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Babies (2010)

Thomas Balmes  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)

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Babies + Baby Human: Geniuses in Diapers + National Geographic - In the Womb
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Product Details

  • Directors: Thomas Balmes
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZG974M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,358 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Babies" on IMDb

Special Features

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

Editorial Reviews

The babies in Babies are four newborns, photographed in their natural habitat in distinctly different parts of the world. Hattie is in San Francisco, Mari's in Tokyo, Baryarjargal lives out in the Mongolian steppes, and Ponijao is born amid the simple straw huts of Namibia. In the course of less than 80 minutes, we're going to follow this quartet through their first year of life, a chronicle that director Thomas Balmes and producer Alain Chabat have likened to a nature documentary that happens to focus on humans. We can cut to the chase here and say that above and beyond any sociological weight this project might possess, this film's main method can be summed up in the words of David Byrne and Talking Heads from the song "Stay Up Late": "See him drink / From a bottle / See him eat / From a plate / Cute cute / As a button /Don't you want to make him stay up late." In short, babies are cute, babies are funny, and a camera focused on a baby is going to catch the sudden mood shifts and clunky crawling and all the other ingredients of home movies. Along the way, we may pause to notice the cultural differences between the locales, as the American baby seems elaborately nurtured (maybe baby yoga classes could wait a year?) and the African baby views a world just as full of wonder and newness as anywhere else, despite the material poverty of the locale. The Namibia and Mongolia sequences are certainly more arresting than the two urban sections, because their backdrops are so dramatically unusual to most Western eyes. If those differences are colorful, the movie nevertheless suggests that babies are more alike in their development than they are different. Is this enough to qualify as a movie? Well, even if Babies really is little more than a collection of sure-fire infant cuteness, it'll probably be enough for its target audience. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Experience joy and happiness at its purest in this life-affirming, universal celebration of the magic and innocence of Babies. Proving that if you surround your baby with love it doesn’t matter what culture you’re from or what child-rearing practices you follow. Babies travels the globe following four children from vastly different corners of the world—Ponijao from Namibia, Bayarjargal from Mongolia, Mari from Tokyo and Hattie from San Francisco. Sure to put a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart, it’s the film that critics and audiences agree “could be the feel-good movie of the decade!” (Moviefone)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relax and Enjoy! May 27, 2010
A short time ago, my wife and I were joined by a new baby and our remarkable little boy is now at 19 months. The baby was a first for both of us and neither of us had almost any prior experience with an infant. Everything that unfolded was new and a very interesting experience. When my wife spotted the new "Babies" movie, we just had to see it. We both enjoyed it very much and will be buying the DVD when it becomes available.

The movie is a very unusual documentary of four babies in four different parts of the world (San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia and Namibia) and four different cultures. There is no story. There are no spoken words, only background sounds. The movie goes from scene to scene, back and forth, back and forth from baby to baby and location to location. We watched with fascination as each baby learned to adapt and cope with it's new life as it unfolded in it's particular environment. Very interesting to watch. We cringed at some of the baby experiences and laughed at others. Of course, we had our own living example for comparison and it has promoted a wealth of conversation.

If you have a newborn/toddler, be sure to see this movie. You'll enjoy it immensely. Actually,babies are so interesting and humorous that almost anyone could enjoy the film. It's a very unusual movie to view. The photography in the various settings is excellent. The sound is good. Relax and enjoy.

Gary Peterson
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Babies, you will LOVE these BABIES ! August 19, 2010
The concept is deceptively simple: follow four babies from four different countries from birth til they take their first steps ~ 1 year old. As others have noted, there is no (spoken) narrative. Rather, the camera documents the four babies in the same situations : being born, first smile, at play, sleeping, etc. I watched this movie with my daughters and we all absolutely loved it (I was glad that they did not actually show the birth process). We all had our favorite babies - my daughters loved "Hattie" from San Francisco but I fell in love with the baby from Mongolia as he was so adorably mischievous. This multi-cultural perspective on babies is utterly fascinating. You will find yourself asking such questions as "Which baby seems the happiest?" (asked by my 9 year-old daughter); "What do babies REALLY need to thrive?" - toys, shelves FULL of books, or just a loving mom and a roll of toilet paper? There is a particular scene where Hattie bites her mom and instead of reprimanding her (like the Mongolian mother did when the baby was naughty), she pulls out a book entitled ~"No Biting". It's also interesting as an American parent, to see how "sterile" our babies are compared to the babies that grow up in countries like Mongolia and Namibia. Most importantly,as a parent, it makes you appreciate the "magic" of raising a child. A must see for all parents, and lovers of children, including children themselves. It is also a very entertaining movie. My girls laughed out loud and had me rewind it (rented and recorded it on Cable) in several places. Be forewarned: it may increase your urge to have a baby-I luckily slapped sense back to myself.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BABIES is cute, funny and sometimes moving. May 21, 2010
BABIES is a feel good movie that arguably has absolutely no point, or is very profound. It is a documentary that essentially films the first year or so in the lives of 4 babies from vastly different parts of the globe. We simply observe them eating, evacuating, smiling, discovering their toes, learning to crawl, learning to play, and so on. Certainly babies are cute, and it's easy to get an adult audience to smile with and laugh at these silly little creatures.

