Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

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Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
Honey I blew up the kid film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Randal Kleiser
Produced by Dawn Steel
Edward S. Feldman
Screenplay by Garry Goodrow
Thom Eberhardt
Peter Elbling
Story by Garry Goodrow
Based on Characters by:
Stuart Gordon
Brian Yuzna
Ed Naha
Starring Rick Moranis
Marcia Strassman
Robert Oliveri
Keri Russell
John Shea
Lloyd Bridges
Amy O'Neill
Ron Canada
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography John Hora
Editing by Harry Hitner
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release dates
  • July 17, 1992 (1992-07-17)
Running time 89 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $58,662,452 (USA)

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid is the 1992 sequel to the 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Directed by Randal Kleiser and released by Walt Disney Pictures, the film stars Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Robert Oliveri and Amy O'Neill, who reprise their roles as Wayne, Diane, Nick, and Amy Szalinski respectively, as well as newcomer Keri Russell as Mandy, Nick's love interest and babysitter of Adam, the Szalinskis' new two-year-old son, whose accidental exposure to Wayne's new industrial-sized growth machine causes him to gradually grow to enormous size.

The antagonist to Wayne and his family is Dr. Charles Hendrickson (John Shea), who wants the giant baby stopped at all costs and would like to take over Wayne's invention that is now owned by the major corporation they work for, which is in turn owned by the kind Clifford Sterling (Lloyd Bridges).

This film would be followed by one last sequel in 1997, this time a direct-to-video film, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. A TV show would also follow the film in 1997, called Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.

Plot[edit]

It has been three years since "nutty" inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) shrunk his kids. He and his family have now relocated from California to Nevada and have welcomed a new son into the family: 2-year-old Adam. His wife, Diane (Marcia Strassman), is helping their daughter, Amy (Amy O'Neill) get all settled in at college, for which she is departing. As she is gone, Wayne is supposed to look after Adam and their oldest son, Nick (Robert Oliveri).

Nick has matured since the last film. He is more interested in guitars and has a liking for a girl he meets at his job, Mandy Park (Keri Russell), although she does not feel the same way about him. Wayne takes Adam and Nick to his job at Sterling Labs, where he is the head of a project, even though Dr. Charles Hendrickson (John Shea) is trying to take over it. Wayne begins to experiment with an idea on a machine that can make objects grow. He uses Adam's toy, Big Bunny, as the test subject. As a power surge occurs that distracts both Wayne and Nick, Adam gets out of his stroller, walks over to where Big Bunny is, gets in the way of the machine and gets zapped as a result. Suddenly, the machine breaks. Dismayed, Wayne and his sons go home. Deciding to spend some time with Nick, Wayne calls in Mandy to babysit Adam.

Later on, Adam begins to grow via electric waves from the microwave where Wayne is trying to make some lunch. Wayne and Nick try to take him back to the lab, but are stopped by Hendrickson. Diane comes back home and is shocked to find her son 7 feet (2.1 m) tall. After finally getting Adam under control, she and Wayne drive to a warehouse to find his original shrink ray to shrink Adam back to normal size. While Nick watches him at the house, Mandy comes by and faints after seeing Adam. Having no choice, Nick then has her bound to a chair and gagged, to prevent her from running away and screaming. He unties and ungags her, only to find that Mandy goes hysterical, so Nick ties her up and gags her again. Afterwards, Nick explains to her what happened and she finally calms down, then they start to get to know each other better. At the same time, Adam is then exposed to the television set, breaks through the walls of the house, and is loose on the streets, now 14 feet (4.3 m) tall. Nick then unties Mandy and convinces her to help him, promising that he'll pay her overtime. Mandy agrees, and the two go looking for Adam.

At the warehouse, Wayne and Diane search for the shrink ray through tons of crates. They finally find it and leave to return home. However, Hendrickson finds out about the "big baby" and reports it to his boss, Clifford Sterling (Lloyd Bridges). He then gets several law enforcers to put Adam in a truck after finding him and taking Nick and Mandy into custody. Wayne and Diane return home with the shrink ray, only to find the boys gone and facing legal action from Hendrickson, who wants them arrested on the charges of theft, malicious mischief, and child endangerment. Hendrickson also intends that the authorities get Adam to be put to immediate testing, much to Wayne's anger. In the meantime, Adam accidentally breaks free from the truck when he grows to 50 feet (15 m) tall due to high voltage lines the truck passes. Meanwhile, Sterling arrives to discuss the situation, and Wayne admits that he may be a flawful inventor but at least a good person, stating that all good inventors make mistakes all the time, and that he is willing to clean the mess up. Sterling agrees with him. fires Hendrickson, and gives his support to Wayne and Diane to shrink Adam back to normal size, Wayne suddenly discovers that Adam grows while he is near electricity, and Marshall Brooks tells him that Adam is headed straight for Las Vegas. After finding him, Nick and Mandy are mistaken for toys and he puts them in his pocket.

