The Boss Baby: Interview and Review

“Cookies are for closers!” I have found myself quoting Dreamworks Animation “The Boss Baby” a few times now since we saw it last week and had the opportunity to interview director Tom McGrath and Prodcuer Ramsey Naito to talk about their upcoming film that opens this weekend March 31.

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Here is our review of DreamWorks The Boss Baby.

The animated film business is a tough one to win over with critics and then even tougher with fans when the critics don’t like what they see. The big studios like Disney, Pixar and Universal seem to have to market cornered but DreamWorks has a nice ace up its sleeve this March Β with The Boss Baby.

You know a movie is good when you hear the laughter of children throughout the whole movie. A genuine laughter that comes from deep inside your tummy. Adults you too will find yourself laughing and grinning throughout the running time of this movie. Starring Alec Baldwin as The Boss Baby fans of his will rejoice in his take on the character which comes from the best selling childrens book of the same name by Marla Frazee. Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel. Lisa Kudrow, Miles Bakshi round out the voice cast and finally we have Toby Maguire as the narrator.

The Boss Baby is a fun time for the whole family and a refreshing take sibling rivalry. The premise of the film goes like this. Tim’s (Miles Bakshi) parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) are looking to grow their family by 1 and Tim is not sure how he is going to take this new addition and like any 7 year old his imagination is going to run wild. Enter The Boss Baby all suited up from the moment his parents bring him home from the “hospital” and this is where it gets interesting. From this moment on it’s war! The hilariousness begins from one event to the next. What we see as daily regular activities Tim manages to put his own take on it in the most genuine sort of way and we felt the throwbacks to the cartoons of yesterday. A handful of small tributes here and there will hit you in the nostalgia department as you watch.

Tim and the Boss Baby must unite in order for both of them to get what they want. Tim wants to be the only child again and the Boss Baby wants a promotion and be sent back to headquarters but first must thwart and evil plan that aims to direct all the love from babies to puppies! Oh the humanity! This is where it gets interesting and we see them develop an unlikely bond despite the genuine disgust they have for one another. Siblings will surely understand this aspect of the movie greatly.

In the end we left feeling very entertained and with a general love for our brother and sister even though we don’t have any. A fun and heartwarming experience for everyone in the family to enjoy and we hope you add it to your weekend movie watching list.

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Pictured above was our round table interview with director Tom McGrath and producer Ramsey Ann Naito who took time out of their busy schedule to speak to us during the press tour for The Boss Baby. You may know Tom McGrath from a few of his previous projects such as directing The Madagascar films as well as lending his voice to “Skipper” the lead penguin in the film. He also directed Megamind and Penguins of Madagascar for Nickelodeon TV. Ramsey Ann Naito who serves as Producer on the film was previously at Blue Sky Animation and Head of Movies at the Cartoon Network.

The round table interview went off without a hitch and they were a pleasure to speak with and went in to such great detail when talking about The Boss Baby how it came to life. Here are some of the questions that stood out from our meeting.

What time period does the film take place?

“It’s not today, its a combination of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s” A kinda of golden age of childhood before cell phones and computers when kids went outside more than in present day. “It was kind of a romantic period of childhood back then.” That was the feel they were looking for and they succeeded. You will notice a lot of old school vintage toys from Hasbro and Mattel that they went to directly so they can be used and give the film a more authentic look.

What influenced the humor in The Boss Baby?

“Probably the cartoons you saw in the 90’s were influenced by the cartoon of the 50’s and 40’s and we went further than that.” Director Tom McGrath goes into detail on how the film goes more into the acting to where the animators have the task of bringing the characters to life with great facial expressions and not just floating heads reading lines. “The animators are also the stars.” He stated that you will even see them in front of a mirror making faces after faces in order to incorporate more real life emotion in the characters performance.

Is there a market for animation in this day and age?

“The only way for animation to survive is A – tell original stories and B- show audiences something they haven’t seen before and reinvent it.” 30 years ago there was no jobs in animation and then it changed after Roger Rabbit and the the Little Mermaid and so on and even then there was only a handful of animated films and they came from the big three studios which are Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks. Now there are countless studios developing their own projects and it is up to the next generation of animators to continue to bring new ideas and things we have never seen. He talks about meeting kids in art school and seeing what they are doing on their computers and even phones and its out of this world.

The general tone of the conversation was very positive and one could say nostalgic. Tom McGrath is a true kid at heart and is at home making movies and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Ramsey was easy to talk to and we enjoyed hearing how her own family experiences with her and her kids made this project and easy sell for her when she received the script a few years back. We hope you enjoy the film as much as we did.

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