My Review of "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids"
A family friendly classic that screams of 80s culture. What a blast from the past.
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids is a family friendly movie that came out back in 1989. I remember loving this movie back in the day. Seeing it now brought back tons of nostalgia and reminded me of all the fads of the 80's. Even more surprising to me was the way that this movie was made. There was a ton of practical effects in this movie that are pretty impressive even by today's standards.
First off the opening animated sequence of this movie is pretty impressive already. They put so much work in having little cartoons reenacting kids being shrunk just to open up the credits. That's a lot of unnecessary work and effort but I appreciated it when I saw it. This opening animation definitely opened up the tone and mood of the movie.
We then get segued to the actual movie where it looks like a house of inventions. Those where the times when we loved Rube Goldberg devices. We see them in Wallace and Gromit cartoons and other wacky 80's and 90's shows. This movie had very similar Back to the Future look to their Rube Goldberg devices. That was the fad back then though. Everyone was trying to invent something. It was fun and optimistic times.
Here we have Amy and Nick who are sister and brother of the Szalinski family. Their father is a scientist and their mother is a realter. It seems as though their father and mother are going through some hard times together. Their mother is stayed at her mothers place while their father is feverishly working on a shrinking machine. Amy is a responsible older sister while Nick is an opportunist kid trying to emulate his father.
Their next door neighbors are Russ and Ron Thompson. The Thompsons are ready to go on some fishing trip on an RV. The older brother Russ is kind of finding himself in high school whereas Ron is a little turd of a kid. No one wants to hang out with Ron so he tries to play baseball by himself.
This results in him batting one of his baseballs up into the Szalinski's attic which inadvertently turns on the shrinking machine. While trying to make things right all 4 of the kids get shrunk to an almost microscopic size. Of course when we're dealing with movies with size differences these sizes can change dramatically. In general I thought they were pretty consistent with the size of the kids.
There are obviously a number of situations where you're thinking why didn't they just do this but then we wouldn't have a 2 hour long movie of hijinks and insanity. Their exploration of the backyard of their own home is reminiscent of the goonies in some ways. I love the exploration factor of this show and the ideas that they had when considering their microscopic size.
In some ways I could see this being a pretty fun TV show for kids over a movie but the movie did do a good job. The only thing is that I saw so many more opportunities and unexplored hijinks. I guess that's why they spawned so many sequels after this movie.
Even today in 2021, I was in awe of some of the practical effects that they used in this movie. There was no CGI back in this time and yes there are some special effects that are totally noticeable now but for the most part it is impressive. They had a giant ant that comes into the story and it was pretty cool how they were able to add this to the movie seeing how big it was compared to the kids. I can't imagine what the sets looked like in order to get some of the things they wanted to scale.
The acting is probably what you would expect from a Disney live action movie with kids. It's not the best but it's passable. There are a lot of fun antics that will have adults and kids in an uproar. At least I remembered having fun with them as a kid so I'm not totally sure if it's nostalgia or if these were really fun scenes. I'm going with the former.
Overall, I still had a blast watching this movie. I'm very curious how someone of this generation would find this movie. There are a lot of outdated things in this movie that some kids can't relate today with, for example pay phones. I think kids today would still be able to enjoy it though. I have to give this movie a 7 out of 10. Adults that remembered this movie in the past would probably appreciate this movie more.