Thursday, December 15, 2016

Time to Cry: Full Trailer for 'The Boss Baby' Surfaces

Out in three months, DreamWorks' The Boss Baby got itself a full trailer...

Right off the bat, I wouldn't call this a good trailer. If you're new here, I have a particular frustration with American animated movie trailers. They aggressively dart from jokes to story bits to jokes to story bits, and when they end, I'm like... "Okay, what did I just watch?" But I don't review trailers for their editing, what's the footage like?

Well, this looks a little weird in some ways, but in other ways it looks like a typical lightweight animated comedy-romp. There's the frenetic tone, the one-liners, the goofy premise, and some inevitable gross-out humor. The trailer clarifies that a lot of it is pretty much happening in the older brother's imagination, which is kind of cool, but I can only imagine how they'll stretch that out to 90 minutes.

It's also interesting how the boss himself talks, but the other babies act like babies. It very much reminded me of the old Family Guy episode where Stewie, during his first birthday party, is trying to assemble a team out of the neighbor babies. They of course act like babies, much to his frustration. Anyways, in terms of the story? I'm pretty iffy on this one. The Boss Baby is pretty much spillover, it's a product of a short era where the studio was quietly regrouping after the fallout in January 2015.

Context: DreamWorks had a lot of box office misses over the span of two years, and only two pictures released during this troubled time - The Croods and How To Train Your Dragon 2 - made a profit. The final straw was Penguins of Madagascar, which posted very low numbers domestically. So in January 2015, DreamWorks shut down sister studio/veteran house Pacific Data Images, laid off over 500 employees, and drastically reduced the number of films on their slate. Then former CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took it upon himself to really oversee the next couple of features, The Boss Baby included. It was pretty much in the can before Comcast stepped in.

Boss Baby could go either way. It could be a sharp, clever comedy like director Tom McGrath's third Madagascar installment, or it could be all over the place like The Croods, or it could be a plain-nothing movie like Turbo. It looks very, very hyperactive but there were some bits that made me laugh.

I actually am kind of digging the very soft animation style they went for. In a few interviews, some of the crew emphasized how they wanted this film to have a retro cartoony feel, and I definitely get a slight 50s vibe out of the whole thing. Everything looks kind of painterly and like something you'd see out of an old animated commercial or something. It certainly looks unlike many of DreamWorks' CG pictures.

The verdict? I really don't know. The story seems kind of there, but some of the humor is good, seems very jumpy, I like the look of it, and hopefully it's a solid comedy in the end.

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. While watching the trailer, I realized that it kinda rips off Rugrats. I mean, think about it. The only kid in Rugrats that the adults understand is Angelica. In this movie, it's Tim. Another thing those two have in common is that they can understand the babies while the adults don't.