By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
DreamWorks’ continuing adventures with The Boss Baby may well be this animation studio’s most under-appreciated franchise. It takes inspiration from the picture book by Marla Frazee, and the Netflix series further develops the relationship between Boss Baby and Tim. The first season saw them team up to deal with Mega Fat CEO Baby, and the second with the elderly for who needs care more. The third deals with Bubbeezee, a firm whose products are said to keep infants safe from harm.
While fans are waiting for the next theatrical sequel, this series fills in the intervening time nicely. The overarching storylines churned out here takes time to develop and can’t be told in a traditional five act format. This latest season merely hints at how a seemingly simple safety product can go south, but when Boss Baby has been fired, he can’t do much until he gets his job back.
“Bossa Nova” sets up the unfortunate situation where Boss Baby (Theodore Templeton) is blamed for the situations from the last two seasons. He’s unceremoniously let go and with very little to do, other than be a baby, he soon meets Mega Fat in his new life. They amusingly reconcile, and soon the rival becomes an ally when they find their parents are convinced to use Bubbeezee to keep their kids safe.
Young Tim is going to school. Without him to help Theo out, he needs even more help. A few episodes can be skipped to get to the fun, and to what Boss Baby’s new team discovers. Even the puppies have their own agenda, which may waggle its way as the plot to season four. As per previous seasons, Baby Corp is facing trouble not only internally but also externally. If it’s not with kids wanting to rise up the corporate ladder, it’s with the elderly, cats or other groups because the struggle is often over who deserves attention.
After “Halloween” and “Who’s a Good Baby?” just what Boss Baby returns to leaves viewers in a perfect cliffhanger. I didn’t think this series could continue after season one. The next one offered food for thought by challenging viewers to consider that both babies and seniors are deserving for mutual care rather than distinguishing. The current season suggests we shouldn’t depend on technology either. The commentary makes viewing this series a pleasure, especially when it deals with who needs the most care.
As for how long this series will last when compared to other DreamWorks animation titles that made it to television (three or four seasons seems to be the norm), ’m sure it’ll keep going till 2021 at least, when the next film releases.