Baby's Day Out

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Baby's Day Out
Film poster depicting a infant in a taxi, happily watching these buildings. The title "Baby's Day Out", a text "When the big city called, he had to answer. Born to go wild.", the names of the cast, director, producer, and music composer, and a release date appear at the bottom of a film poster.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Patrick Read Johnson
Produced by
Written by John Hughes
Starring
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography Thomas E. Ackerman
Edited by David Rawlins
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 1, 1994 (1994-07-01)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $48 million[1]
Box office $16.7 million[1]

Baby's Day Out is a 1994 American family comedy adventure film, written by John Hughes, produced by Richard Vane and John Hughes, and directed by Patrick Read Johnson. The film stars twins Adam and Jacob Worton as Baby Bink with co-stars Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano and Brian Haley as the film's three incompetent antagonists. The plot centers on a wealthy baby's kidnapping by three incompetent villains, his escape and adventure through a big city while being pursued by the three kidnappers.

Baby's Day Out was released on July 1, 1994 in the United States to both critical and commercial failure there. However, it enjoyed major popularity in South Asian markets.

Plot[edit]

Bennington Austin "Bink" Cotwell IV has adoring parents Laraine (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Bennington (Matthew Glave), lives in a huge mansion in a suburb of Chicago, and is just about to appear in the social pages of the newspaper. Three klutzy would-be kidnappers: Edgar "Eddie" Mauser (Joe Mantegna), Norbert "Norby" LeBlaw (Joe Pantoliano), and Victor "Veeko" Riley (Brian Haley), the main antagonists, disguise themselves as the photographers from the paper and kidnap him. After the kidnapping, they have difficulty controlling him. In the trial of trying to get him to fall asleep, Norby does so reading Bink's book, leaving him unattended. Norby later goes to sleep himself. Looking through it, he notices a bird on the page and then by the window. He follows it out and successfully gets away from his kidnappers, with Eddie falling off the building and into a garbage bin.

The FBI arrives at the mansion, headed by Dale Grissom (Fred Dalton Thompson), where they try to piece together clues along with Bink's parents and his loving nanny Gilbertine (Cynthia Nixon). Meanwhile, he, now outside on the ground and crawling about, finds another part of his book - the blue bus, which he then boards. The kidnappers realise he is missing and start chasing the bus in their van, but their efforts are in vain. Meanwhile on the bus, Bink crawls into the bag of an obese lady, who gets off at her stop shortly afterwards. By the time the trio catches it, and realise Bink is not on board, they then realise that he crawled into the lady's bag and follow her. An altercation ensues after they insult her ( when she insults them ), and while they attempt their escape, Bink crawls up to a revolving door at the entrance to a department store and is forced inwards by its momentum.

Crawling through the department store, Bink is stopped by a worker who works for Mother Goose Corner, a nearby day care center, who believes he is another baby who escaped from there. He later escapes there and the store and eventually crawls into traffic. The kidnappers attempt to follow him but keep getting injured in the process as he makes his way to the city zoo. They are shocked to find him in the primate house with a gorilla. It shows a maternal side and does not injure him. The kidnappers try to retrieve him but it notices and hits Veeko's hand, throws Norby into the air using a mop as a catapult, and hurls Eddie against the bars of the cage opposite its own.

The kidnappers eventually corner and catch Bink in the zoo's park, but are confronted by two friendly police officers, who have noticed that their van's engine is still running. During the conversation, Eddie hides Bink under his coat in his lap, but he reaches Eddie's cigarette lighter, sets his crotch on fire, and sneaks off as soon as the officers are gone. Veeko extinguishes the fire by stomping repeatedly on Eddie's groin. They follow Bink to a construction yard, but are still unable to catch him, with Veeko getting thrown off the building ( after falling onto one of the construction workers lift ) and into the back of a garbage truck, Norby falling into a vat of wet cement, and Eddie getting stranded on a crane after being drenched in glue. The sun sets as Bink leaves the construction yard. The kidnappers manage to escape (offscreen), but decide to give up and go home.

