Release Date: March 18th, 1997
Directed by: Dean Cundey
Written by: Karey Kirkpatrick, Nell Scovell, Joel Hodgson
Based on: characters by Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Ed Naha
Music by: Michael Tavera
Cast: Rick Moranis, Eve Gordon, Bug Hall, Robin Bartlett, Stuart Pankin, Allison Mack, Jake Richardson, Mila Kunis
Walt Disney Pictures, 74 Minutes
“Baseball’s just a phase, it’ll pass. But science is always cool.” – Wayne Szalinski
As bad as Honey, I Blew Up the Kid was, I assumed that this would be absolutely terrible. However, I was kind of surprised by it.
No, it’s not as good as the original film but it was still amusing and kind of charming.
I found it kind of weird that Marcia Strassman wasn’t in this but after the second film, I can’t blame her. But Eve Gordon, who takes over the role of Wayne’s wife, did a better than decent job and had okay chemistry with Moranis.
I also found the other two adults in the story, Stuart Pankin and Robin Bartlett, to be pretty good. I’ve always liked Pankin and I’ll always have a soft spot for Bartlett, who I most remember for that Richard Grieco starring spy spoof If Looks Could Kill. Man, that film’s been lost to the sands of time. I’d like to review it but I’ve never seen it streaming anywhere.
Getting back to this movie, I’m glad that they shrunk characters down again and got back to what made the first film cool and unique. I also like that they shrunk the adults this time, as it at least doesn’t give us a lazy rehash of the original.
My only real complaint about the film is that the adults never go outside. One of the things that made the first film so cool was seeing a normal backyard from the perspective of an insect. In this film, everything happens within the house but considering that this was a movie made specifically to be released on home video, they didn’t have the budget to replicate the oversized outside world.
That doesn’t mean that the shrunken characters don’t have threats to deal with, they certainly do. The worst of them being a cockroach that is about the size of a large horse when compared to the scaled down protagonists.
For the majority of the film, the parents are trying to get their kids’ attention. However, the kids are busy having a house party and are just happy that their parents are nowhere to be found.
For what this is, the special effects and overall production were pretty well done. Sure, some things look dated and it’s obvious that this wasn’t intended for the big screen but you still get lost in the oversized world and buy into the premise.
In the end, this isn’t half bad and it’s better than other straight-to-video releases of the time.
Pairs well with: the other two films in this series.
Also known as: Big Baby, Honey, I Blew Up the Baby (working titles)
Release Date: July 17th, 1992
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
Written by: Garry Goodrow, Thom Eberhardt, Peter Elbling
Based on: characters by Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Ed Naha
Music by: Bruce Broughton
Cast: Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Robert Oliveri, Amy O’Neill (cameo), Lloyd Bridges, John Shea, Keri Russell, Gregory Sierra, Julia Sweeney, Ron Canada
Touchwood Pacific Partners 1, Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures, 89 Minutes
“There’s one thing every little kid knows. Daddies mean fun; mommies mean business.” – Diane
This is a bad sequel. In fact, it’s a horrendous sequel.
And that sucks because Rick Moranis is a Canadian national treasure.
The reason this film is terrible is because it completely lacks the most important element of its predecessor: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. That element is adventure.
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid is just a goofy comedy where a giant toddler descends upon downtown Las Vegas and brings no real kaiju level terror. He just picks up random things and plays with them like an actual f’n toddler.
The previous film saw four kids get shrunk to a size smaller than ants and then saw them have to make it across their backyard, fending off giant bees, fighting giant scorpions, surviving a lawn mower and dealing with a half dozen other threats to their lives.
This film dealt with babysitting a giant toddler that just ends up escaping anyway. None of this is fun, funny or all that entertaining. The jokes are weak, the gags are lame and the only giant props in the film are the random pieces of crap the toddler has in his front pocket.
There’s honestly not a whole lot to say about this movie. It’s bad on just about every level and it shouldn’t exist.
Pairs well with: I guess the other Honey, I Re-Sized A Family Member movies.
Also known as: Grounded, Teenie Weenies, The Big Backyard (working titles)
Release Date: June 23rd, 1989
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Written by: Ed Naha, Tom Schulman, Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna
Music by: James Horner
Cast: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland, Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton, Amy O’Neill, Robert Oliveri, Mark L. Taylor, Kimmy Robertson, Frank Welker (voice)
Walt Disney Pictures, Silver Screen Partners III, Buena Vista Pictures, 94 Minutes
“Nick, I’ve got six hours to get home, get big and get to the mall. Now get moving.” – Amy Szalinski
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that one of the writers of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is Brian Yuzna, the guy behind Re-Animator and its sequels, as well as From Beyond and Society. In fact, this film came out in the same year as the over the top and insane Society. Talk about two extremes.
Anyway, this family classic was one of many reasons as to why the summer of ’89 is probably the best summer for movies of all-time. I loved this as a kid and it has held up pretty well.
Some of the effects look a bit dated, as this came out just before the CGI boom that came with Jurassic Park in 1993, but the use of green screen and stop motion effects pretty much comes off without a hitch and these special effects are top of the line for 1989. Disney crafted an incredible world for this movie and all the physical sets still look fabulous by 2019 standards.
The movie is also kind of timeless and the humor still works. This isn’t a film that’s chock full of ’80s cliches. Okay, maybe the clothes the kids wear are very ’80s but this is written in a way that the jokes and humor aren’t as dated as other films from the time.
Additionally, all the kid actors are pretty solid, as are the parents. The parents of course get top billing in this movie but the bulk of the film is focused on the children and their adventure, trying to get home from the other side of their backyard. Of course there are several challenges that stand in the kids way, which just makes this adventure a lot of fun and actually provides a good amount of real tension.
Rick Moranis is as good as he always is but the real scene stealer was Matt Frewer, who owned the character of Russ Sr. Frewer can do drama and comedy well but here he was so committed to the bit that he was the biggest bright spot in the film.
I’m glad that I revisited this and I’ve just realized that it’s approaching its thirtieth anniversary. Man, I can’t believe it’s been that long since the epic summer of ’89.
Pairs well with: the sequels but each one gets worse and worse, as well as other late ’80s family sci-fi movies like *batteries not included and Cocoon.