The Boss Baby: Family Business is the sequel no one was asking for but DreamWorks Animation gave us anyway. The film begins with a voice-over narration from now adult Tim Templeton (voiced by James Marsden) who’s a stay-at-home dad to his two daughters while his wife, Carol (voiced by Eva Longoria), is the breadwinner of the family. Tim’s little brother, Ted (voiced by Alec Baldwin), is also all grown up and has become a rich and powerful CEO. Although he never misses getting gifts to his nieces on their birthdays and on Christmas, Ted almost never actually visits his brother’s family.
That changes, however, when little baby Tina (voiced by Amy Sedaris) tricks her uncle into visiting by messaging him to say her big sister, Tabitha (voiced by Arianna Greenblatt), was injured riding the pony he gave her. As soon as Tina’s alone with both Ted and Tim she reveals she can talk, walk, plan, and reason – and is a secret agent for Baby Corp. She gives them a magical formula capable of changing them back to babies for 48 hours. Tina explains Baby Corp needs them to go undercover on a top-secret mission.
Once Ted’s back to being a baby and Tim is a boy Tabitha’s age, the unlikely team attempt to uncover the plan of evil genius Dr. Irwin Armstrong (voiced by Jeff Goldblum) who runs an advanced school for babies and children.
Once inside the school, they discover Dr. Armstrong’s going to launch a worldwide baby revolution that would eliminate parents caring and raising their children by turning them into mindless, compliant zombies. That forces the estranged brothers to work together to stop Dr. Armstrong.
The voice cast’s the best thing about the film. Alec Baldwin returns as the original boss baby, Ted, who still loves money and telling everyone what to do. Baldwin’s great at bringing out the humor as Ted tries to get his pre-school baby classmates to build a tower to use to escape the locked playroom prison he’s stuck in.
James Marsden does a solid job of voicing Tim (replacing Tobey Maguire from the first film) as a creative and energetic dad who’s afraid his oldest daughter’s now embarrassed by him. He truly conveys Tim’s love for his daughter and his fear of losing their special bond.
Jeff Goldblum delivers the stand-out voice performance in the film as the evil Dr. Armstrong. His unique voice and delivery make Dr. Armstrong the most entertaining character in the film. It’s also very obvious that Armstrong’s mannerisms and movements were inspired by Goldblum’s own mannerisms.
The animation’s bright and vibrant, and the musical score’s upbeat and energetic, especially in the fast-paced action scenes. One of the best scenes in the film involves Ted and Tim riding Tabitha’s pony to the new school which turns into a chaotic chase involving motorcycle cops, cars, trucks, and even a movie theatre patron being dragged along for the ride.
The biggest problem with the film is its unsuccessful attempts at emotional scenes between Tim and Tabitha and Ted and Tim. The scenes in which the estranged brothers discover just how close they were as kids growing up and try to recapture it come off forced and feel completely out of sync with the film’s zany antics.
Colorful, chaotic, and loud, The Boss Baby: Family Business is a silly, childish, and obnoxious adventure. The film’s at its best when there’s frantic action and chases happening on the screen but falls flat when it attempts any meaningful and heartfelt moments.
The Boss Baby: Family Business is a forgettable sequel that ultimately fails by having its main point be the importance of family and spending time together in a film that’s 95% wacky, childish, and madcap antics.
MPAA Rating: PG (Rude Humor|Mild Language|Some Action
Release Date: July 2, 2021
Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Directed By: Tom McGrath