Resizing (fiction)

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Resizing (including size-changing, miniaturization, growth, shrinking, and enlargement) is a recurring theme in fiction, in particular in fairy tales, fantasy, and science fiction.

Early Instances in fiction[edit]

There are many examples of resizing in Chinese fiction such as Journey to the West.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has repeated resizing themes, where Alice grows or shrinks as she eats foodstuffs or drinks potions.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King The Mouse King and magic toys and Christmas Ornaments using magical to shrink Clara and Marie about tiny size or The Mouse King uses magic to shrink about tiny size by accident.

In Nintendo's Mario and Super Smash Bros. franchises, the player-characters in those games can grow or shrink by using various power-ups, mainly by several variants of Super Mushrooms, Poison Mushrooms and the Lightning Bolt.

Oyayubihime (Thumb Princess) is a Japanese work based on Thumbelina. This story centers around the main character Sayako, who splashes a red liquid on individuals to shrink them to about three inches tall.

The protagonist of the magical girl manga and anime series Hime-chan's Ribbon is able to transform and resize herself by using a magic ribbon.

In the animated series Adventure Time, Jake the Dog, one of the series' two main characters, is able to magically stretch or shrink himself to various sizes.

Touhou Project is a Japanese video game as Suika Ibuki for growing power: Suika Ibuki can grow to 50-feet tall about giantess monster size and shrinking variation: She can generate mini-Suikas which are roughly can Suika Ibuki is shrink to three inches tall about Tiny Alice size.

Excessive growth[edit]

Common causes of excessive growth in fiction include poisons of various kinds and radioactive contamination. Other causes are the drinking of chemicals, being shot by a growth ray, or by will.

The novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth by H. G. Wells describes a kind of food that can accelerate and extend the growth process, which when introduced to the world causes great upheavals. In Wells' novel, giants have great powers, and they seek to continue growing and improving; only the small people with their small minds stand in their way. This is a symbol of social groups with great potential suppressed by mainstream society, and an expectation for them to eventually change the world (through a radical way). Though one of Wells' lesser-known works, many of the features of the novel have been incorporated into other works.

Excessive growth is often described as result of advance in biology (in Wells' novel, for example, the food was developed by two biologists). In reality, excessive growth is usually related to some illness; victims of fictional excessive growth, however, are generally more than healthy, and have powers proportionate to their size (in the same way that the physical limitations related to size in reality are ignored).

In science fiction/horror B-movies, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, enlargement of people or creatures to monstrous size (often accomplished via radiation) was a common theme. Films featuring enlargement include Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Amazing Colossal Man, Village of the Giants, The Food of the Gods, 1954's Them!, and Tarantula. Bert I. Gordon is the filmmaker most closely associated with this genre. More recently, Disney released Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, which involves a toddler who grows tall when exposed to electricity, and causes panic in Las Vegas.

In the recent Japanese production "Dai-Nippon-Jin" ("Big Man Japan") the protagonist is the latest in a dynasty of heroes who can grow to enormous size to fight equally huge monsters.

In the music video of Relient K's "(Marilyn Manson ate) My girlfriend", a gigantic Marylin Manson eats the band's girlfriend and the band has to go into Marilyn Manson to save her.

Probably the best-known example of resizing in comic strips is a series of Calvin and Hobbes strips where Calvin grows bigger than a galaxy.

In the science fiction film Monsters vs. Aliens, Susan Murphy grows to giantess size when exposed to quantonium.

In the children's book, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Clifford starts out as a small puppy who grows up to become a giant dog.

In the W.G Marshall novel, Enormity, a short Creole man named Manny Lopes feels low with a variety of problems: his government job in South Korea, how the locals treat him and his wife, Ruth, leaves him after giving up on the long distance marriage. He grows into a 6,000 foot colossal giant from an accident that leads to catastrophic damages if he moves. The American Soldiers takes advantage and uses Manny's friend, Karen, in an attempt to have him help them stop Yoon-sook, a North Korean assassin of a similar height to his own, who believes herself to be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz cross-trekking to America. The only person who can stop Manny from his own path of destruction, is Ruth. Enormity explores the existent reality of the problems related to both Manny and Yoon-sook's colossal size as well as the cultural impact and conflict.

Shrinking machines[edit]

The shrinking is usually accomplished using a machine of some kind. For example, in the films Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace, in which the miniaturized protagonists travel through the human body, the machine looks something like a Star Trek transporter, and is large enough to accommodate the target. On the other hand, in the film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the machine looks like a laser device which operates near the target. In some works, a shrinking machine can enlarge as well, and vice versa. For example, in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, a shrinking machine makes a toddler 100 feet tall. Both types of machine normally have the ability to reverse the shrinking process (though sometimes, as in Fantastic Voyage, the reversal happens automatically after a certain period).

In 1940's Dr. Cyclops, the protagonists are reduced to less than a foot in size by the titular mad scientist, and are subjugated to his whims. 1957's The Incredible Shrinking Man inspired a boom in science fiction films that made use of size-alteration in the late 1950s and the 1960s, and also inspired a comic remake in 1981's The Incredible Shrinking Woman.

