Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) has spent a long time trying to create a shrinking machine. His obsession with the machine has nearly cost him his marriage. One day he realises that no-one will take him seriously – and this is also the day he discovers that his machine actually works.
Unfortunately, Rick isn’t there at the moment his machine starts working, and it shrinks both his daughter Amy (Amy O’Neill) and his son Nick (Robert Oliveri), along with his neighbour’s two children, Ron (Jared Rushton) and Russ (Thomas Wilson Brown). The children are accidentally swept into the garbage and left on the side of the street.
The children must make their way back through their backyard if they’re to have any hope of getting home and back to their regular size. Of course, the yard is now a frightfully dangerous place.
Dysfunctional families; marital breakdown; children being separated from parents; disrespectful attitudes and children whose lives are in peril.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has some violence. For example:
- During the opening credits, two tiny, animated children flee from numerous life-threatening situations. These include being crushed by typewriter keys, caught in a dog’s jaws, shredded in a pencil sharpener, sucked into a vacuum, attacked by gigantic bugs, burned in a toaster, and so on.
- A suction arrow hits a man and ends up superglued to the man’s forehead.
- A laser beam repeatedly explodes an apple.
- In a fit of frustration Wayne hits his shrinking machine and tries to destroy it.
- The children are swept up by a broom and put into the garbage. They’re thrown around, and numerous objects hit them.
- A giant bee looks like it’s about to attack Nick. Ron grabs the bee, and they both go for a wild ride around the backyard before they crash into tall grass.
- Huge drops of water fall like bomb blasts all around the children.
- The children try to ride a large ant, which bucks them off.
- A huge, violent scorpion tries to attack the children, stabbing at them with his tail. The children stab at it with sticks until it backs away.
- Nick gets sucked out of a hole and is nearly killed by a lawnmower.
- Nick is nearly eaten when he falls into a bowl of cereal.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has some sexual references. For example:
- Amy’s mother worries about her and Ron being together at night in the dark. She says, ‘They had better behave themselves’.
- Ron says that he learned his CPR skills in French class.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids shows some use of substances. For example:
- Ron’s dad repeatedly smokes cigarettes.
- Adults drink wine over dinner.
Nudity and sexual activity
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example, Amy and Ron kiss.
The following products are displayed or used in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: the Camel brand of cigarettes, Alpo dog biscuits and Cheerios.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has some insults and name-calling, including ‘dumb’, ‘worm’, ‘nerd face’, ‘space boy’, ‘wimp’ and ‘Shut up!’
Ideas to discuss with your children
Honey I Shrunk the Kids is a science fiction comedy with decent special effects considering that it was made in the 1980s. It’s about families learning to get along and, eventually, appreciate differences. It’s suitable for children over 10 years, with parental guidance for children aged 6-10 years.
The main messages from this movie are to keep trying, stick together and appreciate your family rather than taking it for granted.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include persistence, ingenuity, courage, tolerance and helpfulness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the consequences of:
- speaking to and treating women in a derogatory way, especially the influence this has on children
- putting more value on things or jobs than on family
- leaving dangerous machinery on or unattended, especially around children.
- forcing children to conform to expectations without considering their individual talents and preferences.