Production babies are children born to anyone involved in the making of a film during its production. The phrase generally refers to a section of the closing credits of films, listing the babies' given names. The custom of publishing lists of production babies began with animated films, and is still chiefly found in that genre, reflecting the influence of family experiences on storytelling in such films.
Lee Unkrich, a film director with Pixar, explains that the production team and film crew indelibly associate the birth of each of their children with the film they were working on at the time. The listing in the end credits becomes a way for them to share these essential memories more widely. "It's like our family lives are permanently woven into the movies." Twists added in film credits include a list of "Chameleon Babies" at the end of the 2010 animated film Tangled, born to the real-life model for the pet in the film. The 2011 animated film Winnie the Pooh lists the names under "Pooh Babies," with the credit knitted on a piece of fabric by the character Kanga.
In 2009, Ari Folman dedicated his Golden Globe Award to the eight production babies born during the making of Waltz with Bashir, an animated anti-war documentary, and expressed hope that their lives would have no contact with the realities of conflict depicted in the film.
Reviewers have noted that "production babies" credits indicate the creativity of film people in giving some unusual names to their children.
An early, isolated instance in video games occurred with an easter egg message embedded in the ROM for the 1988 game Spiker! Super Pro Volleyball for Mattell Intellivision. The modern custom spread to video game credits in the 2009 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which also listed the other parents. The title of the list was changed to "Development Babies" in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The video games Halo 4, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Remember Me, Just Cause 2, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Sleeping Dogs also featured a list of production babies at the end of their credits.
- Hartlaub, Peter (June 13, 2010). "Pixar delivers, babies get credit". SFGate. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- Dawson, Jonathan (June 16, 2006). "Cars". Review. ABC Tasmania. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Toy Story at the Internet Movie Database
- Liu, Ed (April 7, 2011). "A Virtual Roundtable with "Tangled" Co-Directors Byron Howard & Nathan Greno". ToonZone.net. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Hucks, Dustin (November 4, 2010). "Interviews: The Cast of 'Tangled' Gets Unraveled". FilmSchoolRejects.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "Israel's 'Waltz with Bashir,' on 1982 Lebanon War, wins Golden Globe for best foreign film". Haaretz. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- "The First Production Baby". DaddyTypes. January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2". Credits. MobyGames. 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2012.