The film Babies was released on Mother’s Day of this year in the US, but I didn’t see it until it was on my Netflix instant screen a few weekends ago. And it was everything I could have hoped for plus more—cute, thought provoking and fascinating.
Babies is a documentary about four new humans experiencing their first year on the planet. The film follows the early life of Ponijao from rural Namibia, Hattie from San Francisco, Mari from Tokyo, and Bayar from rural Mongolia as they grow from infancy to taking their first steps. There’s no narration and no subtitles.
One side effect of writing about toys for forty hours a week is that I get very excited when I recognize them outside of work. I always cheer up when I pass the Rody in the store window on my way to the office so when a Rody made an appearance in Babies, I felt like I knew a celebrity.
In fact, a few of the toys we love here at Growing Tree Toys found their way to stardom in the movie. Mari, the baby in Tokyo, had not only a Rody, but also an O-ball! And Hattie, the baby in San Francisco, was filmed next to the Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon! (Sadly for me, Mari and Hattie were a bit young to use the Rody or Walker Wagon, but the O-ball looked entertaining.)
Play is a strong theme in Babies and it was interesting for me to watch the way that children use all sorts of toys and objects to interact with the world.