Anyone with younger siblings out there? Pop quiz: When you saw your new little brother or sister arrive into the family, what was your immediate reaction? Were you afraid he or she might detract your attention from mom and dad? Did you anticipate you would somehow have to love this factory of poopy diapers? Is it even worth it to have a sibling after all?
DreamWorks’ newest feature The Boss Baby, based on the children’s book by Marla Frazee, explores those concepts for all of twenty minutes, then fills in the remaining run time with the usual tasteless humor and adult references expected by the studio made famous by Shrek. While the supporting cast gives somewhat decent voice performances, nothing else of memorable interest defines their characters. The whole focus lands on the one big star on the poster.
After recent critical praise on SNL, Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Cooler) now makes his second portrayal of our current blonde, small-handed president in a form for the kiddos. He tells his whole story to us, where he came from, how he got here, and why. You see, a corporation exists out in the heavens called “Baby Corp,” a business composed of babies. No reason going into where they came from, or the intent of their mission statement, you’re not supposed to think too hard about it. Why? Because make-believe, duh!
Baby Corp’s workers go across a machine that powders their butts, applies their diapers, and categorizes them based on how ticklish they are. If they’re ticklish, they are sent to a couple’s doorstep. If not, they are sent to management—an enormous office setting built out of baby supplies such as crayons on their desk. Now no more pressure in explaining to your kids where babies come from! DreamWorks’ masterpiece will make them believe their lie, no problem! Then they’ll stop asking you about it and you two can go back to your happy time in the bedroom!
Anyway, the one resembling a miniature Trump gets sent to management, then from there to the doorstep to lead a mission against their ultimate enemy: puppies! Specifically, he has his motives set on stopping the new brand by Puppy Co., the “Forever Puppy,” an immortal infinitely young dog breed. Yet he needs the assistance of the family’s seven-year-old son. Yes, I know. Riveting, isn’t it? Well, maybe so if you were the same age as the two leading kids. Then again…
…if the demographic targets families of kids all ages, why does it include baby powder farts, a censor block over the infant’s privates, pant zipper music, and a doggie inflatable bouncy house with an exit through its anus? There are also subtle signs of mistreatment towards puppies: they are seen hanging from balloons at a convention, as if animal cruelty laws don’t apply. Obviously, the makers of this fast-paced childish noise don’t care about growing up, just painting adults as the villains of a boy’s elaborate imagination where he has to lie to solve his problems. Judging by what we see on Fox News, I say we need some adulthood, and such movies are not helping today’s kids grow up!
The main child, Tim, offers a particularly damaging mindset for kids to look through, as virtually everything he sees is filtered through his rainbow-tinted glasses. Even if the fantasies’ altered 2-D style of animation look fun and stylistic, the concept of his talking baby brother back in the 3-D animation style would suggestively reflect how he feels about having a new sibling, which many narrative points blaringly contradict. Plus, a one point, they’re at an airport together, and not one adult notices the unaccompanied minors. I’m sorry, the concept sounds funny and all, but I can’t buy into it until it decides what to be.
The Boss Baby is not the type of entertainment you sit down and enjoy together, but rather the type of brash noise used to calm your child’s temper tantrums for a measly hour and a half so you two can enjoy some peace and quiet by yourselves for once. You can count on time getting wasted both in the theater and at home with this heap, so you’re better off using Disney or Pixar to divert your kid’s attention, or even using these modes of entertainment as experiences for the parents and children to enjoy together. Anything to get you away from a miniature Alec Baldwin barfing on screen works just fine.
A lot of people can relate to growing up over a little sibling, including the different uncertainties accompanying the parents’ focus diverting to somebody besides themselves. While I myself cannot relate to being the youngest growing up, movies such as The Boss Baby depict pretty strongly a child’s thought process when the family gets a new baby.
Think about it, all of a sudden, you are no longer the focus of mom and dad’s attention. Somebody smaller and needier alters the entire routine for the whole household. An extra amount of stench and junk builds up everywhere due to filled diapers, accidents, and new toys for the tike to experiment tasting.
Any child would find the new addition of a younger brother or sister to bring out all sorts of mixed emotions, which receive a deeper layer added when the older sibling has autism.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #73: It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl!
Anybody on the autism spectrum craves routine, and predictability sustains their daily routines. If anything disrupts their day, it feels like a sudden storm rages inside of them. So when a new sibling arrives, it’s not like a temporary change comes in how things are done, this lasts permanently. Nothing can help them anticipate change, as we all know how unpredictable babies can be.
In The Boss Baby, the main kid and his parents had a nightly routine: they sang songs, read stories, and kissed him goodnight. But after the new baby arrived, they no longer had time for that routine. So the kid ended up feeling alienated from his very parents. This same type of thing can happen to any child. For the case of autism, the ASD child may take more action to make sure the routine remains uninterrupted. Further motives may be taken as well, such as throwing a fit, possibly even competing against the baby in who can sound louder.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #38: They Dislike Not Getting Their Way.
You can guess the insurmountable stress put on these parents compared to most others without kids on the autism spectrum.
Then the kids grow up. From here there are all sorts of new concerns across each progressing stage in each child. My parents have told me they felt blessed while my sister and I were growing up, as whenever one of us reached a stage when we were particularly needy, the other didn’t need as much attention. When my sister was four to five years old, she reached a phase of whining for attention, while I was at a point of staying occupied for hours putting puzzles together. Then when I was in middle school getting part-time homeschooling from my parents, they used my partially occupied preteen mind as an advantage to focusing on my then teenage sister, who as you could imagine, had several growing pains I knew nothing about.
Not one answer can universally explain what to do on a stage-by-stage basis of your kids’ maturation, as it drastically differs based on your kids’ unique identities and how far apart they are in age. It is all based on trial and error on your part, taking time to know each of your children’s separate needs, and making sure everyone’s happy.
- Before the baby’s birth, make sure you let your autistic child know exactly what to expect: everything from now on is unexpected. Get started right away in preparing your child for an unpredictable daily routine
- If your only child does have autism, seriously discuss with your spouse about whether or not you are all ready for another addition to the family. Your ASD child deserves output as well, not just the two of you.
- Here is a good article to get you started on ideas about how to help your autistic older sibling adjust to a new baby. This is not just an article specific to autism, it will help any of you parents expecting a second child.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Boss Baby, The. 20th Century Fox. Web. <http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-boss-baby>.
Renée Bacher. Big-Sibling Blues. Parents. Meredith Corporation. Web. <http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/positive/adjusting-to-new-siblings/>.
Saturday Night Live. Oval Office Cold Open - SNL. Video. YouTube, 5 Feb 2017. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZOF9q5fzfs>.