In ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business,’ Family That Fights Evil Together Stays Together
The legacy of a lovable corporate schemer continues in “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” the sequel to the wildly entertaining 2017 animated feature “The Boss Baby.” Alec Baldwin returns to lend his voice to the title character, also known as Ted Templeton, now a work-obsessed adult running his own corporation. Meanwhile, his older brother Tim (James Marsden) has taken a different path in life and is now a stay-at-home dad to gifted second-grader Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and baby Tina (Amy Sedaris). His wife, Carol (Eva Longoria), is the “breadwinner.” The brothers have grown apart over the years, but little Tina, who Ted is shocked to learn is the new Boss Baby, having gone to work for Baby Corp, the “family business,” brings them back together for a brand-new mission.
While the last film focused on the importance of family, and there’s still a lot of that in the sequel, “Family Business” explores the pressure put on kids in competitive schools and our obsession with our phones. The villain this time around is Dr. Irwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), the principal of Tabitha’s new exclusive private school. In a reverse “Big,” Tim and Ted take a potion to reverse age back into a second-grader and toddler, respectively, with Tina holding down the fort at home and overseeing their mission. Tabitha and Carol, along with Ted and Tim’s visiting parents (Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel), believe that the boys are on a much-needed bonding trip.
Tim is a loving and dedicated father, so much so that his devotion to Tabitha distracts him and puts the mission in jeopardy. At school, he introduces himself as Marcos Lightspeed and becomes fast friends with his daughter, who he is proud to discover is the smartest person in her advanced class. In a development reminiscent of “Back to the Future,” being the same age as his daughter allows Tim to grow close to her on a friend level that he never would have as a parent. She confides in him her nervousness about a solo in the upcoming school holiday pageant, revealing to him that she wishes she was more creative like her father, a master storyteller.
Meanwhile, Ted uncovers Dr. Armstrong’s ultimate plan, which is to lead a baby revolution. He plans to accomplish this by having his baby army develop a photography app that turns doting parents and grandparents into zombies. Anyone who has been to a school play or recital in recent years surely knows how easy this would be to accomplish. The character of Ted is less developed than Tim, but through him we learn a lesson about how a life centered around financial gain and power can be a lonely one.
Sedaris and Goldblum fit right into this fun and lively world, each one leaning into the wackiness. Fast-paced with plenty of eye-catching animation, young children will be sucked into this adventure, and it’s smart enough to hold the attention of adults. The character of Tabitha is a great role model, especially for young girls who feel held back by bullies and/or their own self-doubts.
“The Boss Baby: Family Business” releases July 2 in theaters nationwide and on Peacock.