That could be the point of BABIES..."look, how cute." And frankly, it's pretty satisfying on that level alone. But it could also be showing us, and the most basic levels, how we're all so VERY similar, at least when we start out. That all of us, whether from Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo or San Francisco...we all have so very much in common. That's a simple, almost clichéd "lesson", but BABIES presents it in a clear and undeniable manner.

I very much appreciated the underlying points to ponder of BABIES...but mostly it was just a 79 minute delight. It's a wonderful cultural lesson: short after birth, we see the Namibian baby essentially spending his time completely nude and the little Mongolian child swaddled tightly in many layers. Both are valid child-rearing approaches...but are starkly different and both are moving. Seeing the Mongolian child wrapped like a cocoon is a startling image...yet given his stark and cold surrounding is a way for his family to show their love and caring for this child when they are unable to physically be there holding the baby.

The Mongolian child was my favorite (although I liked all the kids)...and I suspect each person will have their own favorite.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson for our modern life! September 3, 2010
By Toni
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this documentary recently in whilst on holidays in Europe. There was no spoken commentary and that was a bonus for a film like this.

If you are interested in human development - here it all is before you in the first year of life of four healthy babies growing up in caring environments. All the milestones from a Child health and development point of view and interesting observations of baby caregiver interactions are here to see in 4 different cultural environments.

This documentary also brings home the vast differences in the two more western environments -US and Japan, and the contrast of the Mongolian environment and the baby growing up in a very different environment in Namibia.

What we can learn from this documentary is that normal healthy human babies growing up in loving families and stable environments develop physically and emotionally in much the same ways despite all the things that we tend to think are essential in our western culture.

We see a vast contrast in the cultural environment in which the Namibian baby lives, for example, and our western culture where we tend to feel we need to have a vast array of purchased toys for each stage of development, lots of fashionable clothing, and often we are so isolated we really do need to attend mothers groups for contact with other mothers and to and learn from each other, and then there are baby gym classes to attend.

We can see from the other environments how all this tends to happen quite naturally in the Namibian group and in the Mongolian family it is different again due to the family's need to survive in their environment.

As a bonus, there are also the beautiful scenic backdrops of the locations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutest movie ever!!!
This is absolutely the cutest movie ever! Make you love babies even more, a great watch with friends and family.
Published 3 days ago by Mo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to See the Different Perspectives !
I loved that infant- and toddlerhood was shown from a handful of different perspectives and cultures ! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Olivia H.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
This should be viewed by all students who are enrolled in teacher preparation courses and a wonderful insight for future parents
Published 10 days ago by Dr. Sarah Kern
5.0 out of 5 stars Babies!
This was a truly eye opening amazing journey around the world into different cultures and how we raise our babies. Great watch!
Published 26 days ago by Brisson
5.0 out of 5 stars Babies
Movie was amazing! It really made me think about our healthcare system. Arrived quickly and as stated on the site.
Published 27 days ago by tiffany
4.0 out of 5 stars Very inspirational...
I bought this when I was pregnant with my first child. It helped show me that there really is no 'wrong' way to raise a child, as long as you raise them with love. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Writ3r
5.0 out of 5 stars Babies
Entertaining but also enlightening. Shows babies need lots of love and not lots of "stuff". I wish they'd do a sequel.
Published 1 month ago by Caryl Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a sweet movie
I was mesmerized from the start! Good for the whole family, even if you have inquisitive young ones. Very funny in parts. Such adorable children. We all grow up, don't we!
Published 1 month ago by Catherine Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars it was very useful
It was very useful for my first grand child. great to have it. Very rare catalog. Good service in handling and shipping it. Good packaging and handling of all service. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paola Iacucci
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I purchased this for my sister's research; who is currently in college . She did not enjoy it. She said it was boring.
Published 1 month ago by Erica
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