“Babies!! They’re babies!!” Yes, Shredder, they are babies, and one day when you’re all grown-up, you too will appreciate the miracle of birth. Just ask Bridget Jones’ Baby — whose mother endured ugly Christmas sweaters and middle-aged manfights and a previous sequel where we assume stuff happened — crowning this Friday after gestating years in development hell. But because Rotten Tomatoes is never one to pass up a cause célèbre, here’s this week’s gallery of 24 most momentous movie babies!
(2006, 92%) Children of Men
A breathless sequence (in a movie full of ’em) where the first child born in 18 years after an unexplained infertility epidemic is carried out of a ruined building amidst guerrilla warfare.
(2007, 67%) Shoot ‘Em Up
Apparently, if you need a baby delivered under extreme duress in your movie, Clive Owen is the one to call. TV Clive, however, has a spottier track record.
(1986, 67%) Labyrinth
Labyrinth was a rite of sexual awakening for a significant number of young girls back in the day, as who could resist naughty crooner David Bowie with his various, ahem, talents on display whilst holding an adorable baby in striped jammies?
(1961, 98%) 101 Dalmatians
Walt Disney delivered some real talk back in the ’60s, introducing to young audiences the sad reality of still birth, before having the life-threatened pupper pull through (and be named Lucky, natch).
(2014, 91%) Guardians of the Galaxy
Nothing that dies is ever truly dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but still we were glad to have Groot resurrected as a space twig at the end of the movie.
(2006, 38%) The Nativity Story
And where would the calendar industry be without this little guy?
(2013, 55%) Man of Steel
The most momentuous baby in comic book history, Kal-El’s journey from planet Krypton to his crash landing on Earth has been depicted in every Superman adaptation, from the 1940s serials to TV to the current DC Extended Universe configuration.
(2011, 24%) Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
They grow up so fast. Alluded to throughout the Twilight series, Renesmee is the half-human, half-vampire baby to series lovers Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, who will reach physical maturity and possible immortality at the ripe ol’ age of seven.
(1994, 92%) The Lion King
Honestly though, why would what appears to be all of the animal kingdom show up for the birth of what is probably their greatest natural predator? Giraffes, blink twice if you’re being coerced.
(1987, 74%) 3 Men and a Baby
As post-World War II boomer kids became bonafide adults (and started running movie studios apparently), babies and tweaks on family values started showing up in Hollywood comedies, such as this Selleck/Guttenberg/Danson joint which became the highest grossing American movie of the year.
(1987, 76%) Baby Boom
Diane Keaton plays a typical working gal in Manhattan during the ’80s, before getting saddled with an adorable tot from estranged, recently deceased cousin.
(1989, 51%) Ghostbusters II
Bill Murray, who essentially got away with a movie career never having to play a real dad until the Lost in Translation/ Steve Zissou/ Broken Flowers-era, got flirtatiously close to adulthood in Ghostbusters II, when Sigourney Weaver shows up with a baby (who just may be used as a conduit to resurrect an ancient demon).
(1989, 58%) Look Who’s Talking
Kirstie Alley becomes a single mother in this rom-com also starring John Travolta and Bruce Willis (who voices the baby) — obviously prep work for their reunion in Pulp Fiction five years later.
(1987, 90%) Raising Arizona
Because all these comedies had babies shoehorned into the plot, the Coen Bros. one-upped everyone by making a late-80s movie about literally stealing babies.
(2009, 79%) The Hangover
The 3 Men and Baby format updated for the naughty Aughties.
(2007, 90%) Knocked Up
Millennials get hit with a dose of reality (you mean we’re not supposed to play video games or box each other with gloves on fire all day?) with this Judd Apatow romantic comedy.
(2007, 94%) Juno
A teenage anthem on both being both pro-life and pro-choice, adults also blamed an uptick in regional teen pregnancies directly on the movie. (Jumps in hamburger phones sales remain uncorroborated.)
(2004, 97%) The Incredibles
In a superhero movie all about family ties, the left-at-home toddler Jack Jack got the last laugh as his powers manifested during the climax and sent the film’s antagonist to meet one of the more gruesome endings in the Pixar canon.
(1968, 99%) Rosemary’s Baby
Dread and terror is ratcheted up to nearly unbearable levels in Roman Polanski’s paranoid horror film, culminating in a haunting coda when Rosemary finally gets to meet her baby.
(1996, 90%) Trainspotting
Creepiest ’90s baby outside of the dancing monstrosity in Ally McBeal.
(1988, 48%) Willow
A cute baby with a birthmark appears on a riverbank near the village of Hobbit-esque Willow Ufgood. With the baby prophesied to bring the downfall of despot Queen Bavmorda, Willow sets off a journey to heroically ditch the kid somewhere and wash his hands of this human nonsense.
(2008, 77%) Cloverfield
That’s right, this leveler of New York skylines is just a tyke. According to director Matt Reeves: “Having just been born it was going through separation anxiety and had no idea where its mother was and was freaking out.”
(1979, 97%) Alien
Reproduction (or rather, the threat of reproduction) has always clung to the Alien franchise like a shadow and got its most terrible moment early on in the infamous dinner table chestbursting scene.
(1977, 91%) Eraserhead
Like the rest of his movie, David Lynch left the why, how or what (just WHAT?) the exact nature of this baby open to interpretation.