Adventure Animation

Review: ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ Proves that the Animated Franchise is More than Just a One-Joke Wonder

June 30, 2021Ben MK

Everyone has to grow up sometime — even supremely articulate, business-minded babies who've successfully saved the planet from genetically engineered puppy domination. But when a new threat arises that requires the special skills of the former Boss Baby himself, it's up to the now-grown-up Templeton brothers to reconnect with their younger selves — and with each other — as they set out to stop a maniacal genius from taking over the world with yet another absurdly over-the-top scheme.

Set a few decades after the events of the first movie, The Boss Baby: Family Business finds Tim Templeton (James Marsden) enjoying the life of a stay-at-home dad, while his wife Carol (Eva Longoria) is out in the workforce putting food on the table for him and their two daughters, second-grader Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and one-year-old Tina (Amy Sedaris). Things take a surprise turn, though, when Tim discovers that tiny Tina isn't an ordinary baby at all, but has been sent on a mission from Baby Corp to enlist the help of him and his estranged younger brother Ted (Alec Baldwin). Once Baby Corp's most revered employee, Ted (now the CEO of his own hedge fund) may have forgotten all about his days as a Boss Baby. However, when they discover that Dr. Irwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), the principal at the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood, is planning to hypnotize the planet's entire adult population, Ted and his older brother must set aside their differences for the greater good.

Magically transformed into their kid selves by Baby Corp's new super duper baby formula, Tim and Ted are soon ready to embark on an undercover mission as the Acorn Center's newest students. Yet, even with the high stakes involved, it may actually be the valuable lessons that they both end up learning about the importance of family that prove to be the biggest win of all. That said, Boss Baby fans need not worry, for what follows is filled with even more hilarious hijinks and comic misadventure than the first installment, as the sibling duo is forced to contend with everything from an army of baby ninjas to an auditorium full of zombified parents, all the while racing against the clock to prevent the end of the world — or, at least, the end of adult-run society — as we know it.

Directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers (who reprise their behind-the-scenes roles from the original), the result is an entertaining sequel that not only sets a new high bar for the animated franchise, but also manages to give the filmography of Pixar and Illumination a run for their money. After all, who would have thought that a series based on a 32-page picture book would feature as much world-building as it does? Yet, The Boss Baby: Family Business doesn't just open the door for future sequels, it also establishes itself as a legitimate challenger to the likes of such popular franchises as Despicable Me and Monsters Inc..

It all makes for some fantastic family fun, especially for those already enamored with the first movie. As for audiences who might be brand new to the world of Baby Corp, The Boss Baby: Family Business is a great entry point into this cute and wacky universe — reuniting viewers with old characters, introducing new ones, and proving that a series built around a talking baby can be so much more than just a one-joke wonder.

The Boss Baby: Family Business releases July 2nd, 2021 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG for rude humor, mild language and some action. Its runtime is 1 hr. 43 min.

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