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‘The Boss Baby’ vs. ‘Baby Driver’: Who Is the Better Movie Baby?

Ansel Elgort’s role in Edgar Wright’s upcoming ‘Baby Driver’ looks like infantile fun, and Alec Baldwin is playing an animated infant in a movie this year. Let’s determine which film baby takes all the marbles.

(20th Century Fox/TriStar Pictures)
(20th Century Fox/TriStar Pictures)

After spending some quality time dancing in a leather jacket with too-long tassles, Ansel Elgort made his return to the cinema landscape over the weekend with the release of the trailer for Baby Driver. Directed and written by Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is the story of a young getaway driver affectionately known as “Baby.” The two-and-a-half-minute trailer makes a derivative story (“Sexy, Moral Crime Guy Wants to Not Do Crime Anymore”) look incredibly fun, with an unhinged Jamie Foxx and a greasy Jon Hamm putting in time as a supporting players, a snappy soundtrack, and the requisite amount of awesome-looking car stunts. What’s more, the film also premiered this weekend at SXSW, and it already has Film Twitter abustle:

But it’d be neglectful to act as though Elgort is the only Baby making moves right now. In fact, before Baby Driver hits theaters in August, we will have to contend with this month’s arrival of Alec Baldwin’s Boss Baby, the titular character of a movie about a 7-year-old whose life is turned upside down when his parents bring home a baby who … dresses and acts like a corporate exec. I’m not going to pretend to have a solid grasp of The Boss Baby’s finer narrative details (why are the parents letting their baby wear a suit?). Since the Baby Driver trailer release, it has been grossly overshadowed in the Hollywood baby game.

To tip the scales back a little bit — or at least confirm that Baby Driver’s ascendency is fair — let’s throw these two movie babies into the proverbial ring, ask a few questions, and determine which deserves all the marbles. Literally: Babies love marbles.

Is the main character an actual baby?

For Baby Driver’s Baby, this is easy: Ansel Elgort is most definitely not an infant. Even though the word “baby” is said 10 times in the trailer, there is no real baby in Baby Driver.

The Boss Baby is a little more complicated. Now, I think Boss Baby is an actual baby, but I can’t say so with full confidence. It appears he might be an executive for, like, a baby market-research company? And he’s posing as this family’s infant child to gather data on why no one likes babies anymore? My question — besides, “Do you feel dead inside right now?” — is, is Boss Baby actually a baby, or did his baby market-research company perfect a science to turn adults into babies who sound like Alec Baldwin? Because the answer is yet unclear, Boss Baby gets only half a win here.

Which baby is cuter?

While this may seem like a continuation of the first question — because don’t actual babies always win a cute-off? — it’s not that simple. If @anselismylove is to be believed, Ansel Elgort is quite precious; meanwhile, the Boss Baby shirks the traditional rules of infancy by not being that cute. He’s always scowling and has a widow’s peak like Paul Ryan. And he’s creepy! If you dressed up a real baby in a suit it’d break Instagram, but Boss Baby just makes me uncomfortable.

Which baby yields better GIFs?

A knee-jerk reaction here would probably give the point to Baby Driver: That fishtail GIF is totes sick, am I right, bro? But we’ve all seen enough Transporter and Fast & Furious movies to be able to keep our cool when a guy aggressively downshifts. So Baby Driver yields OK GIFs, but The Boss Baby has Twitter on its side. Think about it: Arthur, SpongeBob SquarePants — meme culture loves subverting animated children’s fare for retweets. Who knows — this GIF of Boss Baby falling asleep at the dinner table could be the next Arthur’s Fist. Point for Boss Baby.

Who has the better job?

We’ve already been over how Boss Baby pays the bills; let’s never speak of it again. Baby from Baby Driver, on the other hand, is a getaway driver. A good one who wears red leather gloves, cranks tunes on his iPod, and makes driving a shiny red Subaru look awesome. But it’s not all glitz and glamour — you can never quit the job, and, if you try, all your coworkers threaten to murder your girlfriend. Boss Baby probably has better perks, but there’s nothing cool about doing focus groups. Elgort’s Baby wins here.

Which baby has a better signature line?

The competition here is between “One more job and I’m done,” and,“I’d kill for a spicy tuna roll right about now.” CAN YOU GUESS WHICH LINE IS BABY DRIVER’S? This round is stacked in Boss Baby’s favor because Alec Baldwin is great at talking and Ansel Elgort, an average talker, doesn’t say much in Baby Driver — and when he does, it’s all about “getting out.” On the other hand, a baby eating sushi!? Babies don’t do that!

Who has a cooler crew?

This isn’t really fair. Here’s the crew in Baby Driver:

(TriStar Pictures)
(TriStar Pictures)

And here’s the crew in Boss Baby:

(20th Century Fox)
(20th Century Fox)

One has Jon Hamm looking like he killed the Jon Hamm who does H&R Block commercials; the other does not. Point for Baby from Baby Driver.

Who has a better nemesis?

For every “I want out” hero, there’s a “I’ll break your legs if you don’t do this job” villain. Kevin Spacey plays that figure in Baby Driver. In The Boss Baby, it at first seems that the baby’s nemesis is his older brother, but the true enemy is the group cutting into babies’ market share: puppies. While I hate to see puppies villainized in mainstream media — why couldn’t The Boss Baby come for kittens instead? — I have to admit that making them the bad guys for once is an interesting move. Since Spacey’s character mostly looks like a retread — seriously, I’m already confusing him with Albert Brooks from Drive — I’ve gotta say Boss Baby has a better, more interesting, and more powerful nemesis.

That’s point, game, set, match for Boss Baby (3.5 points to three, for those of you keeping score). He is the better movie baby. I’m just as shocked as you are.