Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is a 1997 direct-to-video sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. It is the last film in the franchise. The directorial debut of Dean Cundey and released through Walt Disney Home Video, the film tells the story of the "nutty" inventor Wayne Szalinski as he accidentally shrinks his wife, his brother, his sister-in-law, and himself with his electro-magnetic shrink ray.
Rick Moranis returns to portray Wayne Szalinski. He is the only returning cast member from the previous films. His wife, Diane, is portrayed by Eve Gordon, who replaces Marcia Strassman. This film includes Wayne's extended family, including his brother Gordon and his wife, Patti. Unlike the first film, where the kids had to get their parent's attention, the parents have to get their kid's attention.
Only a few months after this film was released, The Disney Channel picked up a show based on the Szalinski's troubles: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. It starred Peter Scolari in the role of Wayne Szalinski. This was the last incarnation of the franchise.
This was Rick Moranis' final live-action role before his subsequent retirement from acting.
It has been years since Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) blew up his son, Adam, to gigantic sizes. Nick Szalinski, like his sister Amy, is now living away from his parents and Wayne is the co-head of Szalinski Labs with his younger brother, Gordon Szalinski (Stuart Pankin). Adam, now ten years old, is having trouble making his father understand that he wants to go to baseball camp, instead of science camp, like his father wants him to. Diane Szalinski (Eve Gordon) is having a hard time adjusting to Wayne's attempts to create new machines and raising her son. She and her sister-in-law Patti (Robin Bartlett) are heading out of town for the weekend while Wayne and Gordon watch their kids.
While she is out of town, Diane demands that Wayne get rid of the Tiki Man sculpture that is in their hallway. Wayne agrees, but has a better plan in mind. He decides to shrink it, instead of throwing it away. He and Gordon bring the Tiki Man up to the attic where they plan to shrink the Tiki Man with Wayne's new and improved shrink ray while the kids are away buying groceries, even though he was banned from ever using the machine again. As a safety precaution, Wayne added a large red button to the shrink ray, so that the machine wouldn't just fire at random (Although the shrink ray looks different than it did in the first two movies). Unfortunately it seems that this wasn't the best plan because, after shrinking the Tiki Man, Wayne and Gordon are accidentally shrunk to 1/4 of an inch tall, when a croquet ball accidentally falls and triggers the button. After forgetting to give Patti and Gordon's son, Mitch (Jake Richardson), who has a potassium deficiency, his medicine, the girls decide to drive back. When they return, they hear a sound in the attic, and go up to investigate. After going into the attic, however the same result that befell Wayne and Gorden, happens again as the shrink ray starts up again and another croquet ball activates the machine, shrinking Diane and Patti.
Adam (Bug Hall) and his cousins, Mitch and Jenny, come home to not find their parents at the house. After hearing an old message on the answering machine, they believe that their fathers are at the space shuttle launch. Diane is infuriated with Wayne's antics and they decide that they need to get their children's attention. After climbing a wicker chair, they decide to ride a fishing pole thread down from the attic window and into Adam's room. Jenny (Allison Mack, of Smallville fame) decides to throw a party with her friends in the living room, which infuriates the adults.
The shrunken adults reach Adam's room and ride on Adam's Shark Cruiser car on a toy race track and accidentally fall into the laundry chute, landing in a pile of laundry. The group then stumble upon a cockroach, from which Wayne saves Diane. Jenny's friends begin to arrive, including Jill (Mila Kunis), whose heart Adam and Mitch try desperately to win. While walking around, Wayne and his family watch as Mitch begins to stumble without his medicine. The group plan to split up with Wayne and Gordon planning on re-wiring the speakers to make their voice loud, while Diane and Patti look in the kitchen for Mitch's medicine. The group uses Jenny's friend's bubble machine to float down to the first floor.
Wayne and Gordon pop their bubble and land in the group's onion dip. They then proceed to nearly get eaten by the party girls, but, thanks to a sloppy eater, they fall out of the bowl and are safe. Diane and Patti stumble upon a daddy long-legs caught in a spider web. As Patti clears the spider web with a nail filer, Diane begins to talk to the daddy long-legs, and realizes that being his size is bad enough without her trying to kill him when she's normal size. Ricky King, Jenny's crush, comes over to the house with his friends and begin to liven things up at the party, as Wayne and Gordon try to hot-wire the speakers. Ricky steals an unwanted kiss from Jenny in the kitchen, which Diane and Patti witness. Jenny, angry at Ricky, discourages him, which gives Patti a new judgment on her. Ricky and his friends then begin to cause havoc at the party, bullying Adam and Mitch around.
