A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this mild comedy is full of pratfall humor -- lots of bonks on the head, groin injuries, slips and falls -- all accompanied by exaggerated expressions meant to draw laughs. Also, the baby at the center of the tale ends up in all sorts of dangerous situations, including crawling through city traffic and cavorting through a construction zone, all without an accompanying adult and without injury. Kids will likely find the baby and the hijinks of the criminals funny, though the concept of kidnapping might make young kids uneasy. One bad guy is particularly rude to the other two.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A trio of hapless criminals (Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano, Brian Haley) in search of ransom money kidnap a cute-as-pie baby from a wealthy family. But instead of remaining sequestered, the curious crawling infant escapes from his captors. He makes his way through an endless series of potentially dangerous situations -- from busy city streets to construction zones -- all without a scratch. The kidnappers, on the other hand, get beat up, bruised, and even set on fire in their attempts to reclaim the baby so they can retrieve their money. Soon the whole city is on the hunt for the baby, who somehow eludes nearly everyone.
Is it any good?
Fans of the Home Alone franchise will find much in common with this movie, also penned by John Hughes ... maybe a little too much in common. BABY'S DAY OUT follows an almost identical narrative to Home Alone 2, except, unlike Macauley Culkin, this child is still in diapers (which never need to be changed, by the way).
The predictability of the script, the unappealing villains, and the prevalence of slapstick violence will likely still appeal to elementary-aged kids and tweens, though parents will probably find the baby's precarious safety unsettling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the injuries the characters receive and the violence depicted. Though they sometimes wince in pain, the bad guys never seem to get seriously injured in the movie. How is this different from what would happen in real life?
How did the movie handle the idea of class? How did the wealthy family react to the poor mother accused of kidnapping Baby Bink? What was the relationship between the nanny and the baby? What about the nanny and the mother?
- In theaters: July 1, 1994
- On DVD or streaming: January 29, 2002
- Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano
- Director: Patrick Read Johnson
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 99 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild language and comic action
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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