Sunday, 16 October 2016


Fig.1 'Honey I Shrunk The Kids' Poster
'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids' (1989) is an adventurous, sci-fi, family movie that follows the lives of two families. The Szalinski's the kooky and slightly disjointed family and the Thompsons, the all american fishing trip and also slightly disjointed family. Both families have their own troubles, but when a certain science experiment goes wrong a particular problem is something they share. This review will look at the structure of the film and the way in which that cutting the film into 'acts' helps to pace the film and give the audience a better viewing experience. 

Fig.2 Film Still

Act I - During this act we are welcomed into the lives of the two families. We see the Szalinski's family children go about their days under the supervision of their wacky, science fuelled father. A man who has created the invention of a lifetime, a shrinking/growing-laser. If you haven't guessed it already, the laser plays a BIG part in the movie.
The Thompson's come across as a truly american family. This is shown instantly as an american flag I can be seen attached to their mailbox and the mail man goes about his daily routine. 
Both families have young children and both groups of children are seemingly at war with each other. 
Now that the exposition has been put in place the story can begin. 
The 'incident' happens, after a mishap with the neighbours ball smashing through the window into the Szalinski's attic, the laser is powered up and, long story short, the children are shrunk. 
Mr Szalinski arrives home after a meeting to propose his idea for a shrinking/growing laser but is turned away due to his lack of proof. Little does he know his proof is at home. 

Act II - Act 2 begins with Mr Szalinski inadvertently throwing both his children ,and the Thompson's children, in the trash and into the backyard. This is where their journey begins. Their lack of size now turns the garden into a jungle full of danger, they must over come this to get back to the house and gain the attention of their parents. 'The special effects used for these scenes are incentive and first-rate; we see blades of grass that tower over the tiny kids, a cigarette butt that looks like a glowing slag heap and an ant so big that all four kids can ride on it' (Ebert, 1989) These uses of special effects give the film its spectacular charm and help immerse the audience into a world that we all know but don't know what really happens down deep within the grass of our backyards.
Act II Part 2 - This could be the parents realisation of the incident and the catalyst for reaching the climax and saving their children. 

Fig.3 Film Still
Act III - The climax of the film, this is the time when the plot of the story comes to a close and the adventure reaches its end. But not without it's own setbacks. In the climax of 'Honey I Shrunk The Kids' the two families have put aside their differences and have started to work together to save their children. The father of the Thompson's even sacrifices himself to test the laser before using it on his children, as it is prone to blowing things up. Luckily all is fine and he successfully shrinks and grows in a matter of minutes. The laser works on the children and the families are reunited.

Act IIII - The final act, the conclusion to the story shows the Szalinski's and the Thompson's sat down at the dinner table enjoying what seems to be a thanksgiving dinner, alongside a gigantic turkey. Clearly putting the laser to good use. This scene ties all the loose ends together in the film, everyone is happy. A lovely ending to a fun adventurous film.

All in all, 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids' is a fun and magical film that has such charm. 'Honey I shrunk the kids, is as sweet, straightforward and funny as its title' (James, 1989) as said by reviewer Caryn James. It's dated special effects are still such fun to look at and its use of practical effects is a joy to see after seeing so many films today bombarded with CGI sets and characters. David Hepworth of Empire says 'In his first feature director Joe Johnston Achieves a happy balance between the FX and the humans' (Hepworth, 2015)  It's a movie that is fun for the whole family. 


James, C (1989) 'Review/Film: Honey I shrunk The Kid's' At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016

Ebert, R (1989) 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids' At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016

Hepworth, D (2015) 'Honey I Shrunk The Kids Review' At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016


Figure 1. 'Honey I Shrunk The kids' [Film Poster] At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016]

Figure 2. [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016

Figure 3. [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 16/10/2016

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