Blog Project #2

1.  INTRODUCE your subject.
. Tell why you chose this particular movie, book or recording. Why does it stand out? Is it in the news?
- The movie I chose for this assignment was, The Boss Baby, because I watched it last night and it is a new movie. It stood out to me because it looked cute in the trailer that I saw in previews for other movies. I have not seen this movie being talked about in the news, only previews.

. Include a movie trailer or picture from the film; or a photo of the author or the book cover; or a YouTube video of the artist performing one of her/his songs.  Select a visual element that stands out!
- The Boss Baby trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2Bsw3lrhvs


2.  Do some background research on the subject, citing your sources.
. DESCRIBE the subject of your blog post in detail.
- The movie, The Boss Baby, is about a little boy, Tim, who is an only child, and his parents who are living a very happy life. In the movie, the family of three becomes a family of four when the Boss Baby arrives in a taxi from Baby Corp. Baby Corp. is where babies come from in this movie, the babies are either chosen to be sent to a family, or be sent to work for Baby Corp. The Boss Baby was sent to work for Baby Corp. and eventually was sent to Tim’s home to spy on Tim’s family. Baby Boss is spying on Tim’s family because Tim’s parents work for Puppy Co. which is producing a “Forever Puppy” that will out weigh the balance in the secret war between babies and puppies for the gain of love. This is an intricate tale that follows a humorous storyline that allows the audience a window to see what an active imagination of an only child can lead to.

. Add some background information such as a brief biography of the movie’s director or lead actors; the author of the book; or the musician or band.  Include a short list of their previous work or awards they’ve won.  Tell us something we didn’t already know!
- The director of the movie, Thomas McGrath, was born on August 7th, 1964. Thomas is, “an American film director, animator, and voice actor”(Wikipedia). He is know for co-directing the Madagascar movies, Flushed Away, Shrek the third, and the short films of the penguins in Madagascar. He studied industrial design at the University of Washington and then graduated from the Character Animation Program at Cal Arts.


. If you choose a movie or book, summarize the plot in only a few sentences -- and don’t spoil the ending!
- The plot of the movie,The Boss Baby, is there is only a certain amount of love in the world and two major companies, Baby Corp. and Puppy Co., are in a war to gain the most love. This war landed on Tim Templeton’s doorstep and changed his life for the better.

. Note how the product did in terms of sales, box office, best-seller lists, etc.
- The Boss Baby's production budget was $125,000,000, says The Numbers website. Their total worldwide box office sales were $492,623,108.


4.  ANALYZE the subject.
. How is it similar and different from other work by that artist? Cite EXAMPLES.
. How it is similar and different from other works in that genre? Again, include EXAMPLES.
- It is similar in genre of other movies directed by Thomas McGrath such as, Madagascar and Flushed Away because all of these movies are directed at children and are animated. They all are humorous, heartfelt, and have a message within the film. The Boss Baby is different from Madagascar and Flushed Away because the main characters in The Boss Baby are people, while in McGraths other movies the main characters are animals.
Link to Madagascar trailer: https://youtu.be/draFZ6lLvA0


5.  After you’ve analyzed it, offer some INTERPRETATION.
. Why is this piece of art/culture important?  Why does it matter?
- This film is important because it carries the message that there is enough love between two parents for all of their children. This movie really touched on how it feels to be a single child and then how it feels to introduce a new baby into the life of that child. It focused more on how the older boy, Tim, was feeling about having to share his parents and how tough it was for him. I believe the topic of introducing a new baby into the family matters because that does happen a lot in families and it is cool that they give people who may have gone through that transition a movie to relate to.

. Does it reflect a trend in our culture? Cite some EXAMPLES.
- I do not really see much of a connection to our current culture.This is simply a heartwarming children’s movie. If there is one thing I could point out that draws a connection to our current culture is the family of Ted’s that is the dream life for our children to strive for. While the American Dream has changed over the years the one thing that has stayed constant is the want to start a family. There seems to be this underlying need to create a family.

. Who is the TARGET AUDIENCE?
- I believe the target audience is children ages 8 to 12, it is definitely a movie that anyone can enjoy, I mean I watched it so it could target adults as well.

. Does it include STEREOTYPES or OFFENSIVE MESSAGES? EXAMPLES? If not, how are those avoided? Explain, and cite examples.
- As I stated before, this was a children/family movie. There were not many stereo types nor offensive language. The target audience that the movie was aiming to draw in was not the type of audience that would enjoy stereotypes and especially offensive language. There were a few subliminal messages dropped here and there by the Boss Baby(Alec Baldwin) but it was way over the heads of younger audience members.

6.  Next, make an EVALUATION.
What are its STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES? Use specific EXAMPLES.

