Saturday, March 06, 2010

nostalgia necessities: HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS (1989)

Try to think of a more thrilling unique adventure movie of the late '80s than Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. What other flick boasted the ability to transport its audience into a microscopic territory where blades of grass were endless water slides, ants were giant pets, and Oreo cookies were 30-feet-tall dessert buffets? Thanks in part to 1980s screen star Rick Moranis (what is it about '80s actors disappearing the second 1990 hit?) and his endless nerdiness, the movie follows geeky scientist and inventor Wayne Szalinski and his family as his shrink ray inadvertently succeeds (despite his many inventing blunders) in turning his children and the more rough-and-tumble neighbor kids into microscopic flecks. And thanks to the creativity of the writers and the crew, the movie takes to a virtual wonderland in the Szalinski's own backyard. I mean, what child didn't want to be shrunk down and wander around on the lawn after this movie came out?

The question has to be begged in this situation, what ever happened to those kids? Other than some guest spots on various TV shows, the most famous of the foursome is arguably Jared Rushton (Ron Thompson), who managed roles as Goldie Hawn's trouble-making stepchild in Overboard and as Tom Hanks' best buddy in Big. And since none of the parents went on to much following this movie - Rick Moranis already had his Ghostbusters fame and I suppose Kristine Sutherland took the side role of Buffy's mom on Buffy the Vampire Slayer - it sort of serves as an '80s snapshot that never really moved from the Szalinski's uber-dangerous backyard.

But lastly, let us not forget the hysterical cartoon short that played before the movie (which to me is an essential offshoot), the Roger Rabbit vehicle "Tummy Trouble," in which Roger is stuck watching Baby Herman in a series of misfortunes. Perhaps the best part, though, is once the "director" cries cut, and Baby Herman transforms into his actual self - the grisly child actor with the potty-mouthed, cigar-smoking voice of a 60-year-old mobster. Love it.

Memorable Moment: The kids are bushed from a long trek across the lawn and take refuge in a discarded Lego (product placement?) for the night. Yet another thing I wanted to somehow try.

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