Baby Geniuses

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Baby Geniuses
Baby geniuses poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bob Clark
Produced by Steven Paul
Written by Steven Paul
Francisca Matos
Robert Grasmere
Starring Kathleen Turner
Christopher Lloyd
Kim Cattrall
Peter MacNicol
Ruby Dee
Music by Paul Zaza
Cinematography Stephen M. Katz
Edited by Stan Cole
Production
  company
Triumph Films
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s)
  • March 12, 1999 (1999-03-12)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
(adjusted by inflation: $16,988,414)
Box office $36,450,736
(adjusted by inflation: $51,603,349)[1]

Baby Geniuses is a 1999 family-oriented comedy film directed by Bob Clark, rated PG. It stars Kathleen Turner and Christopher Lloyd.

The film has the distinction of being the first full-length feature to use Computer-generated imagery for the synthesis of human visual speech. 2D warping techniques were used to digitally animate the mouth viseme shapes of the babies which were originally shot with their mouths closed. The viseme shapes were sampled from syllables uttered by the babies on the set.

It was followed by a sequel, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 in 2004.

In 2011 an original series based on Baby Geniuses was announced. It was to be titled Baby Genuises: B.S.I. (Baby Squad Investigators). The series was supposed to air on Starz and last 26 episodes.[2] The series never aired. Instead the series is being released as a set of movies. Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels, which features episodes 1-4, was released directly to video in 2013. Episodes 5-8, Baby Geniuses and the Treasures of Egypt, came out in 2014, and episodes 9-12, Baby Geniuses and the Space Baby, are expected to be released in 2015. The series/movies follow the Baby Squad Investigators, or B.S.I., as they pursue Big Baby, his father Beauregard Burger, and the international thief Moriarty.

Plot[edit]

Two scientists, Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) and Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd), use genius-baby studies to fund BabyCo's theme park "Joyworld". According Dr. Kinder's Research, babies are supposed to possess vast, universal knowledge and speak a secret yet impossible-to-translate baby prelanguage called "Babytalk". At age two, however, the knowledge and language are lost as the babies "cross over" by learning how to talk. Most of the babies that were raised in Dr. Kinder's vast, underground research facility were adopted from the Pasadena orphanage, transformed into geniuses through use of the Kinder Method, and then used in experiments to decipher the language used by the baby-geniuses.

One mischievous toddler, Sylvester (AKA Sly), makes repeated attempts to escape Dr. Kinder's research facility and one night, Sylvester goes into a dirty diaper truck and he actually succeeds. The next morning, one things Sylvester does not expect is to run into his twin, Whit, in a mall playground. Although Sylvester and Whit share a telepathic bond, they have no idea of each other's existence. While the guards from Dr. Kinder's research facility capture Whit, mistake him for Sylvester, and take him back to Dr. Kinder's research facility, Sylvester is taken home by Whit's adopted mother, Robin (Kim Cattrall), who is Dr. Kinder's niece. After Dr. Kinder is horrified that Whit and Sylvester switched at the mall, she decides to do a cross evaluation on Sylvester and Whit. However, when she comes to Dan Bobbin's place, she realizes that Dan Bobbin can understand babies. After the attempts to retrieve Sylvester fail, Dr. Kinder decides to move the research facility to Lichtenstein, so that they can transform Whit into becoming a genius thanks to him getting bred by the Kinder Method (thus erasing his memories about his foster parents, foster brothers and foster sisters) and use him as an experiment to crack the code to "Babytalk".

The babies at Bobbin's place hypnotize Lenny (Dom DeLuise), the bus driver to drive to Dr. Kinder's research facility. Once at the research facility, Sylvester goes to the control room to set the robots from the theme park on the lab scientists. When the Bobbins return home, their natural daughter Carrie tells her father that the children are in Dr. Kinder's research facility. At the end of the fight Dr. Kinder captures Whit and takes him to the helicopter pad on the roof. Robin and Dan chase them to the roof, where Dr. Kinder reveals that she and Robin are not related, and that Robin was adopted at age two. After Dr. Kinder got arrested by the police, Sylvester and Whit come together on the roof to cross over.

Dan and Robin adopt Sylvester. Dan is still curious of the secrets of life, but as the twins have crossed over they no longer know those secrets. Carrie, their sister, doesn't reveal anything (just gives her dad a sly smile) because adults aren't meant to know their secrets.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Baby Geniuses was overwhelmingly panned by critics, with review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reporting that only 2% of critics gave the film a positive review. Its final consensus reads: "Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests."[3] It was listed by leading American film critic Roger Ebert as one of his most hated movies and ranked as his worst film of 1999.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[5] Worst Picture Steven Paul Nominated
Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy Nominated
Worst Director Bob Clark Won
Worst Child Performer Leo, Gerry and Myles Fitzgerald Nominated
Least "Special" Special Effects Nominated

Sequel[edit]

Although the film was not received well by critics, a sequel was made, titled Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, due to its commercial success on home video. The sequel, like the original, was directed by Bob Clark and is widely considered among the worst films of all time, and received worse reviews than the original.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baby Geniuses at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Baby Geniuses B.S.I. synopsis". CDC United Network. 
  3. ^ "Baby Geniuses Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Ebert's Most Hated". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  5. ^ "1999 22nd Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinker Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]