- The Boss Baby’s strengths were that it used the cuteness effect, so while watching the movie you see all these cute babies, or puppies. It definitely tries to draw the viewer in by being humorous, for example, using a baby to portray the personality of a Businessman. The weakness the movie had was that the trailer revealed all of the funny parts, so the actual movie was kind of dull. Another weakness that I saw within the film, while it was great for an audience for children, there were a few holes within the plot and made it a little difficult as an older person to follow the storyline. I am a firm believer that you do not reveal all the funny parts in the trailers and when it came time to see the actual film it almost seemed anticlimactic.

. Is this movie, book or music good, bad or mediocre?
- The movie was mediocre, I think I expected a lot more from seeing the trailer, and then when I watched the actual movie it was not as great.

. Is it the best piece of work by this artist?  Or does it fall below her/his usual standards?
- The Boss Baby actually was fourth out of the ten that were listed and scored on the website, Rotten Tomatoes. (Link for list) https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/tom_mcgrath/. It does fall below McGrath’s usual standards since he is the director of the Madagascar movies, Megamind, and other movies that have done pretty well in the past.

. Is it memorable, or will it be forgotten next week?  Tell why.
- For me, this movie was not memorable because it really did not tug at my heartstrings or have any significance to me. I like movies that are either sequels to other movies, like Madagascar, because it reminds me of my childhood. The Boss Baby could be good for making memories in younger children, but I think I needed to be able to relate a little bit more to make it a memorable movie.

. IMPORTANT: What do the professional critics think?  Look up some of their reviews online and cite a few of their comments. How does your take compare to theirs?
- According to Rotten Tomatoes, The Boss Baby scored a 51% from the critics and a 53% from the audience. One review from top critic, Matthew Lickona, was “I could have done without the kewpie-doll faces and oversized eyes, but for the most part and where it counts, The Boss Baby gets its kids just right” (Rotten Tomatoes). I agree with this review because they used a lot of the cuteness factor and not a lot of other things to pull people into the movie. Another review from top critic, John Semley, was “ It's the rare cartoon that actually feels like a cartoon, propelled by its goofiness and sheer energy and rarely bogged down by boring, polemical lesson-learning” (Rotten Tomatoes). I do agree with this review because The movie was definitely to trying to just teach its audience life lessons, it was goofy and fun instead.

7.  Beyond writing this blog post, how did you ENGAGE with the subject?
How is the author, musician, movie producer using SOCIAL MEDIA? How many “likes” or “followers” do they have? What are people saying?
- The movie producer used social media by putting trailers up on Facebook, so as I was scrolling through my feed I have stumbled across it a couple times. The Boss Baby actually does have a Facebook page that has 1.6 million likes. I looked the movie up on Instagram, but it seems that a lot of people have made a page, that do not work for Dreamworks, so it is kind of unreliable. There is one that kind of looks reliable and that page has about 8,000 followers.
Link to The Boss Baby’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebossbaby/


. Did you go out and buy another book, CD or DVD featuring this artist?
- I did not go out and buy another movie from this director recently, but I have a lot of movies that he has made from my past.

. Did you look up this artist’s work online or on YouTube?
- For research on this Director I have looked online. I went through Rotten Tomatoes and  IMDb for more information on the movies ratings and more information about the director himself. Another useful website I used was wikipedia which broke down all of the artists history and previous work he has completed.

. What do your friends or family think of this work?
- My family loves the movies Madagascar and Megamind and those movies have been seen by my family and I for many years. My family thinks the movies do a good job on being numerous in a more appropriate way than some other movies. And they also really enjoyed the 80’s music that played throughout the movie, Megamind.

8.  Wrap up with a SUMMARY of your findings and conclusions.
- In summary, while this movie is great for children it simply was not my cup of tea. I enjoyed small parts throughout but it did not live up to the hype that the trailer created. The main thing that I took away from this was being able to look at something as simple as a children’s movie and break it down into something more. I feel that it is very easy to look over the message the director is trying to get across to the audience and sometimes it takes a little more effort to understand it all. Although this movie was not for me, I would suggest this to family and friends that have little children hanging around.

. Also note what you learned by doing this critique.
- Doing this critique was fun and enjoyable but, it was also hard to take a step back and look further into certain aspects of a movie. I know critiquing is essential and allows the people a heads up before doing or seeing anything but I found it difficult to do. While there were some aspects that I would change about this movie I still appreciate that the director and the movie cast portraying an idea in a way that they saw fit. It is safe to say I will not be a professional movie critique any time soon.




References:
- Tom McGrath (animator). (2017, July 31). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_McGrath_(animator)
- The Boss Baby (2017) - Financial Information. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Boss-Baby-The#tab=video-sales
- McCullers, M. (2017, August 07). The Boss Baby. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_boss_baby

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