This installment features the first film in a life-changing fantastical film series of my youth:
That’s right! One of the best sci-fi kid-oriented films of the 80s: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. What’s funny is that it took me years to realize that the title was grammatically incorrect (It should be I “Shrank”), but that’s why it was awarded the Dunce Cap award from he Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL) for its inaccurate title. This Society must be pretty busy these days with Inglorious Basterds, Terminator: Genisys, and more.
The real reason I chose this film was because it is the best of the series, even though this entire blog series was based off of the second film: Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. I wanted to write about the movies that shaped me and my passion for film, but it devolved slightly from that, becoming a revisitation of the films of my youth.
But you may be asking yourself, “Why the sequel?” Blew Up the Kid was the first film I had ever seen in theaters. Talk about larger than life.
The first film was director Joe Johnston’s very first directorial effort. There was a last-minute dropout of the original director, and so he was brought on having only any real experience as an art director for the Lucasfilm company, Industrial Lights and Magic (ILM). From here of course, he went on to direct The Rocketeer, The Pagemaster, Jumanji, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic Park III, and my favorite out of his follow-ups: October Sky.
This film series was also part of another one of my crushes in the future installment, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Direct-to-video). The daughter, Allison Mack went from this to playing Chloe in Smallville.
Also Mila Kunis was in this!
It gets progressively creepier the more you stare at it.
The films took something I hadn’t thought of as a sci-fi concept, and cemented it in my mind as a youth. So I was able to construct stories about shrinking long before I heard of films like Innerspace or The Incredible Shrinking Man.
Then, I began to watch the TV show which had much more than a Shrink Ray as the “Gadget of the week” trope was the main focus of the show. And it starred that Bosom Buddies guy! (not Tom Hanks), Peter Scolari as Wayne.
Where/ when did I first see it?
As mentioned before, I first witnessed this at Plourde Century Theatre a month after its release (original release July 17, 1992). I can’t believe I only watched my first film in theaters at the age of seven! What a crock! I’m going to change that for my kids!
How does it hold up?
The practical visual effects were astounding for their time. They really did an amazing job to sell the realism of these poor kids’ little world.
Of course the Ray Harryhausen-type stop-motion effects for the creatures does feel a bit dated, but I’d rather have this, than a fully-CGI character.
What did I like about it and why?
The concept of shrinking (as mentioned above), its brilliant practical effects, and the rich character development for a Disney family film; you just don’t see that anymore.
- Cheerios are Dangerous.
- Shrinking still not as cool as time travel.
- See Baseball? Look why no one likes you anymore!
Where can you see it?
Check out Honey, I Shrunk the Kids on CanIStream.It?