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When Linus Met Sally and Other Famous Fictional Couples

VALENTINE'S DAY
You have to be pretty hard-hearted to not get a least a little lump in your thought when you think of some of fictional couples. But have you ever stopped to think just how these crazy lovebirds ever got together? The answers may surprise you.

Linus Van Pelt and Sally Brown
According to the comic strip, Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally was born on May 26, 1959 where Charlie marked the occasion by passing out chocolate cigars to his friends. She grew up quickly. She took her first steps on August 22, 1960 and she fell in love with Linus, Lucy’s brother, on the next day. It was love at first sight, at least on her part. Sally has often referred to Linus as her “Sweet Baboo.” Her dedication to her man seems endless. She has missed out on “tricks and treats” by sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin and she was incensed that Linus would snub her a Valentine’s gift in favor for his teacher, Miss Othmar. Still, she clings hopelessly in love with the stripe …

‘The Boss Baby’ is Tops

The Boss Baby review
Alec Baldwin as "the Boss" and Miles Christopher Bakshi as "Tim" in The Boss Baby (DreamWorks)

MOVIE REVIEW

In our animated world where every cartoon character, board game and app gets their own movie, it’ nice to see Hollywood take a step back a bit and start from scratch. Okay, so The Boss Baby wasn’t completely built from the ground up. It was inspired by the children’s picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee, but the book only lays the ground work. Director Tom McGrath took it from there.

Despite what you think the movie is about from seeing the TV commercials that only highlight the hijinks that little ones will appreciate, The Boss Baby is actually a lot more clever than it first appears. It’s like two movies pushed into one. The kids will like all the silly cartoony things that happen on the screen, but their parents will enjoy the “old school” look to the animation, the many different references to other movies and the film’s wit. In the screening I attended, there were parts in the story where the kids would laugh while parents sat silent and then vice versa.

Mom (Lisa Kudrow), Dad (Jimmy Kimmel) and  the
Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin). 
The Boss Baby opens with a narration by and older Tim (Tobey Maquire) looking back on his childhood admitting that he had an over-active imagination when he was younger when his baby brother arrived. In his memory, he swears that his sibling arrived by taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. He of course is alarmed by this, but it doesn’t seem to bother Tim’s parents at all. Tim is sure that this baby is up to no good, and with a voice that comes from Alec Baldwin, who could blame him? Soon, the jig is up and the baby admits that he is no regular baby. He’s on a special mission and when it is over, he’ll leave and if Tim helps, he could be leaving even sooner. In a subplot, puppies just might take over the world if these two don’t come to the rescue.

Now, before you roll your eyes, you need to realize that part of this story is being told from a seven-year-old boy’s point of view. The audience gets to see that most of the antics are figments of Tim’s imagination and the story as a whole is a metaphor about the struggles older children face when new siblings come into the family. They fear that the new members will get all of mom and dad’s love and leave nothing left for them.

The Boss Baby features an excellent voice cast including Jimmy Kimmel as “Dad,” Lisa Kudrow as “Mom” and newcomer Miles Christopher Bakshi as Tim. (Miles’ grandfather used to work on Mighty Mouse cartoons by the way.) The style of the cartoon is reminiscent of older Warner Bros. cartoons which is also a lot of fun. Now, the film is a little overly long during the last quarter of its run time, but overall, this is an excellent film that is actually “pro-family” which is a nice change in today’s more sarcastic fare.


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