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What's The Best Honey I Shrunk The Kids Movie? Let's Take A Closer Look

The Honey I Shrunk the Kids poster
(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

I probably could have gone the rest of my life having forgotten the Honey I Shrunk The Kids movies if not for my children. There I was, just leaving the bathroom when my daughter told me there was a movie on Disney+ called Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. And get this. She wondered if she could watch it, since it sounded pretty violent. Of course I smiled, only to tell her that it wasn’t that kind of blow up. I also told her that it was actually the middle part of a trilogy of films that I grew up watching as a child. And that’s how I spent a lazy weekend watching all three of the films with my children. But guess what! Some of the films were better than others.  

Now, I’ve already covered Back to the Future 2 vs. Back to the Future 3 to see which is the better movie as well as The Temple of Doom vs. The Last Crusade to see which is the better Indiana Jones sequel. But, unlike those two franchises where the first movie is arguably the best film in their respective series, I think there’s a point to be made that it’s not so clear cut when it comes to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids trilogy, as all three films have their strengths and weaknesses.   

I’m still waiting to see if that Honey, I Shrunk the Kids remake (which will allegedly bring back Rick Moranis) will become a reality or not, but in the meantime, I’d thought I’d decide which is the best film out of the original trilogy. And no, I won’t be including Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! since that was a theme park attraction. Apparently, it was pretty fun, but I never experienced it, unfortunately.  

Rick Moranis with a shrink ray

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

The Plot  

No story could go without having a plot. So, which movie has the best one?

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Plot

Rick Moranis plays a huge nerd named Wayne Szalinski who built a shrink ray in his attic that he can’t get to work. That is until one of the neighborhood kids whacks a baseball right through the attic window, initiating the laser and eventually shrinking Szalinski’s two kids, as well as his neighbor’s two kids. The four of them end up in Szalinski’s front lawn, and they have to make their way back to the house as Szalinkski and his wife pair up with the neighbors to regrow their children. It’s a fun film!

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’s Plot

Wayne Szalisnki is at it again, but this time, instead of a shrink ray, he helps create a ray that makes things grow super big. The device doesn’t work, until it does, and it grows the Szalisnki baby to mammoth proportions. He then stomps through Las Vegas like some kind of Godzilla enemy. It’s fine, but not as fun as the original.  

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves Plot 

In this direct-to-video sequel, Rick Moranis is the only actor to return in this middling follow-up. This time, Szalinski has a brother, and he shrinks himself and his brother in an effort to downsize a tiki statue that his wife wants him to get rid of. But his own wife and his sister-in-law also end up getting shrunk, and now the kids have to grow them back up to size. It has its moments, but it’s not as inventive as the first film. 

The Plot Victor: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 

I don’t mind the two sequels, but only the first film’s plot feels unique. The other two pale in comparison.  

Rick Moranis with a magnifying glass

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

The Characters 

Every story needs characters, so which film has the best ones?

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’ Characters 

We get introduced to Wayne Szalisnki in this first film, and he’s actually charming with his quirks. But we also get his popular daughter, his nerdy son, as well as his unsatisfied wife. We also get the neighbors, with the father being your typical tough guy, his wife, and their two children. It’s a big cast for a small film, and they all work. No character seems unnecessary. 

Honey, I Blew Up The Kid’s Characters

Szalinski returns, but he’s almost too quirky in this one, as the gadgets and doodads in his house are expanded tenfold, almost making it feel like something out of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. His son returns, but his daughter leaves pretty early. And then, we have Keri Russell playing a babysitter, and the baby himself. Overall, the characters are serviceable, but kind of bland. 

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves Characters 

Szalinski is back again with a brother we’ve never heard of before, as well as his brother’s wife, and his own wife. Their kids are the other characters, as well as their kids’ friends, one of whom being Mila Kunis in one of her first roles. They’re all fine, in a straight-to-video sort of way.

The Character Victor: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Only the first movie has a fully engaging cast of characters.   

A giant baby in Honey I Blew Up the Kid

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Special Effects  

The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series is known for its special effects, so which film has the best visuals out of the bunch?

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ Special Effects

We totally buy into this world when the kids are shrunken down in the house, but the blades of grass in the lawn look super fake, and the bugs look pretty bad by today’s standards, as well. Plus, one ant, one bee, and one scorpion? That’s it? 

Honey, I Blew Up The Kid’s Special Effects 

The giant baby looks fantastic and realistic in every setting he’s in, even by today’s standards. It’s impressive and spectacular!

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves Special Effects 

There’s a lot of retreading here, but a daddy long legs looks pretty good and way better than the bugs in the original film.

Special Effects Victor: Honey, I Blew Up The Kid

It’s not a good movie, and might even be the weakest out of the three, but it certainly looks the best, that’s for sure. 

Rick Moranis in Honey We Shrunk Oureslves

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

The Humor  

All three films are family comedies, but which is the funniest? 

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’ Humor 

I remember thinking Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was funny as a kid, and thinking that the other Rick Moranis movies like Little Shop of Horrors and Ghostbusters, were interesting, but not funny. But now that I’m a grown-up, I laugh uproariously at those films (I especially can’t wait for the Little Shop of Horrors Remake), and don’t even crack a smile watching this movie. My kids didn’t even laugh. Was it always so cheesy?   

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’s Humor

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid is even less funny than its predecessor, and nobody seems to be having a good time in this sequel. It’s pretty unbearable.  

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves’ Humor 

Well, I’ll be damned if this isn’t the funniest movie in the trilogy. It might be because it has a bit more adult humor. Now, I’m not saying it’s a hidden raunchy comedy, but there are a few slight gags for adults, including a scene where the kids look like they’re reading a porno mag only for it to turn out to be a Sports Illustrated for Kids. I mean, it’s not a laugh riot by any means, but at least I chuckled a few times.  

The Humor Victor: Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves 

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is the only film in the trilogy that I feel even attempted to be a comedy, so at least it has that going for it.  

Kids running in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Legacy 

Every trilogy has its most popular film. So, which is it here?

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ Legacy 

Though I feel a lot of people don’t talk about this franchise anymore, if you remember one film, it’s likely the original, especially with the kids riding the ant or sleeping in the giant lego. Classic. 

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’s Legacy 

I know there are people who remember this film, but it’s only after they think about the original first. 

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves’ Legacy 

It’s hard to find anybody who’s even watched the third film since it went straight to video, but thanks to Disney+, people can finally complete the trilogy. If they even want to, that is. 

The Legacy Victor: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Most people think that Terminator 2 is superior to the first film, but I’ll always say that The Terminator is better than Terminator 2. But while that’s a controversial statement, I don’t think anybody will disagree about which Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie has the best legacy. I mean, the whole franchise is known as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, so if that doesn’t say something about the first film’s legacy, I don’t know what does.

Which Movie Wins? Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

It’s not perfect, but if I had to choose one, I’d go with the original. But what do you think? Do you have a favorite of the three? For more news on all things Disney, make sure to swing by here often!    

Rich Knight
Rich Knight

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.