In the meantime, Hendrickson, furious that Sterling sided with Wayne, gets one of the board members Terrence Wheeler (who happens to be a close friend of Hendrickson) of Sterling Labs to authorize an airstrike with the Nevada State Military with the usage of tranquillized cartridges. Hendrickson manages to get the clearance for the strike from the board, despite the pilot's strong objections (since the pilot doesn't believe that tranquillizing a giant baby will solve the problem, while also admitting to being a father of a couple of kids himself). Now 112 feet (34 m) tall, Adam begins roaming the streets of Las Vegas. The citizens and visitors are stunned to see the gigantic baby in Godzillaesque manner, but he seems to think that the likes of "Vegas Vic" and all the neon lights are some kind of playground for him. Wayne and Diane arrive in time with Sterling, but there is still a problem: Adam needs to stand still for twelve seconds for the shrink ray to work. In an effort to keep him away from the lights, Wayne gets Brooks to drive an ice cream truck to lure Adam out of Las Vegas and back to Vista Del Mar while Sterling gets all the casino lights to be turned off to ensure that the plan goes smoothly. The plan is a success, and Diane convinces Wayne to enlarge her with the shrink ray, stating that although Adam will listen to his parents, as he 'knows' that his mother is larger than him, he will not register her at his current size.

Meanwhile, Adam has approached a Hard Rock Cafe and rips off the guitar from its sign, hoping to play with it. Hendrickson arrives in the helicopter and proceeds to shoot him with tranquillizer cartridges. The first shot misses him (because of the pilot's intentional maneuver), but the second hits the guitar, giving Adam a painful electrocuting shock, forcing him to throw the guitar into the pavement before crying in pain. The once-panicked crowd below now watches in sympathy for Adam's pain, realizing all along that he was not a menace, but merely an innocent baby. Before Hendrickson has a chance to fire again, Diane (now enlarged) grabs the helicopter and demands Hendrickson and the pilot to back off. The pilot, who never wanted to participate in the strike, agrees and stands down, much to Hendrickson's dismay. Diane then reunites with Adam, and as she holds him still, Wayne and Sterling manage to shrink Diane and Adam back to normal size.

Afterwards, Hendrickson makes an excuse to Diane for shooting Adam, by saying that the tranquillizer cartridges would not have hurt him, but Diane punches him in the face, knocking him out. Suddenly, the parents realize that Mandy and Nick were shrunk with the car. As the morning sun rises, Nick listens to a civil defense announcement that police have cordoned off the Hard Rock Cafe in order to allow Wayne to search for the car, then changes it to a smooth jazz station in order to spend alone time with Mandy, who finally reciprocates her feelings for him, as Wayne is watching with a magnifying glass, finally finding the car. Wayne asks for a few minutes before they revert Nick and Mandy to regular size, then Adam is excited to see that his Big Bunny is now over fifty feet tall. As Wayne and Diane share a kiss, the credits roll.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was, at first, not supposed to be a sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Originally titled Big Baby, it was about a young toddler who grew to giant size by a freak accident involving a growth ray and eventually terrorized Las Vegas in a non-violent, yet Godzillaesque way. Disney saw the possibilities of making this into a follow up to Honey and rewrote the script to the movie. Whereas most of the characters from Big Baby were rewritten as characters from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, there was no character that could take the place of Amy Szalinski, Wayne and Diane's eldest child and only daughter, portrayed by Amy O'Neill. Instead of excluding her character from the story, Amy is going away to college in the beginning of the film.

Casting[edit]

Rick Moranis returns from the original film to portray "wacky" inventor Wayne Szalinski. Also returning is Wayne's wife, Diane, who is portrayed by Marcia Strassman. Amy O'Neill and Robert Oliveri return to portray the Szalinski children, Amy and Nick. Nick has matured in his personality and interests since the last film. He is still considered "nerdy", but has taken more interest in girls and guitars.

The casting director was Renee Rousselot. She searched in a sea of 1,100 small children for someone to portray the newest addition to the Szalinski clan, Adam. She searched for mostly three- to four-year-old boys because a younger child was thought to be problematic, especially when expected to carry the film's $32 million budget. Rousselot came across two young twins, Daniel and Joshua Shalikar, from New Jersey and immediately cast them in December 1990. One twin would act in the morning, while the other one was eating lunch or taking a nap. Baby consultant Elaine Hall Katz and director Randal Kleiser would plan the twins' scenes a week in advance. Tom Smith reported that, "On his own, Dan was almost too adventuresome to repeat one move, and Josh seemed very cautious. Put them together and they could do anything." However, the film did have difficulties in working with such small children, and one crew member later remarked it was "like playing hopscotch on hot coals".[1] At the time, the Shalikars were scheduled to appear in two more Honey films. They did appear once, but were recast in Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

In the film, Nick has a crush on a girl named Mandy Park, played by Keri Russell in her first feature film. John Shea portrays Dr. Charles Hendrickson, who is scheming to get Wayne's control of the project, while Lloyd Bridges portrays Clifford Sterling, the owner of Sterling Labs.

