Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 American comic science fiction film. The first installment of the titular film series was the directorial debut of Joe Johnston and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The plot involves the story of an inventor who accidentally shrinks his and his next door neighbor's kids to a quarter of an inch with his electromagnetic shrinking machine and accidentally throws them out with the trash, where they must venture into their backyard to return home while fending off insects and other obstacles.
Rick Moranis stars as Wayne Szalinski, the inventor who accidentally shrinks his kids, Amy (Amy O'Neill) and Nick (Robert Oliveri). Marcia Strassman portrays his wife, Diane, to whom he delivers the titular line. Matt Frewer, Kristine Sutherland, Thomas Wilson Brown, and Jared Rushton star as Russ, Mae, Russ Jr., and Ron Thompson, respectively; the Szalinskis' next door neighbors.
The film became a sleeper hit upon release. An unexpected box office success, it grossed $222 million worldwide, and became the highest-grossing live-action Disney film ever, a record it held for five years. It was met with positive reviews from both critics and audiences, who praised the story, visuals and innovation. Its success spawned a franchise, including: two sequels, a television series, and theme-park attractions.
A scientist and inventor named Wayne Szalinski lives in a house in suburban Fresno, attempting to create a ray gun capable of shrinking objects, but cannot get it to work properly. His marriage to his wife, Diane, is strained because she has to the be breadwinner, which worries their two children: teenage daughter Amy and preteen son Nick, who has inherited Wayne's inventive ingenuity and intelligence. One morning, their next door neighbors, the Thompsons, are getting ready for a fishing trip, but their oldest son, Russ Jr., is less than enthusiastic, as his and Russ' interests often clash. Their younger son, Ron, however, is enthusiastic.
Shortly after Wayne leaves for a conference, Ron accidentally hits his baseball through the Szalinskis' attic window, which inadvertently activates the machine and blocks its targeting laser. Caught by Russ Jr., he is made to confess to Amy and Nick. Ron and Nick go upstairs to retrieve the ball and clean up the mess, only for the machine to shrink them.
At his conference, Wayne is laughed at for failing to provide proof of his shrinking machine and leaves in frustration, while Amy and Russ Jr. are shrunken when they go to check on Ron and Nick. When Wayne returns home, they try to get his attention, but their voices are too small and he is unable to hear them. Frustrated by his day and the broken window he discovers, he snaps and starts smashing the machine. He then sweeps the debris and the kids into a dust pan and takes them out in a trash bag. They escape from it, but are forced to cross the uncut yard's wilderness to get back to the house.
Meanwhile, Diane returns home from work and she and Wayne make up, but they soon grow concerned about Amy and Nick. While trying to summon their dog, Quark, Nick falls into a flower and Russ Jr. are carried away by a pollen picking worker bee. Wayne realizes that a baseball was what caused the attic window to break since Nick does not play sports. Investigating, he realizes what happened to the kids and tries to find them, only to accidentally activate the sprinklers, causing chaotic torrents to come down on them. Amy nearly drowns when she is knocked into a pool of mud, but Russ Jr. saves her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
That evening, Russ and Mae are forced to call off their trip because their sons haven't returned yet and they call the police to report them missing. Wayne tells Diane about what happened to the kids and she joins in the search. Eventually, she convinces Wayne to tell Russ and Mae, who are extremely skeptical.
Meanwhile, the kids' hunger is saved by one of Nick's discarded oatmeal creme cookies, but their meal is interrupted by an ant scouting it. Ron decides to tame it in order to take them home and they quickly grow attached to "Antie" and try to set him free, but he instead decides to follow them like a pet. As night falls, the kids find a Lego to camp in for the night and Russ Jr. and Amy kiss after admitting their feelings for each other. However, they are attacked by a scorpion, which traps Ron in the Lego. Antie comes to rescue Ron, but is fatally stung before the kids unite and wound the scorpion, driving it off.
The next morning, Tommy, Nick's friend, returns to mow the lawn. The kids barely escape, seeking shelter in an earthworm burrow, and Wayne and Diane stop Tommy just in time to save them when they are blown out of the burrow by the lawnmower's blades. Quark chances upon them and while the kids are riding him into the house, Nick loses his grip and falls into Wayne's bowl of Cheerios; he is nearly eaten before Quark bites Wayne in the ankle, making him aware of Nick and the others' presence.
Back in the attic, the kids make Wayne realize that the laser was generating too much heat, causing things to explode, until it was blocked by the baseball. He corrects the mistake and Russ volunteers as a subject for a successful test. The kids are then returned to their normal sizes and reunited with their parents, all making up with each other.
Months later, at Thanksgiving, the Szalinskis and Thompsons, now close friends, are toasting over an enlarged turkey. Russ Jr. and Amy are dating now, while Ron and Nick are friends, and Quark is eating from an enlarged Alpo bone. Nick finally gets a joke that Russ Jr. told him about learning CPR in "French" class, at which he laughs.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) (Trailers)
- Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
- Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (TV Series)