Do you have a six-year-old? Are they conversant in office politics? Do they love intricate, mind-scrambling existentialist narratives that lead nowhere? Then hurry them along to this deeply strange but somehow also very dull family cartoon comedy.
The setup is just plain odd: before birth, the film reveals, all babies are sorted into two categories. The majority travel to earth, where they become part of a family. The rest are trained as managers in Babycorp, the company responsible for the manufacture of babies (don’t over-think it, because that way madness lies). When promising recruit The Boss Baby (gravel-voiced by Alec Baldwin like he’s reading rejected ‘30 Rock’ scripts) is sent to earth on a secret mission that’s way too silly to go into, he goes undercover with the Templeton family. But their existing seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi) isn’t best impressed with his new baby brother.
‘The Boss Baby’ is one of those snarky, post ‘Shrek’ cartoons that desperately wants to appeal to parents as well as kids, but its snappy, pop-culture-referencing script feels workshopped to death (there’s a running joke about Gandalf that’s bafflingly unfunny). Undemanding kids might get a kick out of its jazzy, restless visual style and poo jokes, but grown-ups may well find themselves taking some impromptu nap time.