Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) – Pressured to succeed

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Yet another movie opening on the Big Screen this weekend is ‘Boss Baby: Family Business’, a thought-provoking production from DreamWorks Animation which will appeal to all generations.

As parents we all want what is best for our children with education coming to the fore… with the pressure to succeed dominating the scenario. ‘Boss Baby: Family Business’ provides a multi-layer scenario with plenty of food for thought. Predominantly, however, it poses the question ‘Are we pressuring our children in such a way that they are actually losing their carefree childhood? By piling on the homework and stressing the need to be ‘top of the class’, are we taking away their intuitive need to play, experiment and express their feelings?

Intervention

As with all animations in the 21st Century, the vitality of the action appeals to the younger generation, while the script is designed to provide food for the older viewers. ‘Boss Baby: Family Business’ re-introduces us to the Templeton family – Tim (#James Marsden) as the fun-loving, absentminded, stay-at-home father and his brother Ted (#Alec Baldwin), now a hyper-successful business tycoon. Their paths are totally divergent and their contact minimal, however, BabyCorp needs their intervention.

This time around, it is Tim’s baby daughter Tina (#Amy Sedaris) who is calling the shots, but his loyalties are divided: the task demanded by BabyCorp vs his older daughter – Tabitha (#Ariana Greenblatt) who needs his assistance even if she is pushing him away… and, that’s the underlying conundrum – have we created scenarios which demand our children grow up sooner than they should to shoulder the burdens of achievement and success?

Underlying Tabitha’s ‘detachment’ is the ethos of the school which she attends – independence and success. She wants to be the best at absolutely everything (don’t most children) and she shines in the classroom, however, she is terrified of ‘failing’ on stage during the school pageant. She knows inherently if she does, she will be ‘doomed’ – bullied and mocked. Yes, indeed these themes emerge too. She also doesn’t want to be seen to be letting her father down and this prevents her from asking for his help.

BabyCorp, on the other hand knows there is there is something sinister afoot at the school under the auspices of Principal Erwin Armstrong (#Jeff Goldblum) and ‘calls in the troops’ in the form of the Templeton brothers. After ingesting a special formula, they regress outwardly (into their bodies as children) without losing the acumen gained over the years. Having to learn to work together again, overcoming Ted’s enormous ego and more, the brothers not only infiltrate the school posing as students but also discover how much they have missed over the years.

I could go on, but I don’t want to give away too much. This multi-layered movie is so much more than merely an entertaining animation. Definitely food for thought and discussion!

Featuring the voices of:

Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris, Ariana Greenblatt, Jeff Goldblum, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow

Directed:

Tom McGrath

Produced:

Jeff Hermann

Written:

Michael McCullers

 

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