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Tom McGrath
Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris
Writing Credits:
Tom McGrath, Michael McCullers

The Templeton brothers have become adults and drifted away from each other, but a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach is about to bring them together again - and inspire a new family business.

Box Office:
$82 million.
Opening Weekend:
$16,000,665 on 3644 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 9/14/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Tom McGrath, Producer Jeff Hermann and Production Designer Raymond Zibach
• “Precious Templeton” Short
• Deleted Scene
• “Never Grow Up” Featurette
• “Roll Call” Featurettes
• “Creative Experiment Lab” Featurettes
• “Art Class” Featurettes
• Lyric Video
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Boss Baby: Family Business [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 26, 2021)

Back in 2017, The Boss Baby became a pretty decent hit, as it took in a tidy $528 million worldwide. That sum proved good enough to spawn a sequel, 2021’s The Boss Baby: Family Business.

Married to Carol (voiced by Eva Longoria) and father to seven-year-old Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and infant Tina (Amy Sedaris), Tim Templeton (James Marsden) is a stay-at-home dad with an active imagination. However, gifted second grader Tina now attends a prestigious school and she feels the need to become more serious, a path that makes Tim worry a distance will grow between them.

This possibility hits harder because Ted long ago became semi-estranged from his younger brother Ted (Alec Baldwin). The men rarely see each other, as they drifted apart years earlier.

Tim told his kids a tale of how he and Ted foiled a caper when they were very young. In that story, infant Ted was an agent of “Baby Corp”, a group of sophisticated youngsters.

History repeats, as Tina reveals herself to follow in Uncle Ted’s footsteps as a member of this group. Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum) acts as the headmaster at Tabitha’s school, and Tina tells Tm and Ted that he launched a dastardly plot that they need to stop.

To do so, Ted and Tim need to ingest a formula that sends them back to the ages they were in Tim’s “fictional” story. With Tim again seven and Ted now a toddler, they attend Tabitha’s school and try to prevent Dr. Armstrong’s plan.

Attention: spoilers for the 2017 movie ahoy!

I found a number of problems with the first Boss Baby, and one of the biggest annoyances came from the way that it tried to explain all the events as nothing more than products of Tim’s fertile imagination. Though it almost entirely presents the events – including the existence of Baby Corp and Ted’s “adult infant” guise – as reality, it finishes with an explanation that it was a fictional, metaphorical version of Tim’s early life.

This felt like a major cheat. While the body of the movie occasionally hinted that we shouldn’t accept what we saw, the vast majority bought into the fable, so it felt like a rip-off to find out that Tim just made up all those events.

Perhaps the filmmakers agreed, as Business doesn’t follow that path. This time the movie does present the wackiness as reality, without any kind of “it was all just a dream” wink at the end.

Given that the Bobby Ewing treatment bugged me in 2017, I should embrace the movie’s internal reality and feel pleased that it goes that way. And I would if this didn’t mean it now violates the “truth” found in the first flick.

It simply makes no sense that we learned then that Baby Corp and all that was Tim’s invention during the prior film but now we need to accept it as truth. I could accept which universe the Boss Baby franchise chooses if it maintained consistency, but the shift between movies seem off-putting.

Even without that issue, Business would be a mess because… well, because it’s a mess. Though the film boasts an inherently simple plot, it muddies the waters with so many sub-topics and deviations from the main narrative that it becomes nearly incomprehensible.

Dear Lord, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie meant for kids that made so little sense. I can handle some story-based confusion when I watch a Christopher Nolan flick or something meant for adults, but if I can’t follow a tale like this, I must assume the target audience will get lost in the sauce as well.

Of course, kids seem less likely to notice the incoherent narrative than adults will. They’ll get wrapped up in the non-stop gags and antics so they probably won't realize that the movie comes with a story than seems nearly impossible to follow.

However, this bugged me, especially because Business doesn’t need to be so messy. As noted, the core plot seems pretty straightforward – why much up the works with all those side journeys?

I suspect one reason stems from the fact that the “stop Dr. Armstrong’s nefarious scheme” narrative so closely mirrors the “stop Super Colossal Big Fat Boss Baby’s nefarious scheme” aspect of the first film. Both plots seem awfully similar, so I guess those behind Business felt they required some tangential elements to give the sequel a spin.

Sure, I get that, but maybe they simply should’ve come up with a main storyline that wasn’t so similar in the first place. Give Business a primary narrative that doesn’t self-plagiarize and we don’t require a slew of tertiary threads.

Nonetheless, we find ourselves dragged down by all those sidebars, and they really do make Business a chore. They go off into so many directions that they just create a film without coherence.

