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Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 82,876 users   Metascore: 63/100
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The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.



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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Little Russ Thompson (as Thomas Brown)
Robert Oliveri ...
Female Cop
Trevor Galtress ...
Male Cop
Martin Aylett ...
Harold Boorstein


Wayne Szalinski is your average "nutty scientist", working on a top secret machine that shrinks objects. When it unexpectedly starts working, he's so amazed he forgets to tell his family to be careful. And when they wander into his lab... Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most astonishing, innovative, backyard adventure of all time!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grounded  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$130,724,200 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The neighborhood seen in the film is not real, it was built at the back lot of Churubusco Studios. An English garden located at the studio served as the "backyard," and the houses were cleverly placed around the garden to hide the studio buildings from most directions. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, a letter carrier is delivering mail. There is a mailbox with the flag up. He should open it, remove the outgoing mail, put the flag down and deliver incoming mail. However, he just opens the box and delivers the incoming mail, leaving the flag up. See more »


Ron Thompson: What's a river doing in your backyard?
Russell 'Russ' Thompson, Jr.: It's not a river, dope. It could be a stream of dog pee, and it would look like a river to us.
See more »


Spoofed in Muppets Tonight: Rick Moranis (1997) See more »


Written by Jelani Jones and Wade Stallings
Performed by Jelani Jones with Planet 10
See more »

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User Reviews

Not to sound cliché, but…meh
3 August 2009 | by (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

At the time of this movie's release, I was just under three years old, so I didn't hear of it until a few years later. In the early primary grades, I remember seeing it at an assembly in the gym. That was when I was introduced to it. I guess I saw the entire film, even though I could only remember little bits of it. I wasn't familiar with anyone in the cast at the time, but in recent years, I've become familiar with Rick Moranis, a comedian who played various roles in the Canadian sketch comedy series, "SCTV", as well as roles in several movies, including this one. Finally renting "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" the other day, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but was hoping for a mildly amusing film (at least mildly amusing thanks to Moranis in the starring role). Sadly, I didn't even get that.

Wayne Szalinski is an eccentric scientist with a wife named Diane and two kids, Amy and Nick. Russ Thompson, Sr. and his wife, Mae, live next door with their sons, Russ Jr. and Ron. Wayne has invented a machine which is supposed to be able to shrink objects (or living beings) significantly, but it doesn't work. Instead of shrinking things, it blows them up! However, one day, while the scientist isn't home, Ron Thompson accidentally knocks a baseball through the attic window of the Szalinski house and it lands on Wayne's machine up there! When the two Thompson brothers are sent up there to get the ball, they are zapped by the machine, which has been activated by the baseball, and now actually works. Both the Szalinski and Thompson siblings are shrunk, and when Wayne comes back up there, he accidentally sweeps them up and puts them out in the garbage! They manage to escape from the bag, and find themselves in the grass. With the kids missing, Wayne eventually realizes what has happened, and goes to look for them on the lawn. While he does so, the four find themselves in various types of danger, including insects, which are now giant to them!

When it comes to humour, I've seen much worse than what I saw in this movie, but I still kept a perfectly straight face for the most part. I barely laughed or smiled at all. (I'm not sure if I ever actually laughed, and if so, it was very slight.) Wayne Szalinski, played by Moranis, did tickle my funny bone a little around the beginning, and so did the Szalinski son, Nick, played by Robert Oliveri. I was hoping it would improve along the way and get funnier, but it didn't. The scenes with Wayne and eventually Diane searching for the kids on the lawn while suspended in harnesses are supposed to be funny, but they failed to amuse me, just like most of the other gags. The lack of humour isn't this movie's only problem. None of the characters really stood out for me, and I was also indifferent to the plot. A film like this is obviously going to have a rather simple plot, but to me, it seemed even simpler than usual here. If the film were actually funny, it would be able to make up for that, but I'm afraid that's not the case.

"Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" was a commercial success. It spawned more than one sequel, and even a TV show. Less popular family movies have been made, but despite this one's success, there are definitely more appealing ones out there. Clearly, some people like this film, but I personally didn't find anything in it to keep me overly entertained. For that reason, I obviously don't intend to watch the sequels or TV show, none of which are as popular as this original movie. However, I'm not saying this 1989 family flick should be avoided by everyone. I'm sure it can be very entertaining for kids, even though I couldn't remember much of it from my childhood. I would suggest adults skip it, but I guess many would disagree with that, so I don't know. Maybe it's also good for parents to watch with their kids. It is lighthearted, innocent family fare, so I can at least give it credit for that, but compared to "The AbsentMinded Professor", an earlier Disney film about an eccentric scientist, it's fairly weak.

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