The Subterranean: Nary a dull moment with ‘The Boss Baby’

Review of The Boss Baby

**** out of five stars

Currently available on video

by Walter G. Tarrow

Wow! So colorful! And clever. And funny fun fun.

And how could this animated, very animated, movie not be loved? Babies! Puppies! Advertising’s eternal one-two punch.

Very imaginative tale about the corporate machine behind it all, Baby Corp. and its competitor PuppyCo. Loaded with gags, sight and said, about babies, puppies and some other stuff.

But did I mention babies? And puppies?

The definitive answer to the age old question. Where do babies come from?

But more importantly, once they get here, how are they so good at taking over EVERYTHING?!?

The lampoon takes sharp aim at corporate and business life, the “joys” of being a baby and parenting, and has unending pop culture references ranging from a wonderful parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark to Mary Poppins to conventions in Las Vegas.

The voice acting is flawless. Alec Baldwin easily assumes command as he revives his Glengarry and 30 Rock persona delivering one liners with ruthless corporate zeal. “Only closers get cookies” is priceless. Steve Buscemi, as his nemesis, the CEO of PuppyCo, sneers menacingly and Tim’s night stand alarm clock Wizzie riffs wizard-like a la Lord of the Rings. His rendition of the Beatles’ Blackbird is hilarious.

While adult Tim (Toby Maguire) narrates from time to time, young Tim (Miles Bakshi) has numerous flights of imagination which reminded me of Chuck Jones’ character Ralph Phillips in the Looney Tunes cartoon From A to Zzzz. Those animated flights of fancy could stand on their own.

There is a chase sequence near the end that is all too familiar until the Boss Baby begins spouting clichéd motivational quotes to comic effect. Which is the winning style of this cartoon. When it’s giving even a hint of bogging down, it quickly pops a gag or two and we’re back on track.

My favorite quote. Boss Baby: This is first class. Tim: Why is it empty? Boss Baby: No one can afford it. That’s what makes it so wonderful.

Non-stop without being overwhelming, The Boss Baby has nary a dull moment. Kind of like parenting…with lots of laughs and the requisite heart at the end. One for the whole family.

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