I have talked about Dreamworks on a few occasions on this website. In short, I had discussed how they were once films you had to stop everything for and watch. When it seemed like Pixar were going to dominate for years to come, here came this company that made films that were completely different. Instead of being heartwarming pieces, they felt rather rebellious by making jokes that were a bit more risque and they weren’t afraid to take shots at other dated films. But then they fell off the wagon, making very poor movies such as Trolls and Home. Yes, Kung Fu Panda 3 and How To Train Your Dragon 2 were entertaining, but the dip has been very noticeable. Can The Boss Baby start a revival for Dreamworks though?
Tim (Miles Bakshi, Shrek Forever After) lives the perfect life with his mom (Lisa Kudrow, P.S. I Love You) and dad (Jimmy Kimmel, Sandy Wexler). However, things change when he gets a little brother, The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin, The Departed) is born. He soon loses the attention of his parents to new one and grows jealous, but soon learns the baby has been sent from BabyCorp to try and stop babies from losing all their attention to puppies.
I’ve always liked how recent animation films are willing to treat kids with a bit of respect. They are childish, some like The LEGO Movie unashamedly so, but are done so with imagination and with a belief kids are ready to handle heavy topics if presented to them in the right movie. This movie, however, thinks that everything has to explain to a childlike they are a 3-year-old and has stuff in it that seems like it could only be from the mind of said toddler. Seriously, just go back and ready that synopsis. The baby corporation designed to create more babies and make sure people still want them is called BabyCorp. The company that makes puppies, yes they make puppies, is called PuppyCo. That’s a laziness I just can’t believe. That’s the first thing you come up with when spitballing ideas, but you are meant to go for a bit longer rather than just give up and stick with that. This laziness permeates throughout the film whether it be the jokes or where the plot goes.
I’ve mentioned the jokes being lazy there but I should go into a little bit more detail on that. Basically, the jokes in Boss Baby are always the lowest hanging fruit the movie can reach. Every baby joke you’ve ever heard is in this movie, and they do that joke multiple times. Then, the film gets really weird. There’s this bizarre obsession with showing baby butts. Seriously, the film can’t get enough of either showing them to get a quick laugh or using said butts in another joke when they are covered. One of the big jokes in this film, one they were so proud of they chucked it into a trailer, is when a puppy really gets in there and sniffs the Boss Baby’s butt when he is dressed as a dog. And I’m not even mentioning the honest to God blowjob joke which is just shocking in a film like this.
Actually no, let’s not just leave the reveal that there is a blowjob joke in this film for kids in one line at the end of the paragraph. Let’s discuss it some more as it really does show the downfall of Dreamworks Animation. Their films have always been filled with double entendres, jokes for the adults as some might say. And as the blowjob joke, which involves the Boss Baby telling Tim to suck his dummy and that he’ll enjoy it, will fly over kids heads, at least I hope it will, you may think I should write it off as something like that. But this is not how you sneak a dirty joke into a kids film. In the other Dreamworks films, they wouldn’t ever hint at something as smutty as this and they would either have an ogre or a fish making said dirty joke. Not a baby and a young child. That’s the difference, that’s why you laugh when you see Puss N Boots gets caught with catnip in a parody of Cops in Shrek 2 while have your jaw drop off your face in disbelief at this one.
But the worst thing, the thing about Boss Baby is that it makes this movie a complete waste of your time, is that the film probably never really happened. It’s hinted at early on that this is all exaggerated, when an epic action scene between the baby, his minions and Tim is undercut by the parents watching them when it’s more like a typical kids playtime. That joke, while not a terrible one, wrecks the movie, as it tells you everything else you see is not real. From there on in, you know that this is all playing out in the imagination of Tim and that you should not care about anything that happens. Because why should you when don’t know what’s actually real and what’s just in Tim’s fever dreams?
If you are forcing me to be positive, I suppose I could talk about the animation which is decent. Not amazing, Dreamworks still lag far behind the majestic beauty of Moana and even Pixar who aren’t famed for the beautiful animation have really been upping that side of their output in recent years, but the film at least looks nice. And the human models aren’t terrifying to look at, which if you ever go back to watch the original Toy Story is a bigger plus than you realize. The voice acting isn’t terrible either, it’s obvious Alec Baldwin is at least trying though the script is so poor not even he can get a laugh out of this.
Every year, there’s always an animation film that defies belief that it exists. This year, that is The Emoji Movie. But the fact another animated film can get close to how terrible that is should show you how far Dreamworks have fallen in the last few years. They used to make movies like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, great films which were different to everything else on the market. Now they make a film which shows more baby butt on film than anything I’ve ever seen before. It is a film that should be locked up in a safe, with the safe then covered in padlocks before being chucked into the Mariana Trench. I admit that is cruel to the undiscovered fish that live in there, but it just needs to be as far away from me as possible or else I’d come out in a rash.