EP Brandon Sawyer Discusses ‘The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib’
The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib is the latest entry to the franchise. Following the popularity of the DreamWorks Animation film based on the Marla Frazee children’s book, there was a sequel, an interactive special, and two television series based on it.
Based on what happened in the previous films, the newest installment, The Boss Baby: Back to Crib, has Teddy, now an adult, go into hiding in his old life at Baby Corp.
Ahead of The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib’s May 19 Netflix release, Executive Producer Brandon Sawyer talked about how the film’s theatrical events will be built upon to produce a huge leap forward for the series in the exclusive interview.
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In addition, he talked about what makes the show so beloved by viewers and what has changed the most about working as a writer in the western animation industry.
Brandon Sawyer Interview
A surprising turn is made in the show’s first episode, and the stakes are raised for the characters. What led you and the rest of the crew to this particular plotline?
It all started with the simple realization that Teddy is no longer a baby. He’s an adult, but we’ve watched a rough cut of The Boss Baby: Family Business when we were designing this, and we realized that this technology could bring him back to the baby world.
So, honestly, it just came out of that first question of what would make him do that? Why would he be a baby again?
Because of that, we wondered aloud in our writing room: What if we set them up as suspects in their own cases? As soon as the thought occurred to me, I felt like… Everything came together.
A beautiful family dynamic is created in which they must allow him in, even though we would prefer to see him leave. I really enjoyed seeing how far we could go with our sense of fun in a show.
Teddy’s interactions with his nieces seem to be the heart and soul of the show. What was it like to collaborate with you, especially in light of your previous work on The Boss Baby: Back in Business as an EP?
Absolutely. When I watched what Tom McGrath, Michael McCullers, and others were doing with the film, I was equally enthralled by it. As soon as I observed Tina’s character development, I was hooked.
As a viewer who had only seen the rough cut, I was impressed by the thought of a baby working at the same company as Teddy, but with a much more evolved understanding of work-life balance. As a child, the Boss Baby was obsessed with work and accomplishment.
Working for Tina doesn’t mean she’s miserable; it’s a means to an end. Boss Baby experienced a sea change. One of these other things, we simply knew that was it. That’s what the show is all about.
Because she has a romanticized image of Uncle Teddy because of the character Tabitha in the film… Is there anything further we can do with this idea? What kind of villain is she if she has a crush on him?
The episodes, particularly the pilot, contain some comedic material that will resonate more with adults than children. It’s difficult to write a comedy that appeals to both adults and children at the same time. What do you keep in mind while writing the scripts?
It’s a lot more authentic. At this point, I’ve been writing for kids for about two decades. It’s only that I reside there. Because I enjoy it, I don’t have to think about it “Okay, how do we get something for kids? How do we get something for the adults?” In a way that both emotionally and logically makes sense, this is just plain amusing.
What changes have you noticed in the animation industry since you first entered it?
It’s purely from a writing perspective. One of the first signs that something had shifted for me was my involvement with the Boss Baby: Back in the Business trilogy.
Laughter is increasingly being serialized. At the beginning of my career, I did the majority of my work for cable. “Well, we have to be able to air in any order that we want, so make sure there’s no continuity,” explains the director. It’s fine that it’s just one episode at a time. That is, without a doubt, appropriate.
I’m so excited to say that I play an all grown up Tim Templeton in The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib, which is now on Netflix!!! pic.twitter.com/m2S1ocxMiK
— Max Mittelman (@MaxMittelman) May 19, 2022
The rise of streaming and the knowledge that this will be released in batches, will be a season and will exist as a whole thing has opened up new storytelling opportunities for creators and producers. We’ll be able to keep track of stories. Characters can be developed by us.
It is possible to alter relationships and even alter the show’s dynamic in ways that we previously were not allowed to. Writing-wise, this has been a lot of fun and liberating. That adds a level of sophistication that everyone can enjoy.
Having worked in this industry before, what do you think makes the infant in a suit so fascinating to audiences?
Yes, that’s a great question. One of the things going on, in my opinion, is the inherent ridiculousness of the situation. It’s this craziness that’s rooted in reality. When Marla Frazee wrote the first Boss Baby book, she came up with the brilliant, yet simple, concept that a baby is the head of the household.
Having a sibling or child, this baby just comes into the world and takes over. Take that beautiful, simple concept and make it literal. Both Milo’s and Tom and Mike’s work with the original film were geniuses in this regard. It just grows and grows and grows into this wonderful, crazy, and yet somehow relatable thing.
The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib, a new Netflix original series, will premiere on May 19.
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