Honey, I Shrunk the Kids - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2017
Could there be anything more cliched and corny than the idea of a weedy, crazy haired, spectacled, crazy inventor type nerd who's wacky creation gets out of hand? Probably not, but that didn't stop this idea becoming something of a monster hit back in the late 80's. I remember the time well, this movie was almost like the [i]Jurassic Park[/i] of the day with everyone going nuts over the special effects and innovation of the story (despite the fact the idea had been explored thoroughly during the 50's). And who better to portray this lovable geeky inventor than Rick Moranis, the man who made a career out of playing lovable geeks.

The plot: Its pretty simple really. Eccentric inventor Wayne Szalinski (Moranis) manages to construct a large ray gun that is capable of shrinking objects in size. Unfortunately he is unable to perfect his machine resulting in much frustration and him being mocked at a conference. Its during said conference that Wayne's kids (and the neighbours kids) are accidentally shrunk by the ray gun which had previously been accidentally switched on by a lone baseball. Eventually Wayne and his wife Diane realise what happened and start to hunt for the shrunken kids. In the meantime the kids are in a life and death situation after being ejected into the garden and are trying to reach the safety of the house (whilst trying to grab the adults attention).

The movie does start off slow as we get introduced to all the various characters; indicators for the pending adventure. Nick Szalinski is obviously much like his father, looks a bit of a nerd, scrawny, spectacles, but has brains. Amy Szalinski is the attractive, older level-headed sister of Nick. Ron is one of the Thompson kids from next door, he is a bit chunky and a bit of bully. And lastly there is Russ Thompson, older brother of Ron and again like Amy he is more level-headed and has some looks. In fact he has a crush on Amy that flourishes over the course of the movie. And of course both sets of kid have issues with their folks that cause friction at early points; which of course get addressed and ironed out during the adventure. So overall its a stereotypical little gang, no real surprises.

As with many other fantasy movies the real core interest was in the adventure and how the special effects came across. I remember at the time it was hard to escape the media attention this movie got for its shrinking effects, there was a lot of hype. Looking back now its very amusing how quaint these effects look, I'm not being negative but you can't help but smirk when harking back. In general this movie was definitely a case of, certain shots and sequences would look really great...even now. But then on the other hand certain shots and sequences would look really bad...even worse now.

The best moments are easily when we see the kids on oversized sets against large props; these are the classic shots that obviously hark back to certain golden oldies of the 50's. Its these shots that really sell the idea that the kids are truly microscopic. Just simple things like the texture of the wooden floor in the attic, giant toys, Cheerios, nails, screws, dust, cookies (which served as a food source) etc...Its also other small details such as a little trickle of water in the garden being a gushing river, and the odd dead insect floating around. The fact that the garden becomes a dense dangerous jungle for of all manner of hazards. It doesn't sound overly amazing or anything but its these tiny details that really sell it. I also liked how they didn't shy away from gross things like dead and scary bugs.

Not all the bugs were scary though. At one point Nick accidentally rides a very obvious rubbery bumblebee after falling into a very rubbery looking nectar patch on a flower. The kids also befriend a very rubbery and limited animatronic puppet baby ant (which to them was a giant rideable creature). The ant doesn't really do much for the kids until it is called on to defend them from a scorpion (would there be scorpions in this type of garden environment?). Alas the baby ant is easily killed by the scorpion and we are presented with one of the most tear jerking moments for kids since Optimus Prime died, maybe. Yes the ant was blatantly fake looking and could hardly move...but God damn it hits you hard when the little blighter dies (sniff!).

