Baby’s Day Out is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Patrick Read Johnson and written by John Hughes, who also produced the film. Starring Joe Mantegna, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joe Pantoliano, and Brian Haley, the plot centers on a wealthy baby’s abduction by three criminals, his subsequent escape and adventure through Chicago while being pursued by the criminals.
The film was released on July 1, 1994 by 20th Century Fox in the United States to both critical and commercial failure, grossing only $16.7 million against a $48 million budget. Despite this, it has since become a cult film, in South Asian markets.
Bennington Austin “Bink” Cotwell IV, the infant son of socialites Laraine and Bennington Austin “Bing” Cotwell III, lives in a huge mansion in a suburb of Chicago and is just about to appear in the social pages of the newspaper. Three klutzy criminals, Edgar “Eddie” Mauser, Norbert “Norby” LeBlaw, and Victor “Veeko” Riley, disguise themselves as baby photographers from the newspaper and kidnap him, demanding a $5 million ransom. After the kidnapping, however, the criminals have difficulty controlling Bink at their flat; Norby attempts to put him to sleep by reading his favourite storybook, “Baby’s Day Out” (or “Boo-boo”, as he calls it), only to fall asleep himself from boredom, leaving him unattended. Looking through the book, he notices a bird on the page and then by the window; he follows it out and successfully gets away from his kidnappers; the ensuing chase culminates in Eddie falling off the building and into a garbage bin. Norby and Veeko rescue him and they begin pursuing Bink across the city.
The FBI arrives at the mansion, headed by Dale Grissom, where they try to piece together clues along with Bink’s parents and his nanny, Gilbertine. Meanwhile, Bink, now outside on the ground and crawling about, finds another part of his book – the blue bus, which he then boards. The criminals realize he is escaping and start chasing the bus in their van, but their efforts are in vain. Meanwhile, on the bus, Bink crawls into the bag of an obese lady, who gets off at her stop shortly afterwards. By the time the criminals catch the bus, they realize Bink is not on board and follow the lady, to which an altercation ensues after she catches them. In the distraction, Bink crawls up to a revolving door at the entrance to a department store and is forced inwards by its momentum. He is stopped by a employee who works for the store’s day care center, believing he is another baby who escaped from there. He then escapes from the store and eventually crawls into traffic after a ride on a taxi. The criminals attempt to follow him, but keep getting injured in the process as he makes his way to the city zoo. They are shocked to find him in the ape house with a western lowland gorilla, which shows a maternal side and does not injure him. The criminals try to retrieve him, but the gorilla notices and pounds Veeko’s hand, throws Norby into the air using a mop as a catapult, and hurls Eddie against the bars of the opposite cage after roaring loudly at him.
The criminals corner and catch Bink in the zoo’s park, but are confronted by two friendly police officers who have noticed that their van’s engine is still running. During the conversation, Eddie hides Bink under his coat in his lap, but Bink reaches his cigarette lighter, setting his crotch on fire and sneaking off as soon as the officers are gone; Veeko extinguishes the fire by stomping repeatedly on Eddie’s groin. They then follow Bink to a construction site, where they’re still unable to catch him due to Veeko getting thrown off the building and into the back of a garbage truck, Norby falling into a vat of wet cement, and Eddie getting stranded on a crane after being drenched in glue; the sun then sets as Bink and the construction crew leave the site. After managing to escape, the criminals give up on catching Bink and return home.
Bink’s parents are notified of various sightings of him in the city and Gilbertine deduces that he has been following “Baby’s Day Out”, and will most likely head for the Old Soldiers’ Home next. They find him there, but on the way home, he begins to call out “Boo-Boo” toward the criminals’ flat; the FBI arrive and arrest them, who return Bink’s book. Back at home, he is put to bed by his parents, who discuss having his picture taken by a normal photographer in the morning while unbeknownst to them, he wakes up and gets ready to read another book titled “Baby’s Trip to China”.