Tim (James Marsden) and Ted Templeton (Alec Baldwin) are all grown up now but they have also grown apart over the years. While Ted is now a CEO – and thus hasn’t lost his boss baby roots too much – Tim is also embracing his childhood as he frequently plays make believe with his daughters Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and baby Tina (Amy Sedaris). One day Tina reveals to her father that, like Ted as a baby, she can talk and is part of the family business at BabyCorp. She needs Uncle Ted’s help for a new assignment and for it, gives Tim and Ted a potion that transforms them back into a kid and baby, respectively.
After the first ‘Boss Baby’ proved a box office hit back in 2007, the Dreamworks animation property, naturally, got the franchise treatment. It’s inspired a Netflix TV series, a short, and interactive special, and one would hope this sequel would wrap things up (as story wise, it would make for a lovely conclusion), but apparently there are rumblings of a threequel.
In any case, ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ depends more on momentum in its story over all else, and in fairness, there’s enough happening with colours and elaborate set designs (nonsensical as they are) flashing across the screen to keep little ones amused. There are some colourful fantasy sequences thanks to Tim’s big imagination, as well as a lavishly designed school and what looks like a very expensive Christmas concert providing backdrops for kids to awe at.
The themes of ‘The Boss Baby’ sequel could be interpreted as lazy, but they’re pleasant enough in their focus is on family. Tim and Ted struggle to reconnect while Tim also feels a distance growing between him and his daughter Tabitha, who’s growing up. The “magic potion” that transforms Ted and Tim into their childhood selves makes for a clumsy plot device. The humour is rather basic and slapstick heavy, but has its moments.
Of the voice cast, Baldwin plays the Boss Baby effortlessly with new addition Marsden bringing warm vocals as the protagonist. Sedaris, also renowned for her voice work as Princess Carolyn in ‘Bojack Horseman’, brings liveliness, while the return of Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as grandpa and grandma is a fun surprise. And of course, Jeff Goldblum is just playing himself as the principal of Tabitha’s school. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Overall then, ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ is fine. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and busy and try-hard as it may feel, between app development storylines and baby ninja baddies, you can appreciate the ambition, and it has a sweet finale. Its cast also includes the best animated horse since Maximus in ‘Tangled’ (and no, Spirit isn’t that impressive, though ‘Boss Baby 2’ protests).