Indeed I mention rubbery items there, that is one factor that stands out a lot when looking back (probably even at the time). There are a lot of things that do look terribly rubbery or plastic. Some things look great, some things do not. The giant insects do suffer in this way I'm afraid, the giants plants also suffer in the same way. It doesn't ruin the movie but I'm just saying it does stand out. Unfortunately it doesn't help when rubbery things are accompanied with horribly dated bluescreen effects (greenscreen now). Again the bumblebee ride really suffers here as does various shots/sequences of the kids against live action actors or pets. The now famous sequence of the kids running off the dogs snout onto a table is a terrific idea but boy does it look fake in motion. When Wayne is about to eat Nick in his bowl of Cheerios, great idea, looks pretty awful now. Although the close up shots of Nick in an actual bowl of milk with giant Cheerios looks sweet.

Its kinda ironic that this movie actually feels way more like a Disney theme park experience than an actual movie. The whole visual escapade seems so perfect for their theme parks it makes you wonder how no one thought of it earlier. The array of big chunky colourful props and sets, and the brilliantly geeky inventions of Szalinski such as the shrink ray gun or the 'keep off the grass' robot, all marvellously visualised by Joe Johnston and his crew. So yes this is clearly a very visual movie experience (perfect for 3D). On the flip side if we're honest, the plot is pretty shallow and the characters are simplistic and cliched. This isn't a big problem here but I think Rick Moranis saves the rather drab casting. This is just one of those roles where you can't really picture anyone else in it, hmmm...maybe Christopher Lloyd. Anyway to sum up, not quite as epic as you might recall, but certainly a good all round family romp.
September 6, 2017
Some people like this, a lot of others hated it for some reason...as for me, I thought that this was fun and cute. It is a basic family movie with good production value for the time. I think it is well worth the time to watch this with the kids...or even as an adult from time to time.
August 14, 2017
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) C-93m. ?? D: Joe Johnston. Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri, Matt Frewer. Naive father accidentally shrinks his kids and their neighbor's kids into size of insects. He searches for them while they take on dangers of being puny. Slow-moving, disappointing children's film further undermined by limited adventure and lack of giddy-up. Major benefit: Moranis' extremely winning presence as innocuous dad. A kind of re-imagining of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, but mostly confined outdoors. Followed by HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID (also with Moranis) and than a straight-to-video sequel, HONEY, WE SHRUNK OURSELVES.
½ July 9, 2017
Boy I barely remember this movie I do remember it was a funny one
½ June 7, 2017
"Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" is a fast-paced, inventive, funny, and overall enjoyable adventure where its various antics and scenes are fun to watch.
May 31, 2017
Rick Moranis' hilarious inventor dad performance, as well as some good practical effects, mostly keep aloft this otherwise poorly acted and written kid adventure.
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2017
The film was unique and clever for its take on the shrinking man angle. Growing up, this film was something I remembered and finding it on Netflix was a happy moment. My expectations went out the window probably in the first 30 minutes, this clearly wasn't a classic by any means. The film is just something of the era, not a never-ending story, dark crystal or flash gordon that lives on due to high concept camp. This film could be remade today while those other films would struggle to maintain interest, look at the total recall, point break and Robocop remakes, very hard to replicate that special something. This film has all the clichà (C)s to make it a huge box office treat but none of the fun and quirkiness to create a cult favorite. 27-05-2017.
March 22, 2017
This was an OK movie. A good premise. Funny at times, but overall the humor is kind of bland. But the acting is good.
½ March 20, 2017
I wasn't interested very much.
½ January 8, 2017
This movie is a nice blast from the past but it's hard to watch in 2017 with how far we've come with CGI. Though I did get to ride the bee at Universal Studios in the early '90s so that was cool.
½ December 30, 2016
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is directed by Joe Johnston, and it stars Rick Moranis in a science fiction about an inventor that tried to shrink things, but doesn't work, however, when an accident occur and the kids go up to fix the problem, the machine shrink the kids up to where the parents barely see them, and Wayne (Rick Moranis) accidentally put the kids in a garbage bag and put it outside the yard, which the kids need to get back to the house. The story of this is pretty interesting as it'll lead to some fantastic practical and stop-motion effects that makes it feel like a bit of a different world, but only for the fact that the characters have shrunken down. The characters are good in this, with Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman's characters being one of the best part of the film. The acting is pretty good in this, and the humor is really funny, especially from Rick Moranis with a clever script by Ed Naha and Tom Schulman. The only thing that was a bit of an issue, was that the characters that shrunken down, were a bit obvious to the approach of where it's going, and they just seem like that type of character that is the typical, even though I still like those characters because they're likable and have funny moments. For Joe Johnston's first film, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is better than you think is going to be and is a lot of fun to watch.
December 16, 2016
Love this movie. Takes me back like home alone or back to the future or ET.
December 15, 2016
Awesome special effects and set pieces.
November 19, 2016
I will admit, I am not age appropriate for this movie. I decided to watch this because I was so used to seeing the trailers for this at the beginning of all my old Disney VHS Tapes. But going in to it as an adult, I didn't think it was that bad. The kids are a good group of kid actors and the parents get some laughs and the movie takes advantage of every opportunity with the kids the size of an ant. They use the grass as slides, a little drop of water seems like a river, a giant battle between an ant and a ... scorpion??, and the deadly lawnmower. For kids, this is a pretty fun movie. For adults, not a bad choice if you are babysitting.
½ March 12, 2016
A wild disney classic. A thoroughly enjoyable movie that shows off impressive effects for its time. It's an adventure movie in which the peril feels genuine and is a lot of fun.
½ March 5, 2016
Absolutely one of my favourite movies when I was a kid and watched it way too many times. Backyard adventure is amazing!!
February 15, 2016
Subject has disappeared.

