Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Silly but occasionally scary '80s movie has lots of peril.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Two very different families who live next door to each other learn to get along and to become friends. A father who pushes sports and competition on his son learns to love his son for who he is rather than who he wants him to be.

Positive role models

The characters -- adults and children -- are too two-dimensional to really emerge as positive role models.

Violence & scariness

Some action-style peril as shrunken children trapped in a backyard run from a vicious-looking scorpion, ride a loud-buzzing honey bee, nearly drown in a mud puddle, and are nearly killed by a lawnmower's blades. A teen boy is shown with his mouth bloodied after riding on a honey bee.

Sexy stuff

Some tame teen flirtation. Teens make out. After a teen boy gives a teen girl CPR, he tells a younger boy that he learned CPR in French class.

Language

"Hell." Some name-calling between children such as "wimp."

Consumerism

This is part of the Honey series, which includes movies, a TV series, and a Disney ride. Characters are shown trying to sleep inside a LEGO piece. A character is shown swimming in a bowl of Cheerios and using a Cheerio as a life preserver. A wife removes a pack of Camel cigarettes from the front pocket of her husband's shirt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A father smokes cigarettes. His wife removes a pack of Camel cigarettes from his front shirt pocket. Adult characters drink wine at dinner but do not act intoxicated.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 Disney comedy in which four kids are shrunk to the size of ants by one of their scientist father's inventions and must figure out a way to get to their parents so they can be brought back to normal size. This film discusses marital woes and depicts a neighbor belittling his son because he didn't make the football team. It also shows children fighting for survival in an immense, threatening yard: They run from a vicious-looking scorpion, ride a loud-buzzing honey bee, nearly drown in a mud puddle, and are nearly killed by a lawnmower's blades. A teen boy is shown with his mouth bloodied after riding on a honey bee. Teens kiss. The father smokes cigarettes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS gets rolling when nerdy inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) accidentally shrinks his kids Amy and Nick as well as neighbor kid Ron. Faced with giant insects and other perils such as lawn mowers and sprinklers, the trio must rely on their stamina and ingenuity to survive a day and night in an over-large world. They also make many attempts to alert the adults to their whereabouts.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Two-dimensional characters play second fiddle to the visual effects of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The gizmos are fun and plentiful, and Rick Moranis does what he can with the all-too-familiar role of the nerdy, misunderstood inventor. Moranis is actually more endearing and low-key here than we're used to seeing him, in part because he isn't given all that much to do and because he's the most sympathetic and appealing character the film has to offer. Even with imperiled kids riding bees or dodging giant water drops, it's hard to muster up enough enthusiasm to root for the would-be heroes.

The film's real disappointment isn't its short-of-cash special effects -- they're fun in their cheesy way -- but its ham-handedness in dealing with the emotional aspects of the story. There's no life to the budding romance between two teens from opposite sides of the fence, and the idea of an ant befriending four tiny humans provides a few needed chuckles although none are intended. Suffice it to say that if a shrinking machine could not only shrink stuff but repair shaky marriages and reconcile family strife with the flip of a switch, somebody would have invented that switch by now.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the nerdy inventor character. Does he seem familiar? What other movies can you think of that have a character like this? Why do we see so many stereotypes in movies? Does this bother you?

  • How are teens in the 1980s depicted in this movie, and how are they similar to and different from teens who are depicted today?

  • If this movie was remade today, how would the special effects be different?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 23, 1989
DVD release date:October 8, 2002
Cast:Marcia Strassman, Matt Frewer, Rick Moranis
Director:Joe Johnston
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic intensity

This review of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bySurfer_Clock April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Classic family fun

As a Disney Cast Member who works at the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" playground at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I -may- be a little biased here...nonetheless, being able to work in an area which allows me to reminisce upon my childhood is a dream come true. Many kids who come to our playgorund haven't seen the movie it's based on, and the generation gap is only growing. It's a sad thing, really...but the movie's great! Visual effects are on par with 1989, and I don't feel at all concerned with the 'violence' they speak of. Kids are going to have to face facts about the food chain eventually, and what better way to start? I'd recommend this movie to any macro/micro fans...(shameless plug) and after that, come visit the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground at Disney's Hollywood Studios for more sizable fun!
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

good movie,very intense fantasy violence and peril however...

one part is NOT for sensitive kids. the characters friend,the cute and fun ant,is killed by a skunkbag scorpion,in a suprisingly gruesome fashion.I ran into my kitchen blatting all night on that one part.awesome movie overall however!!!must see for kids of whom arent sensitive.
Parent Written byhayleybritt August 21, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

French Kissing and the Ant

The reviewer failed to mention the French kissing scene between the two oldest neighbors. Not something I wanted my daughter to see....tongue on tongue action. No. Also, spoiler alert, (24 years later) the ant dies. He was a friend! A pet! My daughter was crushed by this! I think she actually needed to see it for her emotional development...or whatever, but I would have liked to have had a warning. Not fun when Mom says, "It'll be ok, everything turns out ok....oh sorry. I forgot. The ant dies."
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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