Friday, 22 December 2017

The Boss Baby

This happens quite a lot with movies I only watch on a plane - they don't look good enough to see on release but actually end up being really good. I honestly thought this looked terrible from trailers, especially with such an ugly baby, and basically only watched it because the main character Tim was adorable.

In fact this was a clever, sweet and well-made animation that probably deserves more recognition than it got...though I did see quite a few reaction images of the triplets online. 

One of the best factors here is that the premise gives a strong message to kids with new siblings - the whole premise stems from how 7-year-old Tim reacts to the new baby of his family getting more love from his parents. That jealousy is a good thing for kids in that position to get to discuss. 

There's a lot that surprised me here. Funny jokes and pop culture references to everything from Indiana Jones (brilliantly combined with Mouse Trap) to Glengarry Glen Ross. Poignant moments mostly marked by 'Blackbird' by the Beatles. Strong performances and fast-paced animation. There's a few adult jokes that raise a smile, like references to the things that can go on at work retreats, though in light of the recent scandals from Hollywood, I'm not sure having Alec Baldwin and a child actor have an exchange along the lines of 'Suck it!' 'I'm not gonna suck that, I don't know where it's been.' 'You want to find out where babies come from, don't you?' was probably not the best idea. And they almost cast Kevin Spacey in the movie too… 

Tim is one of the most adorable kids in CG - being younger than most of the kids in these films, he's adorable, needing his hand held on the plane and not knowing how to ride a bike. Ralph Bakshi’s grandson Miles gives a pretty adorable performance, too, playing younger than his age during recording. Perhaps the best element having such a young protagonist is that being so concerned with the imagination of a child, there are lots of sequences that experiment with changes of animation style or weird character designs, which really take advantage of the medium. 

I doubt that many people will give this film a chance, but that's a shame because it's much better than I'd anticipated. 

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