Review: The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)

The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)

Directed by: Tom McGrath | 108 minutes | animation, comedy, family | Dutch voice cast: Buddy Vedder, Guido Weijers, Elise Schaap, Anna Drijver, Hajo Bruins, Matheu Hinzen, Imaani Oosterhuis | Original voice cast: Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris, Ariana Greenblatt, Jeff Goldblum, Eva Longoria, James McGrath, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Raphael Alejandro, Serenity Reign Brown, David Soren, Nicholas Gist, James Ryan, David P. Smith , Nova Reed, Molly K. Gray, Ashlyn Lundahl, Dave Needham, Tom McGrath

One of the unexpected animation successes from 2017 was ‘The Boss Baby’, from the DreamWorks stable. The youthful target audience ran away with the three-piece gray toddler who is sent on a secret mission to protect the world’s babies from the evil Puppy Corp, which plans to create a puppy that never grows old and thus save the place. can inherit from the darling in the family from the youngest child. This crazy story was told from the perspective of Boss Baby Ted’s older brother, seven-year-old Tim, who struggles with the fact that his family cares more about the baby than they do about him. The film is based on the book series of the same name by Marla Frazee. With a revenue of almost $ 530 million, it was obvious that after a TV series appeared on Netflix, a sequel would come and there is now with ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ (2021). Is a success formula being further exploited here or can ‘Family Business’ compete with its predecessor? In any case, what speaks in favor of this sequel is that almost everyone involved (cast & crew) of the first part are also present again. Not only does that mean director Tom McGrath and screenwriter Michael McCullers are back, but voice actors Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow are also making a comeback. Guido Weijers and Buddy Vedder also return in the Dutch version.

The events of ‘Family Business’ take place a few decades after those of the first film. Tim and Ted are grown men now, but live completely different lives. Tim is a family man who still hasn’t quite let go of the child in him. He and his wife Carol have two daughters, seven-year-old Tabitha and baby Tina. The contact with his brother Ted, now an illustrious businessman with no memory of his remarkable early years, has faded considerably. But Tim’s daughter Tabitha, who is increasingly ashamed of her father’s play, has great admiration for her successful uncle. She does everything she can to become as successful as he is, something that is strongly encouraged by her school. Little Tina, like her uncle, turns out to be a Baby Corp secret agent who has come with a special mission: to reunite her father and uncle to become the school principal, a slimy technocrat named Dr. Armstrong. , keep an eye on. It turns out that he has nefarious plans, involving modern technology to take control of the parents of his students and thus unleash a baby revolution. Tina uses a handy tool from Baby Corp to help her father and uncle rejuvenate and infiltrate the school as seven-year-old and toddler respectively and stop Armstrong.

‘Family Business’, just like its predecessor, takes a lot of hay on its fork, making the whole look messy and unnecessarily complex. And that while the film has some pretty interesting angles that are thought provoking. The hyper-ambitious leather factory of Dr. Armstrong, where very young children are already asked to the utmost, is a derivative of the rock-hard performance society in which our society is increasingly changing. Even more striking is the image that Armstrong wants to turn adults into zombies via an app on their mobile phone. Let’s face the facts there! That pinprick of social criticism is hidden in a crazy and complicated plot with certainly some funny moments, but in which there is unfortunately little room for emotional bonding with the characters. Only a single moment, especially in the dynamic between Tim and his eldest daughter, is played on our feelings. When Tim is rejuvenated to Tabitha’s age for the mission, the two come to understand each other better. The most beautiful scene is the musical fantasy in which the youthful Tim Tabitha learns that having fun is more valuable than always wanting to perform. The makers also dare to apply a different animation style here, which is refreshing. The voice cast for this film has been expanded to include Amy Sedaris as Boss Baby Tina and Jeff Goldblum as the maniacal Dr. Armstrong; nice additions that give the film that little bit extra.

‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ resembles its predecessor in many ways, with a crazy plot, a hilarious chase, a wonderfully demonic mad scientist as a villain and enough crazy fun to give at least the youngest viewers plenty of fun. Very occasionally a deeper layer seeps through, for example when social criticism is delivered or in the sparse moments between father and daughter that play on our emotions. Just not enough to make this film stand out above average, but entertaining enough for a family outing.

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