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
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography John Hora
Edited by Harry Hitner
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • July 17, 1992 (1992-07-17)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $76 million

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid is a 1992 American comedy science fiction 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 Park, 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. Made only three years after Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, this film is set five years after the events depicted in the previous film. It was filmed in 1990.

The antagonist to the Szalinskis is Dr. Charles Hendrickson (John Shea), who wants the giant Adam 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.

Plot[edit]

Five years after inventor Wayne Szalinski shrunk his children, his family have moved to Nevada, and welcomed a new son, mischievous two-year old Adam. Wayne’s wife Diane leaves with their daughter Amy for college, leaving Wayne to look after Adam and their teenage son Nick, who struggles with puberty. He develops a crush on Mandy Park, who Wayne later arranges to babysit Adam. Wayne takes his sons to Sterling Labs, where he has constructed a device which could make objects grow. He tests it out on Adam’s toy Big Bunny. However, when Wayne and Nick’s backs are turned, Adam retrieves his toy and is zapped by the machine.

Back home, Adam and Big Bunny are exposed to electrical waves and grow in size, now seven feet tall. Wayne and Nick try to take Adam back to the lab to reverse the process, but are caught by Wayne’s superior Doctor Charles Hendrickson, who dislikes Wayne, later discovering his folly. Diane returns home and discovers the truth. Wayne and Diane drive to a warehouse and retrieve Wayne’s shrink ray to turn Adam back to normal. Mandy arrives to babysit Adam, Nick calming her down when she sees the gigantic toddler. Adam is exposed to a television’s electrical waves and grows to fourteen foot, before escaping through a wall.

Nick and Mandy search for him, but they and Adam are taken into custody, Adam placed into a truck. Wayne and Diane return home, finding the smug Hendrickson waiting for them. He has summoned Clifford Sterling, the company chairman, with the plan to fire Wayne and experiment on Adam. Sterling arrives, praising Wayne when he admits his mistake and agrees to help Adam, firing the rude Hendrickson as well. Adam grows even larger, escaping confinement, and heads for Las Vegas, pursued by his family and the authorities. Nick and Mandy are placed in Adam’s trouser pocket.

Hendrickson gets permission to board a military helicopter and tranquilise Adam. Wayne needs Adam to stand still for twelve seconds so he can be shrunk. At first, he tries using Big Bunny to pacify Adam but it backfires when Wayne suggests his son takes a nap. After wandering through Las Vegas, Adam pursues an ice cream truck driven by Marshall Brooks, though he is distracted by the guitar atop a Hard Rock Café. Hendrickson arrives and shoots Adam, causing him to drop the guitar and be electrocuted. Diane convinces Wayne to enlarge her so she can hug Adam, preventing Hendrickson from harming her son. Wayne then fires the shrink ray, returning Adam and Diane to normal size. Hendrickson arrives, attempting to justify his actions, but Diane knocks him out.

In the closing scene, Nick and Mandy are revealed to be the size of insects, trapped in a car Adam played with earlier, but are found by Wayne. The only problem left is to shrink Big Bunny to normal size.

Cast[edit]

  • Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski, a wacky inventor who always takes risks with pursuing machine experiments and at the same time is negligent prone when it comes to taking every precaution necessary in his achievement attempts.
  • Marcia Strassman as Diane Szalinski, Wayne's wife.
  • Amy O'Neill as Amy Szalinski, Wayne & Diane's eldest daughter.
  • Robert Oliveri as Nick Szalinski, Wayne & Diane's teenage son.
  • Daniel & Joshua Shalikar as Adam Szalinski, Wayne & Diane's two year old baby son who is enlarged to over 100 feet tall.
  • John Shea as Dr. Charles Hendrickson, Wayne's insolent boss hired under Clifford Sterling to be the head of Sterling labs.
  • Lloyd Bridges as Clifford Sterling, the president of Sterling labs. He has a kind disposition unlike his hired head, Dr. Hendrickson.
  • Keri Russell as Mandy Park, Adam's babysitter who also becomes Nick's girlfriend.
  • Ron Canada as Marshall Brooks
  • Gregory Sierra as Terence Wheeler
  • Michael Milhoan as Captain Ed Myerson
  • Leslie Neale as Constance Winters
  • Julia Sweeney as a Nosy neighbor
  • Linda Carlson as another Nosy neighbor

Production[edit]

The film was not originally written as a sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Originally titled Big Baby, it was about a 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 sequel to Honey and rewrote the script. Whereas most of the characters from Big Baby were rewritten as characters from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, there was no character in the original that "Amy Szalinski" could replace, so she is seen 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 his 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.

Casting director Renee Rousselot searched over 1,000 small children for someone to portray Adam, the newest addition to the Szalinski clan. She searched for mostly three- to four-year-old boys because a younger child was thought to be problematic. She came across 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 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 Shalikar twins 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.

Fred Rogers and Richard Simmons are also seen in videos in TV scenes in the film.

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 Hotel and Casino, the Mirage Hotel, and Fremont Street.[2] 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 bedroom'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."[3]

Lawsuit before release[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.[4] Alter claimed there were several similarities between the movie and his script, which consisted of the baby daughter of two scientists falling 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.[5]

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.[6]

Critical[edit]

The film has received generally mixed reviews. It has a "rotten" rating of 41% at Rotten Tomatoes.[7] 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".[8]

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 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 and Mark Mueller. The soundtrack album consists of just the 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

Home media[edit]

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid was first released on VHS and Laserdisc on January 6, 1993. The film was released on a bare-bones DVD in 2002. While the VHS release contained no bonus material besides a music video, the laserdisc release contains the 1992 animated short film, Off His Rockers directed by Barry Cook, which accompanied the theatrical release. To date, Off His Rockers has only appeared on the laserdisc release of this film, making its availability rare, although the short can be viewed on YouTube.

The film was released on VHS in 1997, alongside its predecessor to coincide with the release of the third film in the series, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Daley (August 7, 1992). "Honey, the Kids Coulda Blown the Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  2. ^ Levitan, Corey (2009-11-08). "Las Vegas is Cinema City". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-11-12. 
  3. ^ Steve Daley (May 22, 1992). "Blowing Up Baby". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  4. ^ "Disney, the Mouse Betrayed" by Peter and Rochelle Schweitzer
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Roger Ebert's Report on 'Honey, I Blew Up the Kid'". Chicago Sun-Times. 2000. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 

External links[edit]