Inevitably, Business leaves some of these story lines incomplete. In particular, we meet Tabitha’s arrogant, envious classmate Nathan Pickles (Raphael Alejandro) and view him as a threat early in the film.

And then he simply disappears, for all intents and purposes. The movie sets up the character as a major impediment to Tabitha’s life but lets this thread die without any form of satisfactory resolution.

Like the first flick, Business exists mainly as a vehicle for wacky gags. That may well be the main reason the sequel comes with all those tangential plot lines: so they can throw all sorts of comedic shenanigans at us.

This means that Business tailors the plot and characters to the jokes. Rather than let the humor evolve in an organic manner, the movie crams gags into nonsensical storybeats that exist solely to present the antics.

This turns into yet another problem since it exacerbates the already existing lack of focus. Since Business cares more about potential laughs than narrative or logic, it becomes even sloppier.

Some of these gags manage to work, and Business comes with the occasional laugh. It also features a solid cast, with return performances from Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel in addition to the actors already mentioned.

Though they do fine, they can’t redeem this mess. Maybe a third Boss Baby will finally live up to the franchise’s potential, but this sequel sputters and becomes a chore to watch.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

The Boss Baby: Family Business appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.

Sharpness always looked good, as the movie exhibited fine delineation. No obvious signs of softness marred the image, and I noticed no jaggies or shimmering. Edge haloes and print flaws also remained absent.

Colors seemed solid, as the movie offered a broad palette. The hues delivered lively, full tones with good reproduction.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots came across as smooth and clear. The image worked well.

In addition, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material, with a soundscape that came to life during the movie’s occasional action scenes. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, those offered lots of magical elements that popped up in logical spots and blended well.

Quieter scenes also fared nicely, as they showed good stereo music. Effects created a fine sense of place and delivered a rich sense of surroundings.

Audio quality satisfied, with natural, concise speech that lacked edginess or other issues. Music came across as full and warm, while effects delivered rich, accurate material. Business boasted a fairly solid soundtrack.

A mix of extras accompany the film, and we open with an audio commentary from director Tom McGrath, producer Jeff Hermann and production designer Raymond Zibach. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and sequel-related domains, cast and performances, design choices, music, art and animation, editing, and similar topics.

This turns into a largely engaging commentary. The three participants dig into the subjects well and give us a reasonable number of insights. The track never threatens to become great, but it’s still firmly in the “pretty good” range.

An animated short called Precious Templeton lasts four minutes, 15 seconds. It uses the pony character from the film and offers mild entertainment value. I appreciate that it brings back the movie’s actors and doesn’t use soundalikes, though.

Including an intro from McGrath, a Deleted Scene goes for three minutes, 25 seconds. Called “Time Out”, the segment shows one of Tim’s dreams. The actual sequence spans two minutes, 11 seconds and seems creative but not something that I think would’ve helped out the actual movie.

A featurette called Never Grow Up fills six minutes, 16 seconds with info from Zibach. McGrath, Head of story Andrew Erekson, co-editors Mark Hester Mary Blee, writer Michael McCullers, producer Jeff Hermann, visual effects supervisor Marc J. Scott, character rigging supervisor Sandy Kao, and actors Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris and Eva Longoria.

“Never” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, and a few production topics. A few decent notes emerge, but the clip seems fairly fluffy.

Roll Call breaks into three segments, and these occupy a total of eight minutes, 51 seconds. We hear from Hermann, Baldwin, Marsden, McGrath, McCullers, Blee, Longoria and Sedaris.

The programs discuss characters, cast and performances. Like “Never”, we find a few decent notes but get more praise than anything else.

Next we find three segments under Creative Experiment Lab: “Potato Power” (2:21), “Volcano to Go” (2:21) and “Plastic Fantastic” (2:35). The first offers an intro from Marsden before Unnamed Narrator tells us how to make a clock out of a potato.

Marsden opens “Volcano” before Unnamed Narrator teaches us how to create a fake volcano. Finally, Marsden launches “Fantastic” as well before Unnamed Narrator gives instructions how to make plastic shrink. Kids may enjoy these.

Under Baby Art Class, we locate tutorials that educate us how to draw Ted (3:15), Tina (2:30) and Precious (2:37). In these, storyboard artist Catherine Rader offers lessons. As with “Lab”, kids might like these lessons.

We end with a lyric video for “Together We Stand”. It goes for two minutes, 59 seconds and offers the expected animated text piece. Yawn.

The disc opens with ads for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous and Gabby’s Dollhouse. No trailer for Business appears here.

Because the first film seemed mediocre, I didn’t expect much from The Boss Baby: Family Business. Even so, this incoherent mess comes as a disappointment. The Blu-ray brings excellent visuals and solid audio with a mix of bonus materials. Business struggles to generate entertainment value.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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