A scientist invents a shrink ray that accidentally shrinks his
kids and his neighbors' kids down to near microscopic size.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Directed by Joe Johnston
Written by Ed Naha and Tom Schulman
Starring Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman,
Kristine Sutherland, Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri,
Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton
I've always had a fondness for this film. Reminiscent of classic sci-fi adventures like Fantastic Voyage and The Incredible Shrinking Man, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a delightful adventure through an untapped frontier: Your very own lawn. Led by an eccentric and charming performance from Rick Moranis, this family comedy was a huge success and spawned two sequels, neither of which were as good as the first. Surprisingly, nobody else ever saw much success from this film aside from Moranis, who was already a household name. Still, the film was a monster at the box office and is still a very fun watch.
Wayne Szalinski (Moranis) is an aspiring scientist who is very close to inventing a shrink ray. His colleagues think he's a joke and this is his chance to show them up. When he's at work, the neighbor kids hit a baseball through his attic window, which jumpstarts the machine. Wayne's kids and the neighbor kids get shrunk to near microscopic size, then end up in the yard when they get swept up in the trash. Now, they have to traverse miles of uncut jungle, giant bugs, lawnmowers, and sprinklers to get home. The production design, like all shrink-based films, is insanely detailed and impressive. I'd say Oscar-worthy, but the film received no award attention.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a childhood favorite of mine that I'm very glad I got to revisit. The entire trilogy is streaming on Disney Plus, and I plan on watching the next two just for kicks. But this first film is a classic, with an awesome score, great performances, and a cool take on a tried and true formula.