A scientist that builds his experiments at home has a distant relationship with his family. The neighbor's kids hit a baseball through the scientist's lab window, and when the neighbors and kids in the house go to see the damage, they are shot by the scientist's ray gun that shrinks them. They accidentally end up in the back yard and will need to find their way home. The shrunk children embark on a mission home through the wilderness of their backyard in hopes of arriving home so the father can turn them back to normal size.

"We're supposed to go fishing!"
"Yeah right! How are you going, as bait?"

Joe Johnston, director of Captain America: First Avenger, Hidalgo, Jumanji, Jurassic Park III, The Rocketeer, October Sky, No Safe for Work, and The Wolfman (2010), delivers Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The storyline for this picture is very straightforward, but the backyard adventure is fun and unfolds well. The acting is as you'd expect for the genre and includes Rick Moranis, Amy O'Neill, Mark Taylor, Kristine Sutherland, and Matt Frewer.

"If I was your brother I'd put myself up for adoption."
"Yeah, I hope your face end up on a milk carton."

I hadn't seen this in a long time and thought it would be a fun film to watch with my daughter when I found it on Showtime Anytime. She was only mildly interested but I thought it was still fun and an above average addition to the genre. I recommend seeing this once with your children.

"I'm on a new diet...no toxic waste."

Grade: C+/B-
½ January 15, 2016
Creative, though silly. I like the different ways they made this movie, as well as Rick Moranis. And working with kids didn't spell out disaster as it usually does. I liked the visuals and sets and effects.
January 15, 2016
One of those movies from everyone's childhood that is still really fun today.
October 12, 2015
A fun and childhood classic. As I age more and watch these older movies, I do tend to notice some of the "lacks" from these older special effects. Throughout the film though, I was well impressed with them for it's time. The sets were really well done, there were enough moments where it was just hard to tell how they did it effect-wise, and some of the stop-motion effects were pretty decent as well. A few small kids (literally) on one big journey from being swept up from a broom to riding on insects all over. This is clever and well-done entertainment that to me should remain one of the best and most interesting ideas when it comes to non-animated Disney studio films. I am also taking some credit from the fact that there is a movie set play area and a 3D indoor theater show with it's theme at Disney's Hollywood Studios park. The overall film is well-engaging and quite suspenseful.
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