Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bob Clark|
|Produced by||Steven Paul|
|Written by||Steven Paul
|Music by||Paul Zaza|
|Cinematography||Stephen M. Katz|
|Editing by||Stan Cole|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Release dates||March 12, 1999|
|Running time||95 minutes|
(adjusted by inflation: $16,988,414)
(adjusted by inflation: $51,603,349)
Computer-generated imagery effects were used to digitally superimpose moving lips over babies' mouths, an effect similarly used in Clutch Cargo, but many critics pointed the effect out as being unnerving. The catchphrases for the movie are "Think Innocent, Think Helpless, Think Again!" and "Naps are History".
In 2004 it was followed by a sequel, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, which had an even worse critical reaction than the original and bombed at the box-office. Another sequel, Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels was released directly to video in 2013.
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.
- Kathleen Turner as Dr. Elena Kinder
- Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Heep
- Peter MacNicol as Dan
- Kim Cattrall as Robin
- Dom DeLuise as Lenny
- Ruby Dee as Margo
- Kyle Howard as Dickie/Ice Pick
- Jim Hanks as Goon Ray
- Gabrielle and Megan Robbins as Lexi/Carrie
- Leo, Gerry and Myles Fitzgerald as Sylvester/Whit
- Griffen and Connor Legget as Basil
- Amanda Fein as Teddie
- Aubrey Jordan as south memphis
- Quitil Davis as Texas
- Will B GERM as President Kensington
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." 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.
Awards and nominations
|Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||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|
Although the film was a total abomination, a sequel was made, titled Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, directed again by Bob Clark due to its commercial success on home video. The sequel, like the original, is widely considered among the worst films of all time, and received worse reviews than the original.
- Baby Geniuses at Box Office Mojo
- "Baby Geniuses Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
- "Ebert's Most Hated". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "1999 22nd Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinker Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Baby Geniuses at the Internet Movie Database
- Baby Geniuses at Box Office Mojo
- Baby Geniuses at Rotten Tomatoes