Direction[edit]

Randal Kleiser, of Grease and White Fang fame, was chosen to direct this film, replacing Joe Johnston. Kleiser would return to film with the cast in the 3D show, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which was at several Disney parks until 2010. Like its predecessor, and Grease, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid had animated opening credits.

Production began on June 17, 1991. Filming took place in Simi Valley, California for the parts involving the Szalinskis' house. Also used extensively was well known places in Las Vegas such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Mirage Hotel. The water park where Nick worked and where Mandy is first introduced is Wet 'n Wild in the Las Vegas area. It closed in 2004, twelve years after the film.

Special effects were used heavily throughout the film, but some were not. When Adam knocks down his room's door, production designer Leslie Dilley created a set with miniature furniture about four feet away from the camera, while the adult actors would be about fifteen feet away. Kleiser recalled, "Danny was generally better at improvising and fresh reactions. Josh was better at following directions, so we would alternate."[2]

Lawsuit[edit]

Disney would later find itself the subject of a lawsuit as a result of the film, brought on by TV game show director Paul Alter, who came up with the idea of an oversized toddler after babysitting his granddaughter and watching her topple over building blocks. His screenplay had been reviewed but never made into a movie, and it was titled "Now, That's a Baby!". The script had a few different ideas though. One was the baby was to be a little girl instead, who became gigantic as a result of a genetic experiment instead of a ray machine. Her parents were scientists desperately finding some way to change her back. The antagonist in the script was not a coworker, but instead a hawkish military officer who seeks to eliminate the gigantic little girl by deploying a missile battery against her, arguing with Washington that she will ruin all cities if left unchecked, but also seeking it to be his one chance to be hailed as a hero.[3]

Alter sued Disney in 1991, claiming several similarities between the movie and his treatment. The case went to trial in 1993, and resulted in the jury awarding Alter $300,000.[4]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film opened on July 17, 1992 to 2,492 theatres, almost twice as many as the first film. It was No. 1 on opening weekend with $11,083,318, and grossed $58,662,452 in the U.S.[5]

Critical[edit]

The film has received generally mixed reviews. It has a "rotten" rating of 41% at Rotten Tomatoes.[6] Desson Thompson and Hal Hinson, both writers from the Washington Post, agreed that the film was "a one-joke film." Roger Ebert, from the Chicago Sun-Times, said that Adam "didn't participate in the real world but simply toddled around."[7]

Soundtrack[edit]

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
Soundtrack album by Bruce Broughton
Released 1992
Genre Soundtrack
Length 39:57
Label Intrada Records
Producer Bruce Broughton

Intrada Records released the record in 1992, in time for the film's release. The film's score was composed and conducted by Bruce Broughton, who would return to provide the score for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees appears in the film. So does "Loco-Motion" by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and "Ours If We Want It" written by Tom Snow & Mark Mueller. The soundtrack album consists of just the film's score.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Main Title" – 3:03
  2. "To the Lab" – 1:53
  3. "Adam Gets Zapped" – 0:35
  4. "Putting on Weight?" – 1:19
  5. "Macrowaved" – 3:15
  6. "How'd She Take It?" – 3:11
  7. "Sneaking Out" – 1:12
  8. "Don't Touch That Switch!" – 0:26
  9. "The Bunny Trick" – 2:41
  10. "Get Big Bunny" – 4:11
  11. "Clear the Streets!" – 3:00
  12. "Car Flight" – 4:38
  13. "Ice Cream!" – 3:47
  14. "Look at That Mother!" – 2:26
  15. "That's All, Folks!" – 4:20

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Daley (August 7, 1992). "Honey, the Kids Coulda Blown the Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  2. ^ Steve Daley (May 22, 1992). "Blowing Up Baby". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Disney, the Mouse Betrayed" by Peter and Rochelle Schweitzer
  4. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1993-11-13). "Jury Tells Disney to Pay $300,000 in 'Honey' Case : Movies: A game show producer who claimed his treatment was used as the basis for 'Honey, I Blew Up the Kid' wins suit. Disney says the film was a sequel to 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.'". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Roger Ebert's Report on 'Honey, I Blew Up the Kid'". Chicago Sun-Times. 2000. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 

External links[edit]