- “Alright, shrink machine, one last time!”
- ―Wayne Szalinski.
Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is a 1997 direct-to-video sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. It is, to date, the last film in the franchise. The directorial debut of Dean Cundey and was released through Walt Disney Home Video, the film tells the story of the "nutty" inventor Wayne Szalinski as he accidentally shrinks himself, his wife, brother, and sister-in-law with his shrinking machine.
Rick Moranis returns to portray Wayne Szalinski, and is the only returning cast member from the previous films. His wife, Diane, is portrayed by Eve Gordon, who replaces Marcia Strassman. This film includes Wayne's extended family, including his brother Gordon and sister-in-law, Patti. In a reversal of the first film, where the kids had to get their parents' attention, the parents have to get their kids' attention.
Only a few months after this film was released, The Disney Channel picked up a show based on the Szalinskis' troubles: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. It starred Peter Scolari in the role of Wayne. This was the last incarnation of the franchise.
This was Moranis' last live-action role before his subsequent retirement from acting.
It has been eight years since Wayne blew up his son, Adam, to 112 feet tall. Amy and Nick are now out of the house and Wayne is the co-head of Szalinski Labs with his brother, Gordon. Adam, now ten years old, is having trouble making his father understand that he wants to go to baseball camp, instead of science camp, like Wayne wants him to. Diane is having a hard time adjusting to Wayne's attempts to create new machines and raising her son. She and her sister-in-law Patti are heading out of town for the weekend while Wayne and Gordon watch their kids.
While she is out of town, Diane demands that Wayne get rid of the Tiki Man sculpture that is in their hallway. He agrees, but has a better plan in mind. He decides to shrink it instead of throwing it away. He and Gordon bring the it to the attic where they plan to shrink it with Wayne's shrinking machine while the kids are away buying groceries, even though he was banned from ever using it again. As a safety precaution, he added a large red button to the machine, so that it wouldn't just fire at random. Unfortunately, it seems that this wasn't the best plan because, after shrinking the Tiki Man, Wayne and Gordon are accidentally shrunk to 3/4 of an inch tall, when a billiard ball accidentally falls and presses the button.
After forgetting to give Gordon and Patti's son, Mitch, who has a potassium deficiency, his medicine, the wives decide to drive back. When they return, they hear a sound in the attic, and go up to investigate. After going in, however, the same result that befell Wayne and Gordon happens again as the machine starts up again and another billiard ball activates it, shrinking Diane and Patti.
Adam and his cousins, Mitch and Jenny, come home to find that their parents are seemingly not there. After hearing an old message on the answering machine, they believe that their fathers are at a space shuttle launch. Diane is infuriated with Wayne's antics and they decide that they need to get their children's attention. After climbing a wicker chair, they decide to ride a fishing pole thread down from the attic window and into Adam's room. Jenny decides to throw a party with her friends in the living room, which infuriates the adults.
The shrunken adults reach Adam's room and ride in his Shark Cruiser car on a toy race track and accidentally fall into the laundry chute, landing in a pile of laundry. They then stumble upon a cockroach, which Wayne saves Diane from. Jenny's friends begin to arrive, including Jill, whose heart Adam and Mitch both try desperately to win. While walking around, Wayne and his family watch as Mitch begins to stumble without his medicine. The group plans to split up with Wayne and Gordon planning on rewiring the speakers to make their voices loud, while Diane and Patti look in the kitchen for Mitch's medicine. They uses Jenny's friend's bubble machine to float down to the first floor.
Wayne and Gordon pop their bubble and land in a bowl of onion dip. They then proceed to nearly get eaten by the girls, but, thanks to a sloppy eater, they fall out and are safe. Diane and Patti stumble upon a daddy long-legs caught in a spider web. As Patti clears the spider web with a nail file, Diane begins to talk to the daddy long-legs and smooth everything out. Ricky King, Jenny's crush, comes over with his friends uninvited and begin to party as Wayne and Gordon hot-wire the speakers. Ricky takes the opportunity to steal an unwanted kiss from Jenny in the kitchen, which Diane and Patti witness. Jenny, angry at him, disses him, which gives Patti a new judgment on her. He and his friends begin to cause havoc at the party, bullying Adam and Mitch around.
