Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989): A Live-Small Manifesto

The 80s were good to Rick Moranis. He was happily married, and had hits with such films as Ghost Busters (1984), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Space Balls (1987), Ghost Busters 2 (1989), and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). The 1990s, however, were a different story. In 1991 Moranis' wife succumbed to liver cancer, and in 1992 he decided to reprise his role as Wayne Szalinski in the box-office flop Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. From there things didn't get any better. In 1997 Moranis again reprised his role as Wayne Szalinski--this time in the straight-to-video Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. The final nail in the coffin? Perhaps.

Although the second and third installments of the Honey trilogy certainly mark the violent downward trajectory of Moranis' film career, the first deserves more careful attention. If there's a lesson to be learned from such a delightful family film as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids--and we at CSL believe there is--it's that living small, though sometimes alienating, is the most economically responsible way of life. For proof, one must look no further than the scene in which the kids stumble upon a cookie in the yard, or the scene in which Nick Szalinski finds himself floating in his father's bowl of Cheerios. Their reduced height makes the food appear immense, more than a single tiny person could eat in a lifetime.

To be sure, the height reduction featured in the film is extreme and entirely unrealistic, but the central message is clear: reduced height means less food, which in turn means less money and less waste.

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