I still remember when my mom and stepdad told me they were going to have a baby and that I was about to become a big sister. I was 10 years old, and when they told me in serious tones that they needed to discuss something with me, I thought I was in trouble. For what exactly, I can’t recall. But I must have been guilty of some minor offense that I thought I was being punished for when they sat me down to have “the talk.”
My initial reaction was one of relief followed by shock and then a few other mixed emotions about what this meant for me. I was used to being the only kid around and being spoiled by my grandparents. Would the new baby be favorited because he belonged to both of them and would share their same last name? Would I have to share all of my toys with my new baby brother or sister? Would I have to change poopy diapers, and how gross was that going to be? Many can probably relate to these childhood feelings of uncertainty. I know the main character in the newest animated movie from DreamWorks certainly can.
The Boss Baby is relatable because sometimes it is a bit scary and overwhelming becoming an older sibling for the first time. Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi and then Tobey Maguire as the adult narrator version of Tim) is seven years old and used to being the center of his parents’ world. They indulge his imaginative fantasies, often role playing with him, and they’re there to tuck him in every night and sing him his special song (which is adorably The Beatles’ “Blackbird”). But all that changes one fateful day when Tim sees his baby brother pull up to the house in a taxi cab.
Perfectly voiced by Alec Baldwin (perhaps channeling his hilarious impersonation of an even bigger boss baby known as Donald Trump), “Boss Baby” wears a black business suit, carries a tiny briefcase and quickly takes over the house and monopolizes his parents’ time. Although he may look like your average baby, he can walk and talk, take memos and call important business meetings during play group. It seems he’s on a super-secret mission from Baby Corp. to stop Puppy Co. from releasing a new puppy that’s designed to steal the world’s love from babies, making them obsolete and putting him out of a job at Baby Corp. This just won’t do, as “Boss Baby” has big plans for a promotion with a corner office and his very own toilet.
It’s hard to say if this is all part of Tim’s overactive imagination as a way of coping with the new little bundle of joy or if the events depicted in the movie do in fact happen. I still can’t make up my mind even after watching it, but that’s the beauty of animated movies: that suspension of disbelief. Babies drop down from the clouds after either being sorted into families or upper management in Baby Corp. if they’re found to be better suited for a career from birth. And those in management forever remain babies thanks to a special formula they drink. That all seems legitimate to the mind of a seven-year-old.
Loosely based on a 2010 picture book by Marla Frazee with the same title, The Boss Baby is enjoyable and features an all-star cast including Maguire, Baldwin, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi and James McGrath, among others. It might not be the best animated movie I’ve ever seen, but it does have its stand-out moments. “Cookies are for closers!” just might be my new favorite catchphrase. And don’t even get me started on Tim’s wizard alarm clock (he was probably my favorite character – be sure to stay post-credits for a bonus wizard scene).
The Boss Baby takes its viewers on a fantastic ride while teaching children that sometimes it’s actually cool to be the older sibling. You get to try things first (like riding a bike) and you’re able to open doors (literally and figuratively) that a baby couldn’t otherwise reach. In short, you’re always going to be the older, wiser sibling looking out for your younger sibling(s). And you know what? That “Older Sibling Syndrome” doesn’t end in childhood.
I took one of my younger half-brothers (I now have two) to see the movie with me and even though I’m 35 and he’s now 18 and about to graduate from high school, I’ll never stop being the responsible big sister. When he needed a refill on his soft drink and the wait staff could not be found (we saw this in a theater that serves food directly to your seats), I gave up my refill so he could quench his thirst. Sometimes that’s just what it’s like to be the older sibling. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade the feeling for anything in the world. And I’m sure neither would Tim judging by the warm, fuzzy ending of the movie.
Want to see The Boss Baby and judge for yourself? Click on the images below to buy your tickets now, and be sure to come back and tell us what you thought!