Mitch walks into the kitchen and sees his mother. He passes out and needs potassium in his system, to stay awake. Adam, after learning from his dad that bananas have it, gives some to Mitch. Wayne finally hot-wires the speakers and Gordon pretends to be "God", scaring Ricky and his uninvited friends away. They reveal that they have been shrunk and that Diane and Patti are in the kitchen, which worries Jenny. The kids are able to activate the machine with Wayne's instructions, but contemplate not helping their parents at all, due to their previous disagreements. After a discussion, they agree that they should help them. Together, they un-shrink them.
Wayne begins to understand Adam's interest in baseball and not science, and he also begins to respect Diane more. Patti begins to trust Jenny again. Feeling that the life of an inventor is more his style, Wayne steps down from owner of Szalinski Labs and gives the job to Gordon, and he takes an opportunity to grow the Tiki Man and store it in the backyard.
|Rick Moranis||Wayne Szalinski|
|Stuart Pankin||Gordon Szalinski|
|Eve Gordon||Diane Szalinski|
|Robin Bartlett||Patti Szalinski|
|Bug Hall||Adam Szalinski|
|Allison Mack||Jenny Szalinski|
|Jake Richardson||Mitch Szalinski|
|Jojo Adams||Ricky King|
|Mila Kunis||Jill, Jenny's friend|
|Erica Luttrell||Jody, Jenny's friend|
|Lisa Wilhoit||Holly, Jenny's friend|
|Bryson Aust||Vince, Ricky's friend|
|Theodore Borders||Trey, Ricky's friend|
|Hannah Waterman||Trina, Wayne's secretary|
Originally, the film was going to be released in 1996 to theaters. Karey Kirkpatrick was called in to write the script, while working on James and the Giant Peach. The finished script was sent in to Jeffrey Katzenberg, who decided that the studio did not want to continue with the film. It was shelved for a few months while Kirkpatrick resumed work on James and the Giant Peach. While working on the film, Kirkpatrick learned that it was going to be picked up again.
The Walt Disney Company at the time was having success with releasing direct-to-video sequels, such as The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. They wanted to test how live-action sequels would do, so they picked to be their first.
Nell Scovell and Joel Hodgson (best known as the creator and the original star of the cult television series Mystery Science Theater 3000) were recruited to try and reduce Kirkpatrick's script due to the budget restraint. In his script, the shrunken parents were originally going to fall into a fish aquarium. The scene was cut from the script, and then revised to the bubble machine scene.
Rick Moranis is the only returning cast member from the original films. He returns to portray “nutty” inventor Wayne Szalinski, now the head of Szalinski Labs. Marcia Strassman who portrayed Diane in the first two films and the 3D film had decided not to reprise her role. Eve Gordon, who was best known as Marilyn Monroe in A Woman Named Jackie, was cast instead.
Their onscreen kids, Amy O'Neill and Robert Oliveri, had quit acting by the time the film was released and their characters were written out of the story. Daniel and Joshua Shalikar, who portrayed Adam in Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, had signed on for two additional sequels in 1992. They had reprised their role in Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, but were recast by Bug Hall, known as Alfalfa in the 1994 remake of The Little Rascals.
Stuart Pankin and Robin Bartlett were cast as Gordon and Patti Szalinski, Wayne’s brother and sister-in-law. Allison Mack and Jake Richardson were cast as their children, Jenny and Mitch Szalinski. Mack would later become famous as Chloe Sullivan on Smallville. Jenny’s friends are portrayed by Mila Kunis and Lisa Wilhoit. Both would later portray characters on Fox's Family Guy.
The film marked Dean Cundey’s directorial debut, replacing Randal Kleiser. Cundey is most-known for his cinematography on films such as Jurassic Park, Hook, and Halloween. Originally when the film was going to be released to theaters, the production budget was $40 million. When it was issued that the film would be released to home video, the budget was cut down to $7 million.
Due to the production cut, the studio had decided to use television resolution to save money on the effects by not having to get the film on projectable format. Also, the original script included that the party had gotten out of control with around 150 kids, akin to Sixteen Candles or Say Anything. This was considered too costly and it was cut down.
The film was digitally composited on three Apple Mac computers, using After Image and Ultimate software, at Cundey's home before it was sent to the Dream Quest effects company for finessing.
The film was released direct-to-video on March 18, 1997 for $22.99. It tied neck-to-neck with the video releases of The Long Kiss Goodnight and The First Wives Club.
On the film rated website Rotten Tomatoes, the film scores a "rotten" rating of 25%.