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Imagine dealing with a dozen infants crawling around a set, and then figuring out the technical wizardry required to make them look and sound like little adults. With the obvious millions of dollars and hours of effort put into Baby Geniuses, it's a shame there's so little to show for it.
Baby Geniuses centers around Whit and Sly, twins that were somehow separated from their mother at birth. Sly winds up at Babyco, a huge infant care corporation that is really a front for a laboratory where Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) and Heep (Christopher Lloyd) are conducting research on a group of babies. The focus of their study is to prove that infants are born with universal knowledge which they have access to until about the age of two.
Kinder reasons that if she can crack their gobbledygook language, the secrets of the universe will be hers. To prove that her methods enhance a baby's ability to learn, she places Whit with her niece, convinced his traditional upbringing will leave him with inferior intelligence compared to his laboratory incubated twin.
The movie is supposed to get funny when Kinder contemplates what the babies are saying to each other. Only we, the fortunate audience, are able to understand these purveyors of all knowledge. If you, like Kinder, were expecting something profound, you'll be disappointed. Their prattle consists mostly of cracks about the stupidity of adults -- the scriptwriters possibly being foremost in their minds. Yet the producers were smart enough to recognize the incredible potential for product placements in this movie that's targeted at young, impressionable audiences.
Parents may also be concerned that the preschool crowd most likely to enjoy this film, will be presented with lots of stupid ideas they might be tempted to mimic. These geniuses love typical "cartoon" violence, such as men getting kicked in the crotch, physical conflicts with adults, and destroying property faster than you can fill a diaper. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there are smarter choices on the video shelf than this baby.
Baby Geniuses is rated PG: for some rude behavior and dialogue
Cast: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Kim Cattrall
Studio: (pictures (c)1999 TriStar Pictures, Inc.)