I took my nieces to a screening of The Boss Baby back in 2017. They loved it. As for me, I was not the target audience, and the fact I stayed awake was as much I could have hoped for. In the proceeding years, The Boss Baby spawned a Netflix series, meaning we are firmly in franchise territory. That made the upcoming The Boss Baby: Family Business feature film basically inevitable.
Alec Baldwin returns to voice Ted Templeton, with James Marsden now in the role of big brother Tim. The now-adult Templeton brothers have grown apart. Tim stays at home to care for his children Tina (Amy Sedaris) and Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt), while Ted stays busy with his business and sends inappropriately lavish gifts to the family for special occasions. This time baby Tina is the undercover executive at BabyCorp. She informs Ted and Tim about BabyCorp’s plan to uncover the mystery of the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood, the prestigious school over-achieving Tabitha attends.
Jeff Goldblum provides the voice of Dr. Edwin Armstrong, the head of the Acorn Center. Ted and Tim drink a special formula, provided by Tina, that will turn them back into children for 48 hours so they can investigate the nefarious plans at the school. Hijinks and emotional catharsis ensue.
The subplot, featuring Tim and Tabitha, about a father and daughter reconnecting comes off a little unwieldy, and did not contain the emotional heft that was needed. This is no The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, which tried and succeeded with that whole father/daughter connection plotline. Instead, the story feels like an unnecessary layer of sentimentality, hardly needed when your core audience is there for diaper jokes.
Walking into a theater playing The Boss Baby: Family Business and expecting high art means you are doing it wrong. You go for the babies acting like adults, the adults acting like babies, with a fair dose of rude humor thrown in for good measure. The animation? It is fine. The voice acting? It is actually pretty good. The story? Meh, kids will probably like it, and adults will hopefully tolerate it. While it never achieves any particular greatness, this sequel did manage to improve upon its predecessor. Emotional subplot aside, the film leans into the things young fans enjoyed in the original film. The jokes, low-hanging fruit though they are, are plentiful. Coupled with the new generation of characters, this Boss Baby seems primed to keep the franchise running.
You can catch The Boss Baby: Family Business in theaters and streaming on Peacock July 2!
About The Boss Baby: Family Business
Rating: PG (Rude Humor|Mild Language|Some Action)
In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated blockbuster comedy, the Templeton brothers—Tim (James Marsden, X-Men franchise) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin)—have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business.