Mitch walks into the kitchen and sees the mothers. He passes out in the kitchen (either from surprise, lack of potassium, or both) and needs potassium in his system, to stay awake. Adam, after remembering that bananas have potassium from his dad, gives them to Mitch to stay awake. Wayne finally succeeds in hot-wiring the speakers, and Gordon pretends to be God, scaring the kids away. They reveal that they have been shrunk and that Diane and Patti are in the kitchen, which worries Jenny. The kids find all of their parents, and place them in front of the shrink ray, which will change them back with a second blast. But soon they contemplate not helping their parents at all, which they later realize that they should do. Together, the kids get their parents back to normal size.
Wayne finally begins to understand Adam's interest in baseball and not science. He also begins to respect his wife more. Patti begins to trust Jenny again, Wayne steps down from the position of owner of Szalinski Labs, giving the job to Gordon, and grows the Tiki Man in the backyard.
|Rick Moranis||Wayne Szalinski|
|Stuart Pankin||Gordon Szalinski|
|Eve Gordon||Diane Szalinski|
|Robin Bartlett||Patti Szalinski|
|Bug Hall||Adam Szalinski|
|Allison Mack||Jenny Szalinski|
|Jake Richardson||Mitch Szalinski|
|Jojo Adams||Ricky King|
|Mila Kunis||Jill, Jenny's friend|
|Erica Luttrell||Jody, Jenny's friend|
|Lisa Wilhoit||Holly, Jenny's friend|
|Hannah Waterman||Trina, Wayne's Secretary|
Originally, the film was going to be released in 1996 to theaters. Karey Kirkpatrick was called in to write the script, while working on James and the Giant Peach. The finished script was sent in to Jeffrey Katzenberg, who decided that the studio did not want to continue with the film. The film was shelved for a few months while Kirkpatrick resumed work on James and the Giant Peach. While working on the film, Kirkpatrick learned that the film was going to be picked up again.
The Walt Disney Company at the time was having success with releasing direct-to-video sequels, such as The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. They wanted to test how live-action sequels would do, so they picked Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves to be their first.
Nell Scovell and Joel Hodgson were recruited to try and reduce Kirkpatrick's script due to the budget restraint. In Kirkpatrick's script, the group of shrunken parents were originally going to fall into a fish aquarium. The scene was cut from the script, and then revised to the bubble machine scene. One scene shows one of Wayne's inventions, a machine that translates dog barks to human speech. It is similar to the devices in the "invention exchange" Hodgson did when with Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Rick Moranis is the only returning cast member from the original films. He returns to portray “nutty” inventor Wayne Szalinski, now the head of Szalinski Labs. Marcia Strassman, who portrayed his wife Diane in the first two films and in the 3D film had decided not to reprise her role. Eve Gordon, who was best known as Marilyn Monroe in A Woman Named Jackie, was cast as Diane, instead.
Their onscreen kids, Amy O'Neill and Robert Oliveri, had quit acting by the time the film was released and their characters were only mentioned in a conversation between Diane and Adam. Daniel and Joshua Shalikar, who portrayed Adam in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, had signed on for two additional sequels in 1992. They had reprised their role in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, but were recast by Bug Hall, known as Alfalfa in The Little Rascals.
Stuart Pankin and Robin Bartlett were cast as Gordon and Patti Szalinski, Wayne’s brother and sister-in-law. Allison Mack and Jake Richardson were cast as their children, Jenny and Mitch Szalinski. Mack would later become famous as Chloe Sullivan on Smallville. Jenny’s friends in the film are portrayed by Mila Kunis and Lisa Wilhoit. Both would later portray characters on Fox's Family Guy.
The film marked Dean Cundey’s directorial debut, replacing Randal Kleiser. Cundey is most-known for his cinematography on films such as Jurassic Park, Hook, and Halloween. Originally when the film was going to be released to theaters, the production budget was $40 million. When it was issued that the film would be released to home video, the budget was cut down to $7 million.
Due to the production cut, the studio had decided to use television resolution to save money on the effects by not having to get the film on projectable format. Also, the original script included that the party had gotten out of control with around 150 kids, akin to Sixteen Candles or Say Anything. This was considered too costly and it was cut down.
For some reason, the shrink ray looks different in this movie unlike the first two movies.
In just about every scene in the kitchen, the Trix cereal box is turned directly towards the camera.
Unlike the previous films, it received mostly negative reviews from critics. On the film rated website Rotten Tomatoes, the film scores a very "rotten" rating of 14%.
In 1990, an Alvin and the Chipmunks film, entitled "Funny, We Shrunk the Adults", was released as a parody of the first film. The film has a very similar plot to Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, but has no connection to the later film.