By Australian Council on Children and the Media
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The Boss Baby movie image (c) Dreamworks Animation
© Dreamworks Animation
 
This movie at a glance Move mouse over icons to see their meaning
Rating
  • Suitable for viewing by general population
Recommendations
  • Not recommended for children under 5
  • Parental guidance for children under 8
  • Suitable for children over 8
Warnings
  • Contains frightening scenes
Genre Family, animation, comedy
Length 97 minutes
Release Date 23/03/2017

Story

The Boss Baby is a 3D animated comedy based on a 2010 picture book of the same title. Narrated by a man named Tim Templeton (Tobey Maguire), it follows the story of seven-year-old Tim (voice of Miles Christopher Bakshi) as he struggles to adapt to a new baby in his family. Tim previously enjoyed the devoted attention of both his parents (Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel), but the arrival of the Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) creates chaos in his once stable world. Tim’s new baby brother is a suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying tyrant, who begins taking over the household.

Eventually, Tim realises that his brother isn’t actually a regular child. Rather, he’s a special agent from BabyCorp HQ tasked to complete an espionage mission at Tim’s parents’ company. With more people buying puppies than having babies, BabyCorp is beginning to panic, and if Boss Baby can discover what has been going on, promotions and accolades await him. But he needs Tim’s help, so the two brothers must learn to work together to achieve the end goal.  

Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.

Sibling rivalry; family; espionage

Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.

The Boss Baby has very limited violence, but it might still worry young children. For example:

  • Scenes show dart guns being fired.
  • A loved stuffed toy animal is beheaded. This is presented in a funny way.
  • Two characters slap and hit each other several times throughout the movie. This is also presented in a funny way.
  • There are chase sequences throughout the movie, which show the characters feeling afraid and running away from evil villains. They’re also captured in some scenes.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Children in this age group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.

From 5-8
Nothing of concern

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The Boss Baby shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Two young boys are served champagne when on a plane trip to Las Vegas.
  • There are references to a young character having tried a Long Island Iced Tea (a cocktail) and disliking it.

Nudity and sexual activity

The Boss Baby shows mild nudity. For example:

  • One scene shows a baby’s bare bottom.
  • Women wear revealing clothing at a bachelorette party.

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in The Boss Baby, but tie-in merchandise might be marketed to children.

Coarse language

The Boss Baby has some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Boss Baby is a movie about the infinite quality of family love and people’s capacity to care for many individuals in their lives. Although children might worry that a new sibling will reduce the attention they get from their parents, there’s often no limit on the love that parents offer and families share. The movie also strongly emphasises the importance of working together as a team, and of being open to changing your first opinion of someone.

Children under five years might find some scenes scary, and you could talk about some of the movie’s scenes and themes with children over five years.

For example, The Boss Baby could give you the opportunity to talk about sibling jealousy and the complex relationships that parents have with their children. You could also talk about the nature of the business world as shown in the movie, and ask your children whether being competitive and ruthless has worthwhile or damaging consequences.

 
 
  • Last Reviewed 2017-03-31