The Boss Baby
|The Boss Baby|
|Directed by||Tom McGrath|
|Produced by||Ramsey Ann Naito|
|Written by||Michael McCullers|
|Based on||The Boss Baby|
by Marla Frazee
|Narrated by||Tobey Maguire|
|Edited by||James Ryan|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox[N 1]|
|Box office||$528 million|
The Boss Baby is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee, the film was directed by Tom McGrath, from a screenplay by Michael McCullers, and stars the voices of Alec Baldwin as the title character, along with Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, and Tobey Maguire. The first installment in The Boss Baby franchise, the plot follows a boy helping his baby brother 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 on March 31. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics upon release, who praised its animation and voice performances (particularly Baldwin's), but criticized its humor and confusing premise. It also grossed $528 million worldwide against its $125 million budget. The film received Best Animated Feature nominations at the Academy Awards, Annie Awards, and Golden Globes.
A man named Tim Templeton tells a story about his imaginative seven-year-old self and his parents, Ted and Janice. One day, Tim is surprised when an infant wearing a business suit arrives at his house in a taxi, and Ted and Janice refer to him as Tim's little brother. Tim is envious of the attention the day-old baby receives, and suspicious because of the infant's clothes and the strange behavior he exhibits around Tim, but his parents are oblivious.
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 use a cassette tape to record a conversation between Boss Baby and other toddlers who are at Tim's house for a meeting, under the guise of a play date in the eyes of the parents. In this meeting, Boss Baby explains that puppies have been receiving more love than babies and is in search of a new file containing evidence of a new puppy from Puppy Co., a company that launches new products for dogs, intends to release. Before they can finish, they catch Tim spying on them. A chase ensues, and Boss Baby threatens to tear up Tim's favorite stuffed animal, Lam-Lam. Tim tries to slingshot Boss Baby out of a window, but is caught by his parents, and accidentally slingshots the cassette tape outside of the house before it is destroyed by a passing automobile. With no evidence to support him, Tim's parents ground him until he becomes friends with Boss Baby.
Boss Baby apologizes to Tim and has him suck on a 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 and that he has infiltrated Tim's residence because his parents work for Puppy Co., which will unleash the new puppy on a pet convention in Las Vegas. Boss Baby remains intelligent by drinking a "Secret Baby Formula", which enables a baby to act like an adult; however, should a baby not drink it after a period of time, he or she becomes a regular baby. When they overhear Boss Baby's boss threatening 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's parents undo his punishment and take the brothers to Puppy Co. for take your child to work day. While there, they slip away and find what they assume is the plans for a "Forever Puppy", but they are captured by the company's founder and CEO, Francis E. Francis. They discover that Francis used to be the head of Baby Corp., and whom Boss Baby idolizes. Francis reveals that he intends to have the Forever Puppies overshadow babies by stealing Boss Baby's serum bottle and injecting the puppies with it as revenge for being fired from Baby Corp., since it was discovered that his secret formula stopped working due to his lactose intolerance. Tim's parents go with Francis to 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, with the help of other toddlers, he and Tim evade the "babysitter" long enough to reach the airport but are too late to intercept Tim's parents. The two argue, but later reconcile and sneak onto a plane full of Elvis Impersonators 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 kill them with exhaust from a rocket used to launch the Forever Puppies. 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 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, and begins to cry, but Tim sings to him with the family song to show his appreciation, causing him to jump off the rocket before it launches. After the rocket does launch, Tim takes Boss Baby to the formula vat and he returns to his original self. Francis then emerges from the vat, having been transformed into a baby, and tries to attack Boss Baby, but is picked up by a redeemed Eugene and tells Tim and Boss Baby that, "This time, we'll raise him right."
Boss Baby is promoted and leaves, while the parents have their memories be erased of him so they wouldn't become suspicious. Tim goes back to being an only child, but he and Boss Baby, having bonded with each other during their mission, begin to miss each other. After Tim writes a letter convincing him to live with him as his brother, Boss Baby returns to the Templeton family as a regular baby named Theodore Lindsey "Ted" Templeton Jr., and they grow up together. In the present, Tim finishes telling his daughter Tabitha[a] about the birth of his brother, now an adult businessman, to calm her worries about her recently-born sister, Tina,[b] whom Tabitha notices she is another Boss Baby like Ted was.
- Alec Baldwin as Theodore Lindsey "Ted" Templeton Jr./The Boss Baby, an infant with the mind of an adult, who works at Baby Corp and gains his intelligence and speaking ability from drinking a "Secret Baby Formula".
- Miles Bakshi as Timothy Leslie "Tim" Templeton, Boss' 7-year-old brother.
- Jimmy Kimmel as Ted Templeton, Janice's husband and Tim's father.
- Lisa Kudrow as Janice Templeton, Ted's wife and Tim's mother.
- Steve Buscemi as Francis E. Francis/Super Colossal Big Fat Boss Baby, the CEO of Puppy Co and the former CEO of BabyCorp and Boss' nemesis
- 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 Tabitha Templeton, Tim's daughter.
- 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 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 brother being moved to tears by the completed film.
The look of the film was inspired by design techniques popularized in the 1960s, as well as animated films from both the 1950s and 1960s. 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, who had previously collaborated with McGrath on Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Megamind, and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, along with Steve Mazzaro, Jacob Collier, 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. During the end credits, Missi Hale recorded a cover of the Burt Bacharach song What The World Needs Now Is Love (first performed by Jackie DeShannon). "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 film was later released in Japan on March 21, 2018 by DreamWorks Animation's sister company Universal Pictures. The Japanese release is accompanied by the DreamWorks animated short Bird Karma.
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 the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 53% of 179 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.50/10. The website'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." According to the review aggregator Metacritic, which sampled 32 reviews and calculated a weighted average of 50 out of 100, The Boss Baby received "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."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||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|
On May 25, 2017, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation announced that a sequel is set to be released on September 17, 2021, with Alec Baldwin reprising his role. On May 17, 2019, it was announced that Tom McGrath will return as director and Jeff Hermann, who produced Bilby, Bird Karma, and Marooned, will produce the sequel. Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro will return to write the music for the film.
- Tabitha is the name of Tim's seven-year-old daughter, as revealed in The Boss Baby: Family Business.
- Tina is the name of Tim's daughter, as revealed in The Boss Baby: Family Business.
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