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
Edited 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 a 1992 science-fiction family film, and the 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]

Three years after the events of the original film the Szalinskis have moved from their home in California to Nevada to raise their two-year-old son Adam. Nick has matured and is now more interested in guitars and girls than he is in science, while nineteen year-old Amy departs for college with her mother Diane. Eccentric inventor Wayne is put in charge of the house and of Adam while Diane is away. Meanwhile at his job at Sterling Labs, Wayne is developing a concept for a device to enlarge objects. He takes Nick and Adam on an unauthorized visit to the plant to test a theory, using a shard of glass to allow the machine to work by enlarging Adam's favorite toy Big Bunny. Suddenly, a power surge causes the machine to go haywire. While they are distracted, Adam gets out of his stroller, unaware of the electric bolts and attempts to take his toy back. The machine fires, zapping both of them. Adam is then on the floor with his legs in the air whilst the electric waves are all around him, giggling. And Adam gets himself up and returns to his stroller unnoticed. The machine breaks down suddenly, earning ire from Dr. Charles Hendrickson, who is mainly interested in taking over Wayne's position as head of the project.

Back at home, electric surges begin to make Adam grow in random spurts. He and Nick try to take Adam back to the lab to investigate, but they are denied access due to Wayne's unauthorized use of the equipment. Diane returns home and discovers Adam, now over 7 feet in height and goes into hysterics. After she calms down, she and Wayne depart for the warehouse where the original Shrink Ray is stored, leaving Nick in charge of Adam. His crush Mandy, Adam's babysitter comes over and discovers the toddler. To prevent screaming and panic, Nick ties her up and explains the situation to her. After several attempts, she gradually understands. But an unattended television that Adam is watching inadvertently causes him to grow to more than 14 feet in height and he escapes. After offering Mandy triple her babysitting rate, she agrees to help Nick find Adam. Eventually, Adam is apprehended by Hendrickson and his men as a means to discredit Wayne for his misuse of the growth ray, but as Adam is transported, power lines along the highway cause him to grow to over 50' in height.

Seeing the lights of Las Vegas, Adam misinterprets it as a playground and starts making his way toward it. He does not listen to Diane or Wayne, and he takes Nick and Mandy, persuing him in a car, and puts them into his pocket. As he approaches a Hard Rock Cafe he takes the neon guitar and starts playing with it. Hendrickson proves his colors when he orders his forces to fire tranquilizers in missile form from approaching helicopters, slightly injuring the toddler and making the giant cry, earning the sympathy of the previously-panicked crowd who now sees he isn't a menace, but an innocent baby. Dr. Sterling sees that Wayne is trying to help and dismisses Hendrickson, but Wayne explains that Adam must hold still for fourteen seconds for the shrink ray to lock onto him; a feat that Diane says is impossible without his parents. As another volley of tranquilizers approach him, Diane agrees to be grown to giant size and she dissuades the helicopter pilots from firing. Diane and Adam happily reunite and she helps him hold still for the amount of time needed and both are returned to their normal size. Searching for Nick and Mandy after realizing the pocket they were in had gotten a hole, Wayne discovers the car safely on the ground where Nick waves him off as he finally gets the girl and kisses Mandy. Later, Adam is overjoyed to discover that his Big Bunny toy, having not been restored to its normal size is still about fifty feet in height.

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. Fred Rogers and Richard Simmons are also featured as videos from the TV scenes.

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 Las Vegas. 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. The suit was filed in 1991 by Mark Goodson Productions director Paul Alter, who claimed to have come up with the idea of an oversized toddler after babysitting his granddaughter and watching her topple over building blocks. He wrote a screenplay titled "Now, That's a Baby!", which had not been made into a film but had received some sort of treatment beforehand.[3] Alter claimed there were several similarities between the movie and his script, which consisted of the baby daughter of two scientists fall victim to a genetic experiment gone wrong instead of an enlarging ray. The case went to trial in 1993, with the jury finding in Alter's favor. Disney was forced to pay $300,000 in damages.[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]