The Boss Baby: Family Business

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Boss Baby: Family Business Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Sibling-themed sequel will entertain young fans; mild peril.
  • PG
  • 2021
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

For entertainment, not educational purposes, though there are lessons about teamwork and family. Young viewers might also pick up on some of the engineering or other STEM-related questions and answers in the classroom.

Positive Messages

Promotes strong family bonds and showing up for those you love, whether it's for holidays and milestones or just family dinners. Although sibling rivalry and jealousy are depicted, the story emphasizes the need to overcome sibling antagonism and remember that siblings and families should protect one another, work as a team, and listen before jumping to conclusions. Stresses the importance of parents, rules, and structure in babies and children's lives, though also makes the point that pushing kids hard to succeed at a young age isn't a great idea/healthy for them. On the downside, a joke references needing to "lose this baby fat," and one character refers to two young boys as "ladies" when they're dressed in her clothes out of necessity.

Positive Role Models

Tim is a loving husband and father and a proud older brother who's impressed by his younger brother's accomplishments. Ted is a quick thinker, a persuasive leader, and ultimately an attentive and caring uncle. Tabitha is brilliant but a little insecure. Tina is wise beyond her years and knows how to observe and help with a mission; she also has her priorities in order. The Templeton family and most of the supporting characters are White; some of the babies are portrayed very simplistically as creepy/not "normal." The portrayal of the Baby Ninjas could be considered insensitive, since ninjas are from Japanese culture, and the babies are not.

Violence & Scariness

The Baby Ninjas are fully costumed as such and threaten/chase the main characters with weapons (swords) in tow. Several chase scenes in which the villain uses a mechanical body and immobilizes first the Templeton brothers and then fights with children. Another wild chase/pursuit leads to some destruction and an explosion in town. The brothers fight each other, including grabbing each other's chests and twisting. One young child at the academy is creepy and made to look a bit like Pennywise from It; she's shown with a balloon and a spotlight and keeps saying "I like ___" with a scary face and then starts smothering someone. Precious the pony hates Tim and is often huffing in his face or hurting him in some way -- even kicking him. Parents are hypnotized and controlled by the villain. Arguments/disagreements. Mild bullying at school; a boy says he wants to see Tabitha fail and calls her a nerd, and others make fun of Tim for not knowing the answer to questions. 

Sexy Stuff

Nonsexual near-nudity as newly transformed Tim and Ted see and accidentally show their baby genitals (not on camera, but it's implied) and start screaming/covering up.

Language

Infrequent use of words including "sucks," "butt," "dum dum," "stupid," "nerd," and the stand-in phrase "what the frittata." Ted yells "unleash heck" to the babies as a command. Some potty and crying baby humor. When someone defeats the Baby Ninjas, they yell "Sayonara Baby!" which is a Terminator reference/joke but could be construed as insensitive since ninjas are from Japanese culture (and the babies are not).

Consumerism

Mentos play a pivotal role in one scene. Hot Wheels logo on a shirt; scene from DreamWorks' Spirit show/movie. Also plenty of merchandise tie-ins off screen: apparel, toys, games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While it's not technically a drug, there's an exorbitant amount of sugar/candy consumption in the movie, particularly by Dr. Erwin Armstrong.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Boss Baby: Family Business is the sequel to 2017's The Boss Baby -- both of which are loosely based on Marla Frazee's picture books. Adult brothers Tim (now voiced by James Marsden) and Ted Templeton (still Alec Baldwin) are once again lured into a Baby Corp. mission and must work through their differences to defeat a dangerous new villain. The series continues to emphasize the value of family, teamwork, and communication. But, also as in the original, there are potentially frightening moments of peril/conflict, including chases, some destruction, mild bullying among kids at a competitive school, and fight scenes between babies (some of whom are, questionably, dressed as ninjas). The plot also includes a disturbing case of mass hypnotism and mind control. There's a bit of potty and crying-baby humor, as well as a fixation on one character's obsession with sweets/sugar. Characters occasionally use words like "butt," "sucks," "heck," and "what the frittata." In one brief moment, a pair of kids accidentally see/show their baby genitals (off camera) and scream in comical horror. Several lines are clearly aimed at adults, since they include references to movies like Gladiator, Shawshank RedemptionTerminator, Lord of the Rings, etc.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAmyHuntsman July 12, 2021

