You've got to love the thinking behind 'Boss Baby', primarily because there's something just so strange and deeply funny about a tiny infant who sounds like Alec Baldwin, wears a Rolex, and pays off other babies when he's bored.
When we talked to director Tom McGrath - who also happens to be the voice of Skipper the Penguin from 'Madagascar' - last week, this was also his thinking in what made 'Boss Baby' so funny. Although it's based on Marla Frazee's book of the same name, 'Boss Baby' and its sequel, 'Boss Baby: Family Business' has a lot of slapstick influences.
"What I remember loving about 'Boss Baby' was that he was so bossy!", laughs McGrath, explaining that 'Boss Baby 2' is more of a 'Battle of the Bosses', explaining that Baldwin's character is more of the 'Mad Men' era, while Sedaris' character is closer to the millennial generation. "The thing about Alec is not only is he a great actor, he's just funny, and just how he'd improvise is hilarious."
"For the first one, as a test, we took the animation of Boss Baby and set it to a line from '30 Rock', and everyone who saw it thought just laughed at the idea, and that just proved the concept. It was one of those things where it was, like, 'Will he do it?' The other great thing," McGrath points out, "is that when Alec did 'Boss Baby', he had one child. Now he's got six! So every time we meet him, he's got a perspective on one of his babies, and he's such a family person and he's really invested in these movies, not just for himself, but for his kids as well."
But when he's on Zoom calls with Baldwin and his gaggle of children, do they get McGrath to do the voice of Skipper? In a flash, McGrath's voice changes gears and shifts into Skipper, the all-commanding penguin leader, complete with Charlton Heston-esque diction and tone. "I'd like to kiss you, monkey man!", he exclaims, and talks more about how his cast for 'Boss Baby 2' - such as Lisa Kudrow, Amy Sedaris, Baldwin, and so forth - have just as much comedic chops, and understand it's not just as simple as reading the lines, but finding the comedy between them.
The new movie sees the return of the two brothers - Tim and Ted, voiced by James Marsden and Alec Baldwin respectively - who have now grown up and become adults, with Tim now living in the suburbs with his daughter, Tabitha - voiced by Ariana Greenblatt - and his infant daughter, Tina - voiced by Amy Sedaris, best known for her work on 'BoJack Horseman' and, more recently, 'The Mandalorian'. Tina, as it turns, is an agent of BabyCorp. and the school where her sister, Tina, is attending that is led by Dr. Edwin Armstrong, who just so happens to be voiced by Jeff Goldblum.
'The Boss Baby 2: Family Business' hits Irish cinemas on March 26th of next year.