Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

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Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Dean Cundey
Produced by Barry Bernardi
Written by Karey Kirkpatrick
Nell Scovell
Joel Hodgson
Based on Characters by
Stuart Gordon
Brian Yuzna
Ed Naha
Starring Rick Moranis
Eve Gordon
Bug Hall
Robin Bartlett
Stuart Pankin
Allison Mack
Jake Richardson
Music by Michael Tavera
Cinematography Ray Stella
Edited by Charles Bornstien
Distributed by Walt Disney Home Video
Release date(s) March 18, 1997 (1997-03-18)
Running time 75 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million

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 died (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.

Plot[edit]

It has been eight years since Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) blew up his baby son, Adam, to a gigantic size. Nick Szalinski, just like his sister Amy, is now living away from home while Quark passed away and 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 he 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.

While she is out of town, Diane demands that Wayne get rid of the seven-foot-tall Tiki Man sculpture that is in their hallway. He agrees, but has a better plan in mind. He decides to secretly shrink it to carry with him always instead of throwing it away, even though he was banned from ever using the machine again. While the kids are away buying groceries, he and Gordon bring it up to the attic where his famed shrink machine resides. The shrink machine has been upgraded and streamlined over the years (as its headed for a place in the Smithsonian), and now sports a large red button to fire it. While searching for the now-shrunken Tiki Man, Wayne and Gordon are accidentally shrunk to 3/4 of an inch tall when a croquet ball accidentally rolls from a shelf and lands on the button. After forgetting to give Gordon and Patti's son, Mitch (Jake Richardson), who has a potassium deficiency, his medicine, 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 (Jake Richardson) and Jenny (Allison Mack), come home to find that their parents are not there. After hearing an old message on the answering machine, they believe 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 toy race track, and accidentally fall into the laundry chute, landing in a basket of laundry. The group then stumbles upon a cockroach, from which Wayne saves Diane. Jenny's friends begin to arrive, including Jill (Mila Kunis), whose heart Adam is interested in winning. While walking around, Wayne and his family watch as Mitch begins to stumble without his medicine. The group plans to split up with Wayne and Gordon planning on rewiring the speakers to make their voice loud, while Diane and Patti look in the kitchen 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, Wayne and Gordon's bubble flies out of control, causing it to pop on the chandelier and they land a bowl of onion dip. They then proceed to nearly get eaten by the party girls, but, thanks to sloppy eater Jill, they fall out of the bowl and are safe. Diane and Patti stumble upon a daddy long-legs caught in a spider's web. As Patti clears the web with a nail file, 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. Ricky King (Jojo Adams), Jenny's crush, comes over to the house uninvited with his friends and begin to liven things up at the party, as Wayne and Gordon try to hot-wire the speakers. Ricky steals an unwanted kiss from Jenny in the kitchen, which Diane and Patti witness. Jenny, angry at Ricky, discourages him, which gives Patti a new judgment on her. Ricky and his friends then begin to cause havoc at the party, bullying Adam and Mitch around.

Adam and an ill Mitch go into the kitchen to look for his pills, which Diane and Patti could not push into view. Mitch sees the mothers and passes out (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. Wayne finally succeeds in hot-wiring the speakers, and Gordon pretends to be God, scaring the guests away. They reveal that they have been shrunk and that Diane and Patti are in the kitchen, which worries Jenny. The kids find all of their parents and place them in front of the shrink ray, having set it via Wayne's instructions to change them back to normal size. After contemplating what life would be like if they leave their parents shrunk, they give in and hit the button.

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 finally, 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 of President. The film's last shot reveals that Wayne has blown up the Tiki Man to tremendous size to loom over the house from the backyard.

Note[edit]

The Alvin and the Chipmunks 1980s animated cartoon series featured a special known as Funny, We Shrunk the Adults. While entirely unrelated to this film, it features a very similar premise.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

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.

Casting[edit]

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.

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, and voice Meg Griffin on Family Guy while Wilhoit would later voice Connie D'Amico on the same show.

Direction[edit]

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.

The film was digitally composited on three Apple Mac computers, using After Image and Ultimate software, at Cundey's home before it was sent to the Dream Quest effects company for finessing.

Product placement[edit]

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, Street Sharks, 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.

Reception[edit]

Sales[edit]

The film was released direct-to-video on March 18, 1997. It tied neck-and-neck with the video releases of The Long Kiss Goodnight and The First Wives Club.[citation needed]

Critical response[edit]

Unlike the previous films, it received mostly negative reviews from critics. On the film rating website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 25%, based on 8 reviews.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]