Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (PG)
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This came out in 1989. I saw it on video numerous times as a kid, and I'm writing this review after getting it on DVD in 2022.
A scientist named Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) invents a shrink ray. Unfortunately, he can't get it to work. One day while he's out at a conference (which doesn't go well) and his wife, Diane (Marcia Strassman), is at work selling a house, the neighbor kid Ron accidentally hits a baseball through the Szalinksis' attic window, which conveniently activates the shrink ray and fixes the problem with it, so now it actually works. Ron's older brother, Russ, takes him over to the Szalinskis' house to apologize, and to get his ball back. When they go up to the attic, Ron and Nick Szalinski (Wayne and Diane's young son) get shrunk. When they don't come back, Russ and Amy (Nick's teenage sister, on whom Russ has a crush) go up to look for them, and they also get shrunk. When Wayne gets home, he unwittingly sweeps them up and throws them out in the trash, on a sidewalk bordering the back yard. (At least the movie calls it the back yard, though I think it's pretty obviously the front yard.) Anyway, Amy, Nick, Russ, and Ron have to work together to trek through the jungle-like lawn to get back to the house, in the hopes that they can get Wayne's attention and he can restore them to normal size.
Wayne eventually figures out that the kids had been shrunk, and spends the rest of the day rather comically looking for them in the yard, and when Diane gets home, she helps, too, but they can't find the kids. Meanwhile, their neighbors Russell Thompson Sr. (Matt Frewer) and Mae are worried about their own kids' absence. Russell is especially upset because he and his family were supposed to go on a fishing trip that day. After awhile, Wayne and Diane tell them about the kids. Meanwhile, the four kids have quite an adventure, facing numerous dangers and challenges in the yard. At one point they befriend and ride an ant, whom they call "Anty". (Or Antie, I'm not sure of the spelling, but I prefer it with a "y".) I normally can't stand ants, and I'd hate to meet one when I was a quarter inch tall, but Anty turns out to be a really good ant, and I ended up caring about him. During the trek, Amy bonds with Russ, whose father always makes him feel like he's not good enough. I don't want to get into any more specifics of their journey, though in the end they're helped by the Szalinskis' dog, Quark, who brings them inside the house and puts them on the table so Wayne can see them. Of course the kids get restored in the end, and the two families become friends.
I hope I haven't said too much, but I've left a lot out. I don't think I've spoiled the end of the movie, because it was predictable that it would turn out well. Anyway, a lot of my appreciation for the movie is due to nostalgia, but I probably would have liked it even if this were the first time I watched it (though I might not love it). It really is pretty funny, and at times both exciting and scary. I like all the characters, and the whole story. And I don't know what else to tell you.
Followed by Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and the direct-to-video "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves" (the latter of which I don't expect to ever see), as well as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.