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Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Michael Wilmington

    In a weird way, what happens to the kids is what happens to the movie. The humans shrivel to crawling piffles or get deformed into caterwauling robots; the super-tall grass and the giant cookies and insects take over.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The special effects are all there, nicely in place, and the production values are sound, but the movie is dead in the water. It tells an amazing and preposterous story, and it seems bored by it.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Caryn James

    The director, Joe Johnston, paces this adventure to suit the film's tone. It is swift and smooth, never wild or raucous.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    The special effects are pretty special for the most part, and the movie seems only about 10 minutes too long. [23 June 1989, p.1D]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is the happiest surprise of this summer so far, a children's film from Walt Disney Productions that effortlessly renews the best tradition of that studio's live-action features.

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  • 80

    out of 100


    Pic [story by Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna and Ed Naha] is in the best tradition of Disney and even better than that because it is not so juvenile that adults won’t be thoroughly entertained.

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  • See all Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Silly but occasionally scary '80s movie has lots of peril.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 Disney comedy in which four kids are shrunk to the size of ants by one of their scientist father's inventions and must figure out a way to get to their parents so they can be brought back to normal size. This film discusses marital woes and depicts a neighbor belittling his son because he didn't make the football team. It also shows children fighting for survival in an immense, threatening yard: They run from a vicious-looking scorpion, ride a loud-buzzing honey bee, nearly drown in a mud puddle, and are nearly killed by a lawnmower's blades. A teen boy is shown with his mouth bloodied after riding on a honey bee. Teens kiss. The father smokes cigarettes.

  • Families can talk about the nerdy inventor character. Does he seem familiar? What other movies can you think of that have a character like this? Why do we see so many stereotypes in movies? Does this bother you?
  • How are teens in the 1980s depicted in this movie, and how are they similar to and different from teens who are depicted today?
  • If this movie was remade today, how would the special effects be different?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Two very different families who live next door to each other learn to get along and to become friends. A father who pushes sports and competition on his son learns to love his son for who he is rather than who he wants him to be.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The characters -- adults and children -- are too two-dimensional to really emerge as positive role models.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Some action-style peril as shrunken children trapped in a backyard run from a vicious-looking scorpion, ride a loud-buzzing honey bee, nearly drown in a mud puddle, and are nearly killed by a lawnmower's blades. A teen boy is shown with his mouth bloodied after riding on a honey bee.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Some tame teen flirtation. Teens make out. After a teen boy gives a teen girl CPR, he tells a younger boy that he learned CPR in French class.

  • language false1

    Language: "Hell." Some name-calling between children such as "wimp."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: This is part of the Honey series, which includes movies, a TV series, and a Disney ride. Characters are shown trying to sleep inside a LEGO piece. A character is shown swimming in a bowl of Cheerios and using a Cheerio as a life preserver. A wife removes a pack of Camel cigarettes from the front pocket of her husband's shirt.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A father smokes cigarettes. His wife removes a pack of Camel cigarettes from his front shirt pocket. Adult characters drink wine at dinner but do not act intoxicated.