The Boss Baby is back everyone! But why? Well…probably because The Boss Baby made $528 million world-wide. That is certainly a good enough reason to do so, I guess. The original was even nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. But how? That is the subject of a whole other article. But what is most important and pressing right now is that we have a new Boss Baby film to discuss…The Boss Baby: Family Business. You can check this one out in theaters but also on Peacock (a big move by Universal to convince people to subscribe).
How does this new edition of this unexpected franchise stack up? The first film was…weird. Director Tom McGrath followed up his work on Madagascar and Megamind with this strange world of genius baby agents (wait…hasn’t anyone seen Baby Geniuses?). The concept alone begs SO many questions (which these films avoid like the plague), but I will not get into that…too much. McGrath boasted some inspired and bold directorial choices that surprised me in the first film (one scene channeled horror films and was impressively effective). Most of those bold choices have fallen to the wayside in Family Business which is a shame. I will admit that there is one scene (shown in the trailer) where the Templeton sons revert to childhood. The scene is abstract and over-the-top (in a fun way) with a popular cult classic musical number that I would not dare spoil.
But enough with the comparisons, is The Boss Baby: Family Business a good film? That would be a step too far. This is a solid and passable film for the whole family. You have some banger song choices which were certainly chosen just to make sure that parents are paying attention. The concept is still too absurd and begs too many questions to ignore. The story is interesting as Bossy Baby (Ted) and Tim team up with Ted’s daughter, Tina (so many “T”’s), to take on a new threat against baby kind. Is the plot right out of a Bond movie? Sure is…except the kid version. A few positives to highlight about the film are the nice father-daughter moments, the over-the-top and crazy action, and the vibrant animation.
But does the talented vocal cast step up? Alec Baldwin…that is it. Baldwin is by far the best part of the first film and certainly up there again in this one. He might have a rival though this time around! Baldwin channels his big energy in the best ways. Then there is THE Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum is the antagonist (who else would be the best choice for a mad genius professor trying to indoctrinate the whole world?) and he makes the screen light up along with Baldwin. Tobey Maguire is gone but James Marsden does his good guy thing as Tim. Amy Sedaris needs to get some credit as well as Tina who is a wild card ball of energy…just like Sedaris herself.
Is this new sequel some must see animation fun for the whole family? Not quite. I think adults will struggle to stay clued in for this runtime that closes in on two-hours. The film is relatively inoffensive but never really shows the bold potential of the first film. Both films have a lot of problems but at least the first went for it. This safe sequel will be enough fun for the kids in the room.