Saturday, June 4, 2011

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Fantasy comedy, USA, 1989; D: Joe Johnston, S: Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri, Thomas Brown, Rick Moranis

Professor Wayne Szalinski is a clumsy inventor who works on a shrinking machine. His wife Diana left him whereas his neighbors, the Thompsons, mock him. But Thompson's son accidentally throws a ball into Wayne's house, which activates the machine that shrinks him, his brother as well as Wayne's kids Amy and Nick. Now smaller than half an inch, they get swept away by Wayne who unknowingly throws them into trash, but later on figures his machine shrunk the kids, so he starts searching for them in the yard. The four kids manage to get back home where Wayne finds them, returns them back to their size and makes up with the Thompsons.

The Disney studio produced Joe Johnston's feature length debut film, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids", a good and imaginative fantasy adventure comedy that eventually turned into a box office hit. After an unnecessary cartoon intro, the biggest burden is the one dimensional, undeveloped portrait of the 4 kids who get to explore "the insect perspective", which is why somehow the real star is the supporting role of the comical Rick Moranis. Not all possibilities were exploited, but the story is filled with unusual camera angles and "miniature" action sequences. One of the best moments is when the kids are flying through the yard on the back of a bee (too bad it wasn't shot in one take, but in standard montage), the encounter with an ant or when the boy is looking at the "distant" house from a flower. The special effects are especially well done and were nominated for an Oscar.


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