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'The Boss Baby' Is Cute But It Is No 'Inside Out'

What happens if Jack Donaghy is trapped inside a baby's body?


The Boss Baby (PG)

Starring the voices of Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel, Toby Maguire

Directed by Tom McGrath

Alec Baldwin has played many bosses both on TV and in movies  — the good, the bad and the ugly, he’s played them all, with the most famous one being Jack Donaghy, Tina Fey’s superior on the sitcom 30 Rock. The new animated flick, The Boss Baby, asks: What happens if Jack were trapped in an infant’s body?

A baby in a business suit, that’s how seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi) sees his newborn brother when his parents (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) brought him home. Not only that, the toddler is also a spy trying to stop puppies from taking over the world…what?

You see, Tim has a really wild imagination which he uses to process his new household situation. So things can get really kooky. Don’t ask questions; just sit back and go with the flow. 

While the kiddos will have fun with the cutesy visuals, adults will find pleasure with the nods to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mad Max: Fury Road and even Billy Wilder’s 1960 workplace comedy classic The Apartment. Elsewhere there’s a surrealistic sequence where the villain (Steve Buscemi) uses a pop-up book to recount his fall from grace.  

Despite all the eye candy and occasional side-splitting one-liners, the DreamWorks ’toon still comes up a little short — it doesn’t grab you emotionally. Its lack of poignancy is what sets it apart from the best works by Pixar, notably Inside Out, a similar tale dealing with growing pains. The Boss Baby is still a baby. (* * 1/2)

Photo: DreamWorks Animation 


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