It’s not uncommon for stars to speak for a moment or two before a trailer for their upcoming film, hyping the release a touch while lending their celebrity directly to the proceedings. Especially for animated projects such as the upcoming The Boss Baby, it’s helpful to see the talent’s face as a reassurance of the film’s pedigree. But it almost looks like the Academy Award-nominated actor is trying to hold a straight face when he reads the words, “You are seconds away from seeing a sneak peek of Dreamwork’s new animated film The Boss Baby. I’m so excited for you. Really.” That little “really” tacked on to the end makes it sound like he’s got something to prove. Baldwin knows exactly what he’s gotten himself into. He knows how the phrase “The Boss Baby, starring Alec Baldwin” sounds.
Ever the consummate professional, he holds his composure while cuing up the clip in promotion of the upcoming family comedy with a due date of March 31. Baldwin himself voices a super-intelligent infant who infiltrates a home under the guise of a newborn, with the clandestine mission of winning adult affection back from puppies on behalf of all babykind. But the tot’s slightly older sibling catches wind of this undercover plot and takes it upon himself to foil the Boss Baby before it’s too late, eventually coming around and joining forces with the precocious little megalomaniac. One can connect the dots and assume they’ll learn to peacefully coexist under the same roof, leaving the audience with a little lesson about adapting to a changing family.
Aside from that, it’s a little hard to watch Baldwin go through the many indignities of the Boss Baby trailer, especially when his character comes right out and says, “This is humiliating.” Is Baldwin himself not a boss baby of sorts, forced to toil in the form of a pint-size cartoon and defile his past performances with kid-friendly parody? (The “Put. The cookie. Down.” moment is a heartbreaker.) Are the tiny computer-animated farting buttocks featured in the trailer not a yawning abyss into which all of us must gaze as we age and take work that challenges our artistic integrity? No, no they are not. Baldwin is excited for us. Really.