Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
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|Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves|
|Directed by||Dean Cundey|
|Produced by||Barry Bernardi|
|Written by||Karey Kirkpatrick
|Based on||Characters by
|Music by||Michael Tavera|
|Editing by||Charles Bornstien|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Video|
|Release date(s)||March 18, 1997|
|Running time||75 minutes|
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is a 1997 live-action direct-to-video sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. It is the third and final film in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids trilogy. The directorial debut of cinematographer Dean Cundey and released through Walt Disney Home Video, it tells the story of the "nutty" inventor Wayne Szalinski as he accidentally shrinks his wife, brother, sister-in-law, and himself with his electromagnetic shrink ray.
Rick Moranis returns to portray Wayne Szalinski. He is the only returning cast member from the previous films. His wife, Diane, is portrayed by Eve Gordon, and their youngest son Adam, now a preteen, is played by Bug Hall. Amy and Nick have gone off to college (as discussed between Diane and Adam in the film) and the Szalinskis' pet dog Quark has gone up to heaven (as never discussed in the film). This film includes Wayne's extended family, including his brother Gordon and his wife, Patti. Unlike the first film, where the kids had to get their parents' attention, the parents have to get their kids' attention.
Only a few months after this film was released, the Disney Channel picked up a show based on the Szalinskis' troubles: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. It starred Peter Scolari in the role of Wayne. This was the last incarnation of the franchise; this is also Disney's first live-action movie to get a direct-to-video release.
This was Rick Moranis' final live-action role before his subsequent retirement from acting.
It has been 8 years since Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) blew up his son, Adam, into gigantic size. Nick Szalinski, like his sister Amy, is now living away from home to college, and Quark, the family dog, has passed away. Wayne is the president of Szalinski Labs, with his brother Gordon Szalinski (Stuart Pankin) as head of research and development. Adam (Bug Hall), now ten years old, is having trouble making his father understand that he wants to go to baseball camp instead of science camp like his father wants him to. Diane Szalinski (Eve Gordon) is having a hard time adjusting to Wayne's attempts to create new machines and raising her son. She and her sister-in-law, Patti (Robin Bartlett), are heading out of town for the weekend while Wayne and Gordon watch their kids.
Diane demands that Wayne get rid of the eyesore space-hogging seven-foot-tall Tiki Man sculpture that is in their hallway while she is out of town. He reluctantly agrees, but has a better plan in mind. He decides to secretly shrink it to carry with him always instead of giving it up, even though he was prohibited from ever using the machine again. While the kids are away buying groceries through a trick that Wayne pulls on them into doing so, he and Gordon carry it up to the attic where his famed shrinking machine resides. The shrinking machine has been upgraded and streamlined over the years (as it is headed for a place in the Smithsonian), and now sports a large red button to fire it. Much to their carelessness of not shutting the machine back off right away after succeeding in shrinking the Tiki Man, while down on the floor with magnifying glasses right in front of the machine searching for the now-shrunken Tiki Man, Wayne and Gordon are accidentally shrunk into 3/4 of an inch tall when a croquet ball accidentally rolls itself away from a shelf and lands on the button. After Patti finding out that she forgot to leave Gordon and Patti's son Mitch (Jake Richardson) the medicine for his potassium deficiency with him at home, the women decide to drive back. When they return, they hear a sound in the attic and go up to investigate. After going in, however, the same result that befell Wayne and Gorden happens as the shrink ray starts up again and another croquet ball activates it, shrinking Diane and Patti.
Adam and his cousins, Mitch and Jenny (Allison Mack) come home to find that their parents are not there (even though it was thanks to their car rolling out of the driveway and on to a neighbor's across the street, which was because of brake problems that started happening). From hearing an old message on the answering machine, they mistakenly think that their fathers are at the space shuttle launch. Diane is infuriated with Wayne's antics and they decide that they need to get their children's attention. After climbing a wicker chair, they decide to ride a fishing pole thread down from the attic window and into Adam's room. Jenny decides to throw a party with her friends in the living room, which infuriates the adults.
