'll raise him right."
Boss Baby is promoted and leaves. Tim goes back to being an only child, but he and Boss Baby misses each other. After Tim writes a letter to Boss Baby about sharing love, Boss Baby resigns and goes back to the feather tickle machine at Baby Corp, where he puts up his foot (his tickle spot) for the feather to tickle instead of his belly, causing him to laugh and be "born" to the Templeton family. Tim wakes up in the morning and sees a taxi with his parents and his baby brother in a blue onesie return home. Tim's parents introduced the new baby as his baby brother, Theodore Lindsey "Ted" Templeton.
Adult Tim finishes narrating the story to his young daughter; they are in the hospital baby ward, where Tim just had another baby daughter. The older daughter asks, "Daddy is that a real story?" Tim tells her that's how he remembers it. (The intended audience realizes that Tim is narrating to his daughter about how he felt when he got a new baby brother, as well as probably explaining to her where babies come from.) In mid-credit scenes, Tim and Ted are playing together in many imaginative adventures; as ninjas, space cadets, scuba divers and pirates, etc. In a post-credit scene, Tim's wizard alarm clock tells the audience to leave.
- Alec Baldwin as Theodore Templeton/Boss Baby, a baby with the mind of an adult
- Miles Bakshi as Tim Templeton, Boss Baby's 7-year-old brother
- Steve Buscemi as Francis E. Francis, the CEO of Puppy Co and the former CEO of BabyCorp and Boss Baby's nemesis
- Jimmy Kimmel as Ted Templeton, Janice's husband and Tim's father
- Lisa Kudrow as Janice Templeton, Ted's wife and Tim's mother
- Conrad Vernon as Eugene Francis, Francis E. Francis' brother and minion
- James McGrath as Wizzie, Tim's Gandalf-esque alarm clock
- David Soren as Jimbo
- Nina Zoe Bakshi as Tim's Daughter, Girl, Little Girl
- Tom McGrath as TV Chef
- Walt Dohrn as Photographer
- James Ryan as Story Bear
- Eric Bell Jr. as Triplets
- ViviAnn Yee as Staci
- Edie Mirman as The Big Boss Baby, Boss Baby's big boss
- James McGrath and Joseph Izzo as Elvis impersonators
Upon reading the original book on which the film is based McGrath felt a connection to it, as he had an older brother and felt like "the boss baby of the family". In keeping with that theme he stated, in an interview with Den of Geek, that "My personal goal with this was to watch this movie with my brother, and to see how it affected him!", which resulted in McGrath's brothers being moved to tears by the completed film.
The look of the film was inspired by design techniques popularized by in the 1960s, as well as animated films from both 60s and 50s. This was due to McGrath's belief that contemporary animated films focused too much on realism. To help his staff McGrath would play the opening scene of Lady and the Tramp for new hires specifically noting that the film "should be easy on the eyes and really lead your eye to what’s important in the shot.
Miles Bakshi, son of the DreamWorks Animation's producer Gina Shay and grandson of the film director Ralph Bakshi, who directed the 1972 American adult animated comedy film Fritz the Cat, provided the voice of 7-year old Tim. Having been often present at DreamWorks, McGrath initially asked Bakshi only to provide a temporary voice for Tim to see if the character "worked". The producers listened to 30 to 40 children to choose the scratch voice. McGrath explained their decision: "No one sounded as authentic as Miles did. A lot of child actors are great, but they are over-articulate for their age. 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. Bakshi was 10 when he began recording the voice. During the long process, his voice started to change and "by the end it got pretty tough", according to Bakshi, who was 14 when the film was released. He had to get his voice "very soft, but when I got that perfect tone it was great."
The film was scored by Hans Zimmer, along with Steve Mazzaro and various artists. The film's soundtrack was released on Back Lot Music & iTunes. "Blackbird" by The Beatles is used as part of the plot at various points throughout the film. "My House" by Flo Rida is also used in the trailer for the film.
The Boss Baby was initially scheduled for release on March 18, 2016, but was later pushed back to March 31, 2017. The film premiered at the Miami Film Festival on March 12, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 31, 2017, by 20th Century Fox.
The Boss Baby was released on Digital HD on July 4, 2017, and was released on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and Ultra HD Blu-ray on July 25, 2017 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The releases also include a new short film, The Boss Baby and Tim's Treasure Hunt Through Time.
The Boss Baby grossed $175 million in the United States and Canada and $352.9 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $527.9 million.
In North America, The Boss Baby opened alongside Ghost in the Shell and The Zookeeper's Wife, 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 atop the box office in its second weekend, grossing $26.3 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Boss Baby has an approval rating of 52% based on 168 reviews, 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 weighted average 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, while those under 18 (who made up 41% of the attendance) gave it an "A+".
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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Academy Awards||March 4, 2018||Best Animated Feature||Tom McGrath and Ramsey Ann Naito||Nominated|||
|Annie Awards||February 3, 2018||Best Animated Feature||Ramsey Ann Naito||Nominated|||
|Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production||Bryce McGovern||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Joe Moshier||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Tom McGrath||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Glenn Harmon||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||January 7, 2018||Best Animated Feature Film||Tom McGrath||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 16, 2017||Best Original Score – Animated Film||Hans Zimmer, Steve Mazzaro||Nominated|||
|Online Film Critics Society||December 28, 2017||Best Voice-Over Performance||Alec Baldwin||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Award||January 20, 2018||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture||Ramsey Ann Naito||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society||December 11, 2017||Best Animated Film||The Boss Baby||Runner-up|||
|Satellite Awards||February 10, 2018||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||June 2018||Best Animated Film||The Boss Baby||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 13, 2018||Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature||Alec Baldwin, Carlos Puertolas, Rani Naamani, Joe Moshier for "Boss Baby"||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature||Mitul Patel, Gaurav Mathus, Venkatesh Kongathi||Nominated|
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