The Boss Baby

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The Boss Baby
A baby wearing a business suit
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom McGrath
Produced byRamsey Ann Naito
Written byMichael McCullers
Based onThe Boss Baby
by Marla Frazee
Starring
Narrated byTobey Maguire
Music by
Edited byJames Ryan
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox[N 1]
Release date
  • March 12, 2017 (2017-03-12) (Miami)
  • March 31, 2017 (2017-03-31) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$125 million[2]
Box office$528 million[3]

The Boss Baby is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film[4] produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Loosely based on the 2010 picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee,[5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

A sequel, The Boss Baby: Family Business, is scheduled to be released on September 17, 2021 while a Netflix television series, The Boss Baby: Back in Business, premiered on April 6, 2018.

Plot[edit]

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.

Voice cast[edit]

Alec Baldwin promoting the film at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con.
  • 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".[5]
  • Miles Bakshi as Timothy Leslie "Tim" Templeton, Boss' 7-year-old brother.[9][10][11]
  • Jimmy Kimmel as Ted Templeton, Janice's husband and Tim's father.[10]
  • Lisa Kudrow as Janice Templeton, Ted's wife and Tim's mother.[10]
  • 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[10]
  • 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

Production[edit]

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".[13] 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.[14]

The look of the film was inspired by design techniques popularized in the 1960s,[15] as well as animated films from both the 1950s and 1960s.[13] 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.[15]

Director Tom McGrath at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con

In September 2014, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey joined the cast of the film,[5] with further casting news announced in June 2016, including Steve Buscemi replacing Spacey.[16]

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.[17] 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."

Music[edit]

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.[18] 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.

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

The Boss Baby was initially scheduled for release on March 18, 2016,[19] but was later pushed back to March 31, 2017.[20] The film premiered at the Miami Film Festival on March 12, 2017,[21][22] and was released in the United States on March 31, 2017, by 20th Century Fox.[6] 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.[23]

Home media[edit]

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.[24]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

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.[3]

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.[25] 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.[26] It remained atop the box office in its second weekend, grossing $26.3 million.[27]

Critical response[edit]

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."[28] 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".[29] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[30]

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."[31]

Awards[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Best Animated Feature Tom McGrath and Ramsey Ann Naito Nominated [7]
Annie Awards February 3, 2018 Best Animated Feature Ramsey Ann Naito Nominated [32]
Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production Bryce McGovern Nominated
Rani Naamani 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 [33]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 16, 2017 Best Original Score – Animated Film Hans Zimmer, Steve Mazzaro Nominated [34]
Online Film Critics Society December 28, 2017 Best Voice-Over Performance Alec Baldwin Nominated [35]
Producers Guild of America Award January 20, 2018 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Ramsey Ann Naito Nominated [36]
San Diego Film Critics Society December 11, 2017 Best Animated Film The Boss Baby Runner-up [37]
Satellite Awards February 10, 2018 Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Nominated [38]
Saturn Awards June 2018 Best Animated Film The Boss Baby Nominated [39]
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 [40]
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Mitul Patel, Gaurav Mathus, Venkatesh Kongathi Nominated

Franchise[edit]

Sequel[edit]

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.[41] 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.[42]

Television series[edit]

