Making the Grades
After two previous movies, it seemed all combinations of shrinking the Szalinski family members had been exhausted, and with Disney execs opting for a video only release on this episode, they may have the same fears.
This time, Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) manages to get his brother and both their wives in front of his famous machine, reducing the couples to the size of a wallet after a trip through Disneyland. The kids assume that mom and dad have left for the evening and don't waste a minute in their new found state of freedom. Daughter Jenny (Allison Mack) quickly organizes a party while the boys, Adam (Bug Hall) and Mitch (Jake Richardson), construct a volcano using only beans, a balloon, and a microwave. All this while the parents watch helplessly from below.
The concept of what children would do if their parents disappeared is the main story in this movie. Although nothing of major consequence takes place, the children make choices that they know are opposite to their parents' instructions. But the typical happy ending script offers the kids opportunities to make good, the most dramatic example involving a sudden kiss that's planted on Jenny from a boy she admires. Unaware that her mini-mom is watching from the counter top, Jenny tells the boy to take a hike and cool his lips.
In this regard, the script does well in encouraging young people to stand up for themselves. On the other hand, once the parents are returned to normal, little mention is made of the violations of family rules, although Jenny is praised for the way she handled Mr. Fresh.
One scene may frighten young children as Szalinski's wife Diane (Eve Gordon) is nearly consumed by a cockroach, and there is one minor curse in the film. The highlight of the movie is a wild ride on the kid's Hot Wheels tracks, but otherwise things are tame and predictable. Only 75 minutes long, and with few high points, a better title may be "Honey, We Shrunk the Script."