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The Boss Baby (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Boss Baby wanted in on some of that Zootopia cash in 2017. The trailer was one of those that was paired with Rogue One: A Star War Story and also hooked on to Sing! Yeah, those are some really successful movies that also had an attendance of young children and families. While it was no Zootopia in terms of the box office, a half a million dollars (Well, inches from it) is nothing to sniff at. No, this film didn’t really gather to my interest at all with the trailer, as it looked pretty expected and easy given what they were trying for, but my children were excited by it and really wanted to see it. I didn’t get them to the theater for it, but I am able to rectify that now. You can too, if you so choose (And at the highest standard for that matter), when the film releases on the 4K Ultra-HD format on July 25th.

Film 

A new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narr ator — a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. The most unusual Boss Baby arrives at Tim’s home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. The instant sibling rivalry must soon be put aside when Tim discovers that Boss Baby is actually a spy on a secret mission, and only he can help thwart a dastardly plot that involves an epic battle between puppies and babies.

Its that simple little tale for kids ready to endure or learning to live with that new baby sibling. Maybe even a little thing for parents to think about what their oldest (Or older ones) may be going through during this time of growth and change.  Its neat for a little bit, but overall kinda tires and really doesn’t go anywhere or feel like things were learned, just that movies have to reach a conclusion and since this is an animated movie, it should probably be a crowd pleasing, satisfying one. Its not the worst, its not a complete waste, but its nonetheless an also ran amidst a lot of these non-Disney/non-Pixar films.

One problem this movie has is that it doesn’t know how to tighten up, and stretches its premise to wide and too thin.  Its also afraid to be a really short film. That’s not a bad thing, people! Around the one hour and 18 minute mark, this film reached its most logical conclusion and a perfect place to close the door on The Boss Baby. Instead, the film still had 19 minutes left. In a kids film that you’re only mildly enjoying for the most part, that’s a damn eternity. And with me, this movie lost a lot of point when that happened.

The voice talent here is fine, but nothing too crazy happening. Not even Alec Baldwin is beyond anything crazy, even though he does a fine job. This is just sort of expected territory from him in the modern day. I like seeing Lisa Kudrow get work, but its a pretty bland part. Steve Buscemi feels like he’s resurrected his character from Monster House, both in his vocals and the look of the character to boot.

I’ve been hard on the film, but it really could have been a tighter film. Maybe not a better one, but a quicker, better paced one that might have been more effective.  There are some cool daydream sequences that work well and look very cool visually, but that’s all it has to offer that wasn’t shown in the trailers (Which played off some of the bigger laughs). The final act also feels a bit out of place and goes much too big, sinister and adventurous for what had transpired before. You know what, though? My kids liked it, so at the end of the day my bitching is moot. The target audience was pleased.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: The Boss Baby winds up coming over to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a result that’s similar to something of Sing!’s magnitude. Its an improvements, but only that its a little improvements in all aspects and a lot of people probably couldn’t tell the difference between them. The Blu-ray already looks awesome, and this is a little better than that, so its not bad, its just not a big jump. Details, sharpness, color and black saturation and appearance improve, but just baby steps. This one is no boss.

Depth:  Distance and confidence of the character/object movements are improved here. Its very confident with really smooth and free feeling camera movements. No jitter or blurring issues either.

Black Levels: Blacks are a little more saturated, but since this is animated, its just deep and dark. The color also gives a hand with shading as well. No crushing witnessed this was being watched for this review.

Color Reproduction: Colors are nice and get a little bit of an uptick with the HDR. Primary colors look really well.  A nice little improvement over the Blu-ray, but not a huge one. The part where you’ll recognize it most is during some of the really cool dream sequences with a neon glow to them.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English: Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS, Spanish 5.1 DTS, Catalan 5.1 DTS, Danish 5.1 DTS, Dutch 5.1 DTS, Finnish 5.1 DTS, German 5.1 DTS, Italian 5.1 DTS, Norwegian 5.1 DTS, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Swedish 5.1 DTS, Chinese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Flemish 5.1 DTS

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Simplified Mandarin, Traditional Mandarin, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: Now here’s an advantage over the standard Blu-ray. They’ve included a Dolby Atmos track on the 4K Ultra-HD. There is a good boost in the overall quality of the track through the layering and depth. Effects are more crisp and well rounded. The volume levels are much better set, making for a very balanced and healthy mix of those said effects with the music/score and vocals. This film features some really awesome moments here and there, and this track really displays them very well.

Height: Ceiling speakers are mostly held to assisting big moments and ambiance, but in a few spots they did get to have their own fun.

Low Frequency Extension: Rockets blasting off, engine hums, crashing, thumping and hitting, blaster sounds and more big booming moments get the sub pumping.

Surround Sound Presentation: This Atmos track is a fun, well realized trip around the room with all the speakers being thought out. Movement is accurate and swooping with bravado. The rear channels get their own things to do time to time but also carry some dynamite ambiance that brings to life the environment seen throughout the movie.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and clear. The voice acting really gets the full range of sounds from the mouths of its performer.

Extras 

The Boss Baby comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and an UltarViolet Digital Copy of the film. All bonus material is found on the Blu-ray disc.

Babycorp and You (HD, 3:03) – An orientation video with the Boss Baby himself.

The Forever Puppy Informercial (HD, 2:09) – An infomercial commercial about a cute puppy. That’s pretty much what it is.

Babies vs. Puppies: Who Do You Love? (HD, 3:26) – A news station wants to get tot he bottom of this question.

The Boss Baby and Tim’s Treasure Hunt Through Time (HD, 3:35) – A new mini-adventure for this release.

The Boss Baby’s Undercover Team (HD, 2:17) – A featurette focusing on the side characters in the movie.

Cookies Are for Closers: Inside Babycorp (HD, 3:37) – A quick, commercial-like video with the cast briefly talking about the story and characters.

The Great Sibling Competition (HD, 3:27) – The cast and a few crew members tells stories of what its like to have a sibling growing up along with their memories.

Happy Accidents: The Deleted Scenes of The Boss Baby (HD, 11:30) – Presented as concept art with introductions from the director and producer.

Gallery (HD, 3:03)

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:01)

The World of DreamWorks Animation (HD) – Snippets and music videos from other Dreamworks animated movies.

Sneak Peek (HD) – Trailers for other Dreamworks releases.

Summary 

Well, The Boss Baby wasn’t horrendous, but for the most part wasn’t my cup of tea when it comes to animated movies. The kids dug it though, and that’s all that matters. And they’d probably have been fine with just a standard Blu-ray. This one’s an improvement of that, but just marginally. Picture is a little better (Probably not much for those who can’t see these things) and the audio steps up to Atmos from an already terrific 7.1 track. Extras are the Blu-ray Disc’s, so even more reason. Its the best, but maybe not the most essential.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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