Boss Baby Comic-Con

Following the panel for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, the animation studio decided to surprise the audience with the first footage from their forthcoming comedy The Boss Baby, starring Alec Baldwin, making his first appearance at Comic-Con.

The Boss Baby is inspired by the idea that when a new baby arrives at home, he’s basically the boss of the household with everyone’s schedule adjusting to what the baby wants whenever they want it. But the story takes that concept to a fantastical extreme as the baby acts like a no-nonsense, abrasive corporate executive, made all the better by the voice of Alec Baldwin, essentially bringing his 30 Rock character Jack Donaghy, mixed with his Glengarry Glen Ross character, to life as an animated baby.

So how was the footage shown during The Boss Baby Comic-Con panel? Find out after the jump along with an interesting detail about how the filmmakers decided to have Alec Baldwin take the titular role.

For those who haven’t heard of The Boss Baby, the project was first announced back in September of 2014. Here’s the synopsis that was revealed in the report from The Hollywood Reporter:

“When an older brother embarks on a mission to win back the sole affection of his parents, he stumbles upon a secret plot by the CEO of Puppy Co. that threatens to destroy the balance of love in the world — and this brash baby executive masquerading as his new brother is at the center of it all. Now, they must come together as true brothers to stop the dastardly scheme, save their parents, restore order to the world and prove that love is indeed an infinite force.”

Originally, the CEO of the Puppy Co. was said to be voiced by Kevin Spacey, but the producer Ramsey Naito announced that it would be Steve Buscemi playing the villain instead. It’s not clear if any story details have shifted since the project was announced though. In addition, the brothers’ parents will be voiced by Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel.

In the footage shown in Hall H, there’s just a hint of some kind of dastardly secret plan that the new baby brother has when the older brother, Timothy Templeton, stumbles upon a secret phone call the baby is having while laying down in his crib. Once he realizes his brother is a talking baby with a secret agenda, he sets out to expose the fact that his brother is a mischievous, overbearing baby who can talk like an adult and wears suits and ties.

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The first scene introduced us to the The Boss Baby with Alec Baldwin effectively using his fast-talking, rich voice to intimidate his older brother and make him realize that soon their parents just won’t have time for anyone but the adorable baby brother. The animated facial expressions combined with Baldwin’s voice make for some amusing moments (the baby making his own bottle like a martini, which is kept in a vault disguised as a diaper box), but more often than not it’s just odd. The title character feels like an alternate version of the baby from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? rather than something new and interesting. Overall the concept itself is executed in a strange way that didn’t offer much to pull me in beyond some stylish animation.

In the second scene, the older brother Timothy successfully recording his baby brother having a conference call, and he sets out to play the tape for their parents. However, the baby boss arrives in a pedal-powered police car along with a team of other toddlers, all equipped with a Power Wheels, tricycle and one of those popping ball roller toys. What follows is a standard action chase, complete with old school 70s cop show music playing throughout.

In this sequence, there are some funny moments, but I found myself confused by the rules of the movie. During a scene where the older brother is being dragged by the baby brother’s speeding police car, we cut to the parents who just see their kids playing normal, with the car moving slowly across the lawn. Then we smash cut back to the intense action. It paints a picture that the heightened presentation of the action is happening in the kids’ heads and not real. But following the chase, the parents come out to the yard and are horrified to find a Power Wheels firetruck on fire, broken glass, and a baby hanging from a tree branch. It just doesn’t make sense.

One of the more interesting revelations about the panel is that Tom McGrath (director of the Madagascar franchise) determined that Alec Baldwin would be perfect for the role by taking audio from Alec Baldwin’s famous monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross, and animating it by using a baby they had created for Megamind. Sadly, that footage wasn’t shown during the panel, but for now, I’m much more interested in that than seeing The Boss Baby.

On another cool note, the main kid in the movie is voiced by Miles Bakshi, the grandson of animation icon Ralph Bakshi, who worked on classic cartoons such as Mighty Mouse and Spider-Man in the 1960s

We’re not sure when you’ll get to see the first teaser trailer for Boss Baby, but the film arrives on March 31, 2017.

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