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Blu-ray Review: The Boss Baby: Family Business

September 28, 2021

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

DreamWorks Animation’s 2017 movie The Boss Baby was essentially a one-joke film. Yes, I know, it was loosely based on a picture book by Marla Freeze, and set up a whole world of baby corporate leaders. But the purpose of the movie was really just an excuse to have Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin voicing a bossy baby wearing a business suit.

The film was a box office hit so a sequel was inevitable, and now we have The Boss Baby: Family Business, with director Tom McGrath returning to craft a whole new adventure about babies with adult voices. And, like the first film, it’s a mildly amusing if overly chaotic diversion that has enough sweet moments to keep it going.

This sequel finds Tim Templeton (James Marsden), the imaginative little boy from the first film, all grown up and with two kids of his own. Tim’s younger brother Ted (Baldwin), the former Boss Baby himself, is now a hedge fund manager who is too busy to visit his brother’s family for the holidays. Tim is a stay-at-home dad to academically inclined older daughter Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and her baby sister Tina (a high-pitched Amy Sedaris), whom he soon discovers is in the family business and working as an undercover agent for BabyCorp.

Tim is getting worried that Tabitha is growing up too fast, and he has become disconnected from his brother Ted. But Tina hatches a plan to bring the adult Templeton brothers back together. This involves a special baby formula that shrinks Tim and Ted back down to the age they were in the first film, so they can infiltrate Tabitha’s prestigious school and take down the corrupt principal Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), who is plotting to sidestep the role of parents.

There is a lot going on in The Boss Baby: Family Business, too much at times. It’s the type of sequel that just sort of throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, and the hyperactive pace of it all can prove tiring in places. The screenplay by Michael McCullers, who also wrote the first one, mainly copies the same formula as its predecessor, and at times it feels like a narrative retread. Not all of the jokes land, and there are also some moments of weirdness at the school involving a few strange infant classmates that are more grating than endearing.

But the film’s core story about a father reconnecting with his daughter, set against the backdrop of preparing for a Christmas pageant, is heartfelt enough to mostly make up for it. McGrath stages some decent slapstick action throughout to keep viewers engaged, and the cartoony animation also allows for some more imaginative moments, including a fantasy musical sequence set to a cover of “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.”

The story is somewhat all over the place, and The Boss Baby: Family Business does drag a bit at 108 minutes including credits. But the film’s heart is mostly in the right place, and there are just enough sweet moments throughout to make it a decent at home viewing choice for families.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The Blu-ray comes with a variety of bonus features, from a new short film to drawing tutorials and crafting videos for kids. A code for a digital copy is also included in the package.

Precious Templeton: A Pony Tale (4 minutes, 15 seconds): This “all new short” is a mostly 2D affair that unfolds as a bedtime story about Tabitha’s pet pony Precious, narrated by Baldwin’s Ted.

Deleted Scene (3 minutes, 25 seconds): An axed dream sequence featuring intergalactic dolphins, presented in storyboard form and with an intro by director Tom McGrath.

Never Grow Up: The Big Babies Behind The Boss Baby: Family Business (6 minutes, 16 seconds): Members of the cast and crew talk about the themes of the sequel, as well as completing the film remotely during the pandemic with their kids involved as test audiences.

Roll Call (8 minutes, 51 seconds): The voice actors behind Ted, Tina and Tim break down the motivations of their characters in the film.

Alec Baldwin – Boss Baby (Ted) (2 minutes, 52 seconds)

Amy Sedaris – Tina (2 minutes, 44 seconds)

James Marsden – Tim (3 minutes, 13 seconds)

Creative Experiment Lab (7 minutes, 18 seconds): A trio of crafts and science experiments that kids can do at home, vaguely tied to the movie.

Potato Power (2 minutes, 21 seconds)

Volcano To Go (2 minutes, 21 seconds)

Plastic Fantastic (2 minutes, 35 seconds)

Boss Baby Art Class: How to Draw (8 minutes, 23 seconds): Story artist Catherine Rader teaches us how to draw a few of the characters.

Boss Baby (Ted) (3 minutes, 15 seconds)

Tina (2 minutes, 30 seconds)

Precious Templeton (2 minutes, 37 seconds)

“Together We Stand” Lyric Video (2 minutes, 59 seconds)

Feature Commentary with director/executive producer Tom McGrath, producer Jeff Hermann and production designer Raymond Zibach

The Boss Baby: Family Business is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 108 minutes and rated G.

Street Date: September 14th, 2021

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