Here comes a film in which a little blonde baby voiced by Alec Baldwin takes over the house into which he arrives. No doubt there will be kicking, screaming and tantrums in Dreamworks’ latest animation The Boss Baby. And with Alec Baldwin recently keeping very busy impersonating a certain new American President on Saturday Night Live, it’s a little surprising to hear that The Boss Baby will not also be tweeting incessantly that he’s going to make everything great again. SO great.
Apart from the lack of direct references to Donald Trump, The Art of The Boss Baby covers every possible corner of the design and work that has gone into producing the film. The Boss Baby may look like Trump sitting behind his desk on The Apprentice right from the cover of this book, but don’t expect any political pops at the President within.
There is much more talk of Baldwin owning the character and being perfect to play the businessman baby as a call-back to his iconic role in Glengarry Glen Ross. It’s just about enough to ensure you won’t Always Be Closing this book. There’s also a foreword by Alex Baldwin that is really just a complete love-in as he praises all of the team that worked on the film.
Author Ramin Zahed does a great job collecting input from both the key production staff at Dreamworks in Hollywood and also some of the unit that worked on the film in Bangalore. The book also highlights the amount of work done in Bangalore from surfacing, modelling and visual effects to matte painting and lighting. There is some quite good insight here; many contributors talk of harking back to classic animation styles rather than going for a photo-realistic aesthetic, but it’s still not the prettiest book to look at as a result.
Most interesting are the character sketches that reveal the development of the characters, their design and how their emotions will be conveyed. A whole section on the locations in the film is far less inspiring, but it looks to be the characters and their relationships that will make or break the film. Director Tom McGrath repeatedly refers to the film as a love letter to older siblings.
The Art of Boss Baby is a perfectly serviceable entry into the The Art of... series but its images are not as breathtaking as other entries and therefore this is one coffee table book that may only appeal to serious animation buffs and completists.
THE ART OF THE BOSS BABY / AUTHOR: RAMIN ZAHED / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: 10TH FEBRUARY