In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Terratin Incident", a ray of unknown origin strikes the Enterprise and causes everyone aboard to begin gradually shrinking. Spock explains this as the gaps between molecules reducing, though only in organic material such as flesh and the crews' algae-based xenylon uniforms. When Captain Kirk beams down to the planet from which the ray emanated, the effect of the transporter restores him to normal size.

In the "Doctor Who" series episode "The Invisible Enemy" (4th Doctor), the Doctor uses a component from his TARDIS called a Relative Dimensional Stabilizer (RDS) to shrink a clone copy of himself and Leela for injection into his own brain. Later, the RDS is used to increase the size of a micro-dimensional virus so that it can interact with the macrocosm.

In The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series, miniaturizing cloning technology known as micloning (maikuro-n ka in Japanese) plays a significant role in the coexistence of a giant alien race called Zentradi and humanity.

In Marvel Comics, "Pym particles" (named for their inventor, Henry Pym, variously known by the superhero identities Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket) cause physical matter to shrink or enlarge by shunting mass into, or drawing mass from, another dimension. In addition to Pym, a number of other superheroes have used Pym particles to change their size, including the Wasp (Pym's ex-wife), the second Goliath, Black Goliath, the second Ant-Man, and the second Yellowjacket. Pym also designed a prison for supervillains that was dubbed "the Big House", in which superhuman criminals who could not be normally incarcerated were shrunken down to six inches in height.

In DC Comics, the equivalent characters are the various individuals who go by the superhero name, The Atom. In particular of these people, Professor Ray Palmer is the foremost authority in size and molecular density changing technology.

In the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in The Television Room when Mike Teevee uses to shrink into the tiny chocolate bar size and he go to the Television on Purpose after the Taffy Puller.

In the children's television series Dr. Shrinker, Dr. Shrinker use the shrinking ray to shrink three young adults down to six inches tall.

In the cartoon television series Ruby-Spears Productions, Mega Man in Episode "Incredible Shrinking Mega Man" to using secret weapon the shrink ray with red gemstone, Mega Man and Rush or steal them all the cities to small size by 3 Robot Masters (Gust Man, Cut Man or Dust Man), Proto Man and Dr. Wily.

In the videogame Harley's Humongous Adventure, the title character is miniaturized justifying fighting against giant rats and other such odds and relying on thumtacks as weaponry.

In the Science Fiction My Favorite Martian, when Tim shrink into tiny size takes the to the spaceship home with him the martian following.

In the 2008 comedy film Meet Dave, the humanoid aliens controlling "Dave" are one inch tall.

In the 2010 film Tooth Fairy, the main character is given a shrinking paste which he uses to shrink to a tiny fairy size.

In the television series Ally McBeal, the main character name Ally McBeal is shrinking about six inches in height.

In the 2001 Animated film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the shrinking remote control when the teacher and Jimmy Neutron shrink into ant size.

In the 2010 Animated film Despicable Me, when Gru steal the shrink ray.

In the 2012 Disney's Gravity Falls at the episode called Little Dipper, After Mabel Pines incessantly teases Dipper Pines about being taller than him, nonetheless by a mere millimeter, the latter becomes jealous and seeks out a way to grow himself to equal height. After reading about strange size-changing properties hidden in the Gravity Falls forest in 3, Dipper sets out to find said property, which he learns to be crystals, and uses one to assemble a device to make himself taller. After he shows his sister that they are again the same height, she argues that, since her growth spurt occurred first, she would be taller in the end, and proceeds to mock him again. Dipper, angry, uses the flashlight a second time to become taller than Mabel, who, when she sees her brother, learns of the flashlight and fights over it with Dipper, ultimately resulting in Gideon Gleeful getting hold of the it and shrinking the twins. Gideon takes them back to his house and interrogates them as to how they came upon the magical item.

In the MGM cartoons, Tom and Jerry shorts Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse, when Tom shrink into tiny size of a fly and Jerry snaps Tom's Tail because he has a high-pitched screaming.

In the Cartoon show Micro Ventures, when they use shrinking machine to shrink themselves and their dune buggy to miniature size.

In the Fantasy Musical film Babes in Toyland, they using shrink gun when they shrink into tiny toy size.

In the animated series Wild Kratts, the Kratt Brothers have a shrinking machine, the miniaturizer, to shrink down to smaller size. It can also change the wild kratts back to their regular size.

In the 2014 Animated film Penguins of Madagascar, Dave gets shrinked in the trapped snowglobes.

As a sexual fetish[edit]

Size-changing has recently been seen as a sexual fetish with the advent of the internet. Macrophilia/Microphilia, and to some extent vorarephilia are rooted in size-changing fiction.[1][2]

See also[edit]

  • Miniaturization — besides referring to shrinking things and people, miniaturization in science fiction (and real technology) also refers to redesigning products to make smaller ones. A real-world example is the miniaturisation of electronics made possible by advances in semiconductor and manufacturing technology.
  • Shapeshifting
  • Square-cube law — a mathematical principle that defines why resizing in not possible in real life.

Further reading[edit]

  • Glassy, Mark C. The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. 2001.
  1. ^ "Urge: A giant fetish". Salon.com. 1999-05-22. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ Ceilán, Cynthia (2008). Weirdly Beloved: Tales of Strange Bedfellows, Odd Couplings, and Love Gone Bad. Globe Pequot. p. 90. ISBN 1-59921-403-2. 

External links[edit]