Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Babies (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: PG

Starring:
Ponijao
Mari
Bayar
Hattie

Special Features:
The Babies - Three Years Later
Everybody Loves...Your Babies Sweepstakes Winners

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Sound
Running Time: 79 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"The adventure of a lifetime begins... Directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès, from an original idea by producer Alain Chabat, this film simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from birth to first steps. The children are, respectively, in order of on-screen introduction: Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie, who resides with her family in the United States, in San Francisco. Re-defining the nonfiction art form, "Babies" joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all."

"Babies" is rated PG for cultural and maternal nudity throughout.

Mini-Review:
With all the dark, depressing documentaries that you typically see in theaters, it's nice to see something positive and upbeat like "Babies" come along. In this film, we follow four babies from birth to their first steps. One is from Namibia, one from Mongolia, one from Japan, and one from San Francisco. It's really interesting to see the similarities and differences between babies from the four distinctly different cultures. The babies all babble the same in every country, they battle siblings the same, and they all have the drive to crawl and walk. But it's the differences that are most intriguing. You see how mothers in Namibia deal with babies that don't wear diapers (FYI the mother wipes the baby on her knee, then cleans her knee with a corn cob. I'll stick with Pampers). You see babies in Mongolia crawling around a herd of cattle. We see the mother in Mongolia carry her newborn infant in her arms on the back on a motorcycle. You see differences in food, hygiene, and play. Things that Western families would never let their babies do are commonplace elsewhere in the world. The end result is a really interesting snapshot of cultural similarities and differences.

"Babies" is unique in that there is no narration and script. They pretty much put the babies in front of the cameras and let it roll. It's good because it is completely unbiased and allows the audience to make their own discoveries and conclusions. But after a while it does start to feel a little bit like you're watching home movies. It can become a tad boring after a while. And as the rating states, there are a lot of bare-breasted mothers and bare-bottomed babies. It's all tastefully done, but it's not something many people will want to park little kids in front of for viewing.

If you're a parent or if you want to see something ultra-cute, then you'll enjoy "Babies." But note that it is "National Geographic" in style. It is babies in the wild and in their natural habitat.

The bonus features on this Blu-ray are minimal. You get to see the babies at age three, but a lot of the footage can be seen in the credits of the film. You also see the winners from a baby video and photo contest.

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