The shrunken adults reach Adam's room, ride on his Sharkruiser car on a Hot Wheels track, and accidentally fall into the laundry chute, landing in a basket of laundry at the bottom. However, their collapse into the basket signals Adam and Mitch to take up the laundry and sort it, which they do. They take the laundry all the way back up to Adam's room much to the parents' dismay of being back up there. The basket is dumped on the floor because Adam wants to secretly show Mitch a magazine having to do with baseball instead of science (which Adam has been hiding from his dad). Thinking that it might be a girly magazine even because they can't see it from their angle, the parents start getting upset at each other. As Mitch and Adam are called downstairs by Jenny, who returns from shopping for more stuff to clean up a kitchen mess they just made, they drop the magazine right by where their parents are standing, and Wayne takes the liberty to inspect it only to find out that it's just a new baseball instruction manual. Later as the group explore their way to the stairs, the group then stumbles upon a cockroach, from which Wayne saves Diane. Jenny's friends begin to arrive, including Jill (Mila Kunis), a girl Adam is interested in. While walking around, Wayne and his family watch as Mitch begins to stumble without his medicine. From that result, the group plans to split up with Wayne and Gordon planning on rewiring the speakers to make their voices loud, while Diane and Patti head to the kitchen to look for Mitch's medicine. The group uses Jenny's friend's bubble machine to float down to the first floor.
While the women land safely, the men's bubble flies out of control thanks to an air conditioner that Jenny turns on at just the right time for them to nearly land to safety, causing it to head towards and pop on the chandelier, with their luck landing them in a bowl of onion dip. They then proceed to nearly get eaten by the girls, but thanks to sloppy eater Jill, they fall out of the bowl and are safe. As Diane and Patti attempt to explore the kitchen and find a way to get up the counter, they stumble upon a daddy long-legs caught in a spider's web. With a moment of panic along with some regret of Diane not smashing it when she saw it much earlier, they finally realize that its foot is caught in the web and have a change of heart and rationality; therefore, Patti agrees to clear the web with a nail file. As she does so, Diane talks to the daddy long-legs and realizes that being his size is bad enough without her trying to kill him when she is normal size. In the meantime, Ricky King (Jojo Adams), Jenny's crush, comes over to the house with his friends uninvited and begin to liven things up at the party, as Wayne and Gordon try to hot-wire the speakers. Gordon agrees to be the one that climbs the speaker to be the one to speak into it when it's ready, while Wayne goes inside to hot-wire the system. As Ricky and his uninvited friends start mistreating Mitch and Adam, and while a slow song begins playing, Ricky asks Jenny to go to the kitchen with him. She does, only for Ricky to steal an unwanted kiss from her, which Diane and Patti witness. Jenny, angry at Ricky, reprimands and discourages him for doing so, stating that he could've asked if she wanted to kiss him in the first place. Ricky then claims that lots of girls like the way he kisses, but Jenny retorts that she doesn't act that way regardless. She then declares the party over, which gives Patti a new judgement on her.
Adam finds Mitch very ill and goes into the kitchen to look for his pills, which Diane and Patti could not push into view. Mitch manages to see the mothers and faints (either from surprise, lack of potassium, or both) and needs potassium in his system to stay awake. Adam, after remembering that he found out bananas have potassium from his dad, saves Mitch by getting Jenny to feed him some. However, following that event, Ricky and his friends begin to cause havoc at the party as revenge for Jenny's discouragement, scaring Jenny's friends. Still declaring the party over, Jenny demands Ricky and his friends to leave at once, but they refuse, saying that they'll leave when they want to. Fortunately, Wayne finally succeeds in hot-wiring the speakers, and Gordon pretends to be God, scaring Jenny's and Ricky's friends into leaving the house at once. Following the departure of the guests, Gordon reveals that the adults have been shrunk and that Diane and Patti are in the kitchen, which worries Jenny. The kids find all of their parents and places them in front of the shrink ray, having set it via Wayne's instructions to change them back into normal size. After deciding to give them a second chance, they all hit the button together.
After reuniting, Wayne announces he understands Adam's interest in baseball over science, and Diane tells Wayne that she is not going to "sweat the small stuff anymore" and that he can do whatever he likes with the Tiki Man. Patti begins to trust Jenny and acknowledges it to her, and Wayne decides to step down from the position of President of Szalinski Labs and get back to his true passion as a hands-on inventor, giving Gordon, who likes organizing things and is good with people, the job as President. The film's last shot reveals that Wayne has blown up the Tiki Man into tremendous size to loom over the house from the backyard.
- Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski
- Stuart Pankin as Gordon Szalinski
- Eve Gordon as Diane Szalinski
- Robin Bartlett as Patti Szalinski
- Bug Hall as Adam Szalinski
- Allison Mack as Jenny Szalinski
- Jake Richardson as Mitch Szalinski
- Jojo Adams as Ricky King
- Mila Kunis as Jill, Jenny's friend
- Erica Luttrell as Jody, Jenny's friend
- Lisa Wilhoit as Holly, Jenny's friend
- Ashleigh Sterling as Corky, Jenny's friend
- Laura Dunn as Trina, Wayne's secretary
- Theodore Borders as Trey
Originally, the film was going to be released in 1996 to theaters. Karey Kirkpatrick was called in to write the script, while working on James and the Giant Peach. The finished script was sent in to Jeffrey Katzenberg, who decided that the studio did not want to continue with the film. It was shelved for a few months while Kirkpatrick resumed work on James and the Giant Peach. While working on the film, Kirkpatrick learned that it was going to be picked up again.
The Walt Disney Company at the time was having success with releasing direct-to-video sequels, such as The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. They wanted to test how live-action sequels would do, so they picked Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves to be their first.
Nell Scovell and Joel Hodgson were recruited to try to reduce Kirkpatrick's script due to the budget restraint. In Kirkpatrick's script, the group of shrunken parents would originally fall into a fishtank. The scene was cut from the script, and then revised to the bubble machine scene. One scene shows one of Wayne's inventions, a machine that translates dog barks to human speech. It is similar to the devices in the "invention exchange" Hodgson did when with Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Rick Moranis is the only returning cast member from the original films. He returns to portray “nutty” inventor Wayne Szalinski, now the head of Szalinski Labs. Marcia Strassman, who portrayed his wife Diane in the first two films and in the 3D film would not reprise her role anymore. Eve Gordon, who was best known as Marilyn Monroe in A Woman Named Jackie, was cast as Diane instead.
Their onscreen kids, Amy O'Neill and Robert Oliveri, had quit acting by the time the film was released and their characters were only mentioned in a conversation between Diane and Adam. No one replaced Amy or Nick either. Joshua and Daniel Shalikar, who portrayed Adam in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, had signed on for two additional sequels in 1992. They had reprised their role in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, but were recast by Bug Hall, known as Alfalfa in The Little Rascals.
Their onscreen dog Sammy had died a year ago, before the film was made and was never mentioned by the family. No one replaced Quark either.
Stuart Pankin and Robin Bartlett were cast as Gordon and Patti Szalinski, Wayne's brother and sister-in-law. Allison Mack and Jake Richardson were cast as their children, Jenny and Mitch Szalinski. Mack would later become famous as Chloe Sullivan on Smallville. Two of Jenny's friends in the film are portrayed by Mila Kunis and Lisa Wilhoit. Kunis would later portray Jackie Burkhart on That '70s Show, while she would portray Meg Griffin and Wilhoit would later portray Connie D'Amico on Fox's Family Guy.
The film marked Dean Cundey's directorial debut, replacing Randal Kleiser. Cundey is most-known for his cinematography on films such as Jurassic Park, Hook, and Halloween. Originally when the film was going to be released to theaters, the production budget was $40 million. When it was announced that the film would be released to home video, the budget was cut down to $7 million.
Due to the production cut, the studio decided to use television resolution to save money on effects by not having to pay for a projectable format. Also, the original script included that the party had gotten out of control with around 150 kids, akin to Sixteen Candles or Say Anything. This was considered too costly and it was cut down.
Despite the smaller budget, the availability of more advanced SFX technology created a more elaborate effect for the shrinking and enlarging sequences.
In just about every scene in the kitchen, the Trix cereal box is turned directly towards the camera. Other product logos shown include Lays, Coke, Diet Coke, Tostitos, Skippy Peanut Butter, Hot Wheels, Sports Illustrated for Kids, the San Francisco 49ers logo, Sony, Osco Drug, Minute Maid, and Honey Nut Cheerios. All of these products are featured throughout the movie, making it one of Disney's few films that feature real-world products and companies.
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