Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In “Space Baby,” a fearless neonate cruises the spaceways

Illustration for article titled In “Space Baby,” a fearless neonate cruises the spaceways

Think of it as an extreme prequel to “Rocket Man” or “Space Oddity.” Singer-songwriter Ryan Maguire’s “Space Baby” tells the story of an infant who explores the galaxy “one star at a time” before he’s even developed object permanence or learned to feed himself. The bouncy, five-minute composition, brought to life via the animation of Greg Doble, provides the origin story of this unlikely intergalactic Odysseus. It seems his father was walking him in the park one ordinary day when he lost control of the baby carriage, which then rolled into a space station and aboard a rocket ship. “You’d think that they’d have security for this sort of thing,” Maguire points out. But no. The helpless babe is launched into the cosmos. Even without parental supervision, let alone food and water, he adapts quite easily to the situation and is soon socializing with all manner of robots and aliens.

A video like this seems like a natural opportunity for some pop culture references, and “Space Baby” does not disappoint. The music is highly reminiscent of Flight Of The Conchords, and the animation seems to take some visual cues from The Little Prince. The eponymous child meets both David Bowie and Elton John (“high profile friends,” a caption explains) in his travels, and R2-D2 makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, too. Raising his tiny little fists in anger, the titular tot does battle with that other space baby, the one from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and deems him a “worthy foe.” There is something inherently amusing about two newborns duking it out in the vast reaches of space, as if they were two drunks quarreling at a neighborhood bar. Such is the beauty of “Space Baby.”

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