Push comedy and emotion in ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’
Suites can be a tricky business. Creators have to straddle the line between nostalgia and originality, between creating something that appeals to fans of the previous film, and something new and surprising that engages a new group of fans. That was the challenge director Tom McGrath took on with his latest film, The Boss Baby: family business, released on July 2, the sequel to its 2017 Oscar nominated hit, The boss baby.
But the challenge was also punctuated with exciting opportunities.
“There’s something really exciting about the way you approach a sequel, it’s the opportunity to participate in the expansion of this world,” says producer Jeff Hermann, known for his work on the Kung Fu Panda franchise. “What was great about director Tom McGrath and screenwriter Michael McCullers’ approach to designing the story of the second film was to take the film decades into the future where Tim and Ted are now adults, because that allowed us to bring in a whole new group of family members and ideas that weren’t part of the first movie.
The Boss Baby: family business now features adult brothers Tim and Ted, who have drifted apart over the years; Tim got married and raised a family in his childhood home, while Ted headed for business success. When Ted comes for a rare visit, the brothers’ feud ends after Tim’s baby girl Tina reveals that she has been following “the family business” and has become an agent for Baby Corp.
Using a bizarre bottled concoction, Tina transforms her father and uncle into the young viewers she met in the original film and recruits them for a top-secret mission to uncover a scheme in which a villain, Dr. Armstrong, teach babies to be hurt. While the mission gives Tim the chance to reconnect with his estranged brother, it also helps him connect on a deeper level with his seven-year-old daughter, Tabitha, whom he fears is trying to grow up. too fast.
True towards Boss Baby franchise mode, there are a lot of national comedies and stellar action sequences. But the production team wanted to push the original film’s gold nuggets even further into the sequel, such as expanding the mantra of the babies depicted in the story – evil babies, scary babies, prison babies, and baby ninja – and lean hard on comic tropes.
“We took each of their exact definitions and took it to the extreme,” says lead host Julien Bocabeille, who previously worked with McGrath on Megamind and the first Boss Baby movie. “The nerdy character in the room is going to be the most nerdy you’ve ever seen. The scary girl is going to be super scary. There is no room in this film for shy characters. They are all to the extreme. We have fully embraced these clichés, and it works very well.
Hermann adds: “The glue baby in the prison yard was actually an idea that was part of the first film but ended up not being used. Tom resurrected the idea. And the scary girl was really born out of one drawing that one of our art directors Andy Schuhler had done. And she never changed. She was a terrific character to be constantly thrown into the background and her role kind of expanded with her popularity. Baby ninja started out as just a throwaway gag that we ended up spreading in the villainous Dr. Armstrong’s movie for security forces.
Even the imaginative and whimsical sets that the first film excelled at bringing to life were sped up “300%,” according to Bocabeille, the team creating even more fascinating and breathtaking fantasy worlds, from never-before-seen sections of Baby Corp to snow. Evil Headquarters Capped.
“We wanted to do even more fantasy and there were maybe two or three other fantasy scenes that were cut for time,” says production designer Raymond Zibach, who had worked with Hermann on the Kung Fu Panda cinema. “But when these movies get as big as they are, you want to make sure the story is continued with every scene because otherwise you’re wasting screen time. I think a lot of times when you read a script you choose what you think is cool and later you come up with things that you didn’t realize were actually gold.
Hermann adds: “What was interesting about this trip was that the three fantastic worlds we have in the movie now really embody the three different stages of Tim’s relationship with Tabitha – what life was like when all else. was fun and imaginative, her fears of her separation, then the joyful celebration of her breakthrough by realizing how to communicate with her as a peer rather than just a parent. ”
The original Boss Baby The film was well balanced, with as many heartwarming moments as it did funny and adventurous moments. But in the new story about reclaiming the essence of childhood in order to connect with loved ones, the fantasy and real worlds have blended even more harmoniously than before, as have the moments of comedy and sincerity. In a scene where Tabitha takes a young Timmy – whom she doesn’t realize is her own father – to see his room that was once hers when he was a child, Zibach says the scene surprised him when he was a child. the design with its many layers of storytelling.
“It became a great setting because this is where Tim teaches Tabitha how to use her imagination and it starts to turn into a fantastic scene,” Zibach shares. “A lot of those moments that I didn’t know would end up feeling like they do when finished. There are things like that that even surprised me about what the film was going to bring emotionally to audiences.
Bocabeille adds, “When we pushed the cartoon side of things we went crazy, but we have some really emotional moments where it’s semi-realistic animation and people can really relate to these characters. We want to push the comedy, but sometimes you can lose the characters if you don’t keep those meaningful moments and that relativity in mind. You had to be careful of that. “
Although the cartoon big-headed crime-fighting babies who speak in deep baritone voices seem like a recipe for the bizarre and the hilarious, Bocabeille says that The Boss Baby: family business is “even more family-oriented” than the first and shows how even the most comical animations and the most imaginative production designs can blend into a true heart-wrenching of a story.
“The story is unique, the relationship of the brothers is unique, and I think the messages we send to the public are quite original,” says Bocabeille.
“These films are very personal for Tom,” Hermann continues. “It’s great that we can tell this story in such a fun and visual way where the sky is the limit, but the environment in which we made this movie also kind of represents the story itself, that we were able to come together and overcome great difficulties and make a film that talks about the importance of reconnecting when the world literally separated us.
Victoria Davis is a full-time freelance journalist and part-time Otaku with an affinity for all things anime. She has reported on many stories ranging from activist news to entertainment. To learn more about his work, visit victoriadavisdepiction.com.