Bink's parents are notified of various sightings of him in the city and Gilbertine deduces that he has been following his favorite book, "Baby's Day Out" (or "Boo-Boo", as Bink calls it) and will most likely head for the Old Soldiers' Home next. Sure enough, they find him there, but on the way home, he begins to call out "Boo-Boo" toward the kidnappers' flat. The FBI moves in on there and arrests Eddie, Veeko, and Norby demanding that they return his book first.

Back home, Bink is put to bed by his family. As his parents discuss having his picture taken by a normal photographer in the morning, he wakes up and gets ready to read another book, this one entitled "Baby's Trip to China".

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Baby's Day Out was panned by critics, and holds a 21% "rotten" approval rating at the review website Rotten Tomatoes, with 3 positive reviews from 14.[2]

On the Siskel & Ebert show, critic Roger Ebert wrote that "Baby's Day Out contains gags that might have worked in a Baby Herman cartoon, but in live action, with real people, taxis, buses, streets, and a real baby, they're just not funny. The Worton twins are adorable as Baby Bink, however; the audience produced an audible coo the first time they saw him on the screen." He gave the film 1 1/2 stars.[3]

His partner, Gene Siskel, however, liked the film because he thought that young children would love it for the humor. Hal Hinson, writing for the Washington Post, wrote: "The pace is quick and efficient but never frantic...almost everything in the picture is just right, including the two-bit crooks who abduct the superhero toddler and end up bruised and begging hilariously for mercy. Best of all, though, is the Binkman himself, whose tiny face is so expressive that he brings new meaning to the phrase 'conquering with a smile.'"[4]

Box office[edit]

The film opened with takings of $4,044,662 at the start of July 1994.[5][6][7] The film finally grossed $16,827,402 at the domestic box office, a disappointing return considering the $48 million production budget for the film. It ranked at #83 for the best performing films of 1994.[1]

It was also the 26th best performing PG-rated family film of the year in 1994.[1]

Popularity in South Asia and remakes [edit]

Baby's Day Out was tremendously popular in South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In India, the movie was played at the largest theater in Calcutta for over a year. Recalling a trip to Calcutta, Roger Ebert says, "I asked if Star Wars had been their most successful American film. No, I was told, it was Baby's Day Out..."[8] It was remade twice, first in Telugu in 1995 under the title Sisindri and then in Malayalam in 1999 under the title James Bond. It was dubbed in Tamil with the title Chutti Kuzhanthai meaning Naughty Baby. It was also dubbed in Bengali and played in theaters in Bangladesh. It was also dubbed in Punjabi as a comedy in Pakistan.

Video game[edit]

A video game version of the film was planned, completed, and slated to be released on Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis and Game Boy in October 1994,[9][10] but was cancelled at the last minute. Two prototypes of the Genesis port can be found for download on several ROM sites. One is a near completed version while the other is a very early beta. Instead of playing as Bink, the player controls what appears to be Bink's guardian angel to guide Bink to safety in the vein of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures.

Home media[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the film on VHS on April 4, 1995. The film was released on DVD on January 29, 2001. It includes Patrick Read Johnson's commentary, a featurette, and a trailer for the film. The film was re-released on DVD on October 11, 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Baby's Day Out (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ Baby's Day Out at Rotten Tomatoes
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 1, 1994). "Baby's Day Out review". rogerebert.com. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ Hinson, Hal (July 1, 1994). "'Baby's Day Out'". Washington Post. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for July 1–4, 1994". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Fourth of July Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. July 7, 1994. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Baby's Day Out – Box Office Data". thenumbers.com. The Numbers. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 6, 2009). "John Hughes: In Memory". rogerebert.com. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  9. ^ videoreviewchris (August 6, 2013). "Baby's Day Out-Video Game Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ "ProReview: Baby's Day Out". GamePro (64). IDG. November 1994. p. 104. 

External links[edit]