On December 12, 2017, both Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced the release of the TV series based on the film. The Boss Baby: Back in Business was released in 2018.[43]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tabitha is the name of Tim's seven-year-old daughter, as revealed in The Boss Baby: Family Business.
  2. ^ Tina is the name of Tim's daughter, as revealed in The Boss Baby: Family Business.
  1. ^ In 2018, the film's distribution rights were transferred from 20th Century Fox to Universal Pictures.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Boss Baby". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Boss Baby Tops Beauty and the Beast at Box Office for Second Week". Screen Rant. April 9, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Boss Baby". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Molumby, Deirdre. "The Boss Baby - Cinema, Movie, Film Review". Entertainment.ie.
  5. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (September 30, 2014). "Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey to Voice Star in DreamWorks Animation's 'Boss Baby'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  6. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (September 18, 2015). "Hugh Jackman's 'Greatest Showman on Earth' Pushed a Year to Christmas 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Oscar Nominations 2018: The Complete List". Variety. 23 January 2018.
  8. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (December 11, 2017). "Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  9. ^ Amderton, Ethan (July 21, 2016). "DreamWorks Animation's 'The Boss Baby' Is Like an Animated 'Glengarry Glen Ross' for Kids (Comic-Con 2016)". /Film. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Kit, Borys (June 13, 2016). "Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Patton Oswalt Join Voicecast of 'Boss Baby' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Hopewell, John; Mayorga, Emilio (June 16, 2016). "Annecy: Tom McGrath Unveils Alec Baldwin-Starrer 'Boss Baby'". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Alexander, Bryan (October 17, 2016). "Sneak peek: Alec Baldwin is 'The Boss Baby'". USA Today. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Popp, Olivia. "'The Boss Baby' director and producer on life, laughs and a love for animation". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Tom McGrath interview: Boss Baby, animation, George Lucas". Den of Geek. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  15. ^ a b Failes, Ian. "Drawing On Classic References, 'Boss Baby' Director Tom McGrath Explores A Fresh Look". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  16. ^ Robinson, Will (June 13, 2016). "Boss Baby: Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi added to voice cast". ew.com. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  17. ^ King, Susan (March 29, 2017). "Miles Bakshi continues a family animation tradition with 'The Boss Baby'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  18. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (March 28, 2017). "Review - The Boss Baby". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  19. ^ "'Kung Fu Panda 3' Moves Out of 2015 to Avoid 'Star Wars'". The Hollywood Reporter. December 11, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  20. ^ "Release Schedule - New Dates & Changes". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 20, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  21. ^ "The Boss Baby". Miami Film Festival. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  22. ^ Hazelton, John (March 12, 2017). "'The Boss Baby': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Amidi, Amid (November 15, 2017). "Dreamworks Is Going To Start Adding Shorts In Front Of Its Theatrical Films". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  24. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (May 24, 2017). "'Boss Baby' Gets Home Delivery in July". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  25. ^ "'Boss Baby,' 'Ghost in the Shell' to Battle 'Beauty and the Beast' This Weekend". TheWrap. March 29, 2017.
  26. ^ "'Boss Baby' Cleans 'Beauty And The Beast's Clock With $51M+ Opening; 'Ghost' Shell-Shocked At $20M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  27. ^ "'Boss Baby' Crawls Ahead Of 'Beauty' With $26M+; 'Smurfs' Lost In 3rd With $14M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  28. ^ "The Boss Baby". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  29. ^ The Boss Baby at Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  30. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". cinemascore.com.
  31. ^ "Review: 'The Boss Baby' Puts Alec Baldwin in Diapers, Sort Of". The New York Times. March 30, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  32. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 4, 2017). "Annie Awards: Disney/Pixar's 'Coco' Tops Nominations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  33. ^ Lisa Respers France. "Golden Globe nominations 2018: The list". CNN.
  34. ^ "Hollywood Music in Media Awards: Full Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  35. ^ Clayton Davis (December 18, 2017). "Online Film Critics Society Nominees – 'A Ghost Story' and 'mother!' Make the Cut". AwardsCircuit.com. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  36. ^ Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  37. ^ "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Winners". San Diego Film Critics Society. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  38. ^ "'Dunkirk,' 'The Shape of Water' Lead Satellite Award Nominations". The Wrap. November 29, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  39. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  40. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  41. ^ "Alec Baldwin Returns In 'The Boss Baby: Family Business', Crawling To Theaters In 2021". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  42. ^ "'Boss Baby 2' Will Be Tom McGrath's Sixth Feature Film At Dreamworks". Cartoon Brew. May 18, 2019.
  43. ^ "'She-Ra' Reboot, 'Boss Baby' Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation". TheWrap. December 12, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.

External links[edit]