Reel Reviews: ‘Born in China’ and ‘The Boss Baby’

By on April 26, 2017

For children …or adults?

DisneyNature, the real-life documentary arm of the worldwide juggernaut, has been putting out films since 2007 when they debuted “Earth.” This year’s installment is “Born in China,” a look at three of the Asian country’s prized creatures &tstr;a panda named Ya Ya; Tao Tao, a mischievous golden monkey; and Dawa, a snow leopard &tstr; with a stork bookending the plot and getting its full due during the credits.

Narrated by John Krasinski (NBC’s “The Office”), the film follows the animals and their families through the seasons and captures their hardships and joys. There are bits of laugh-out-loud shenanigans and charm mixed with the harsh reality of life in one of the most remote and unforgiving environments in the world. The cinematography is breathtaking and awe inspiring; viewers get to see behind the scenes bits of the filming process during the end credits.

I went to see “Born in China” under the assumption it was a movie for kids. I’m not so sure this is a fact. Even though the movie is filled with “awwww!” inspiring moments of adorability, it centers on the deep discourse of our collective mortality. It may have been the time of day I went to the theater, but I was easily the only individual under the age of 60 watching “Born in China.” This fact may say as much about the intent of this movie as anything else: we were all children once and we will all one day die. Cute can only carry so many days before humanity needs to ponder the meaning of life and death.

“Born in China” is a perfect rated G movie. However, not to beat a dead horse, it should be known if taking little ones: expect to answer a lot of questions about life and death as inquisitive minds reel from the cycle of life.

Stay tuned for DisneyNature’s “Dolphins” due out this time next year, which follows Echo, who tries to fit into dolphin society and resist the adventures of the broad ocean.

DisneyNature’s newest film, “Born in China,” follows the lives of several native animals, including a panda named Ya Ya. (image from

DisneyNature’s newest film, “Born in China,” follows the lives of several native animals, including a panda named Ya Ya. (image from

‘The Boss Baby’

With the recent resurgence in the popularity of Alec Baldwin via his Saturday Night Live caricature of President Trump, I figured “The Boss Baby” would be a sure hit, since he voices the main character. Well…

Baldwin is Boss Baby, a seemingly grown up mind trapped in the body of a toddler. Boss Baby makes it to the home of the Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi), who before was an only child in full glamour of his parents’ (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) attention. Boss Baby and Tim eventually bond as they team up to take down Francis Francis (Steve Buscemi), the CEO of Puppy Co., who is bent on creating the world’s cutest puppy in order to eliminate the desire for children.

Filled with bits of crass humor and flashy animation, “The Boss Baby” is a mediocre movie at best. The best part is Tim’s Gandalf-like wizard alarm clock, Wizzie (James McGrath), who spouts references to “Lord of the Rings.”

A tad boring, especially for parents and older children, it’s just a poor showing from DreamWorks who can hopefully rebound with “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” in June.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at

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