Slightly disturbing imagery

On the surface, this was a fine movie! I laughed out loud 2 or 3 times, it had the usual Dreamworks colorful fun, and it had a few spotty, yet moral-driven, plo... Continue reading
Adult Written byChrisdye8998 July 8, 2021

Better than the first hilarious

Okay so over the fourth of July weekend it was a goal of mine to see two movies a goal which I kept and this happened to be one of them I must say due to my hat... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bygoodsmartbicycle July 4, 2021

Worst movie ever

I found this incredibly boring. I would not recommend this to anyone who is over 12, because the writers didn't create an interesting script and instead ma... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byAnnieIce July 3, 2021

Wow... amazing, I loved the whole family first lesson!!!

This sequal actually lived to it's original which is rare! I loved this to be honest... I don't care what others think, but it was great! The now a fa... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS is the sequel to 2017's The Boss Baby and takes place many years after that film's conclusion. Older brother Tim Templeton (now voiced by James Marsden) is grown up and married to Carol (Eva Longoria), with two girls: 7-year-old Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and toddler Tina (Amy Sedaris). And original Boss Baby Ted (Alec Baldwin) is a busy CEO. The brothers don't see much of each other, but Ted sends exorbitant presents for every holiday and milestone, including a pony for Tabitha. Tim is shocked to discover that Tina is actually a Baby Corp. agent; she summons Uncle Ted to their home so he and Tim can help with an important mission. The brothers take a magical formula that transforms them back into their younger selves for 48 hours in order to infiltrate the school for gifted children that Tabitha attends and defeat its headmaster Dr. Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), who has a nefarious plan. Back in their child and baby bodies, the brothers have trouble working as a team, particularly as Tim tries to reconnect with the brilliant but stressed Tabitha. Meanwhile, Ted quickly becomes the leader of the baby room.

Is it any good?

This animated sequel is more likely to entertain younger audiences than adults, but it does encourage strong sibling bonds and explains the need for parental guidance and boundaries. Director Tom McGrath, working from a script by Michael McCullers, revisits the parts of The Boss Baby that little kids enjoyed most (the antics, the animals, the rivalry-turned-teamwork), while adding in another generation of siblings in the form of Tim’s two girls. With his memorable voice, Goldblum is an ideal choice as the visionary (but secretly villainous) headmaster Dr. Armstrong. He’s responsible for the movie’s biggest reveal (the fact that Tina is a Baby Corp. agent is included in the trailer), and it's fairly funny, even given the context of a world in which babies can talk like adults.

The subplots favor Tim, who, as a concerned stay-at-home dad disguised as a 7-year-old, prioritizes getting to know his daughter better over the brothers' overall mission. Sure, he knows his orders, but he really takes advantage of being in Tabitha's class to discover just how brilliant (and in some ways socially awkward and lonely) she is at school. Baldwin's Ted continues to milk the gravitas of his deep voice by persuading the baby room's toddlers to organize and revolt. Those scenes, with diapered babies who smear glue on themselves and act believably like infants and toddlers, are the movie's funniest. There's not much else to milk out of this franchise, but for fans of the original, this sequel hits all of the expected marks with its baby shenanigans and physical comedy bits.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Boss Baby: Family Business portrays sibling relationships. Why are they important? Why do you think so many movies depict antagonistic relationships between siblings?

  • How do Tim and Ted show the value of teamwork? Why is that an important character strength? What do they learn from each other, as well as from Tim's girls?

  • Did you consider any part of the movie scary? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

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