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Things We Saw Today: This Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Reboot Sounds Like a Bummer

What a dark tiny timeline.

marcia strassman and rick moranis in honey, I shrunk the kids

(image: Disney)

Disney+ may be going back to the vault to resurrect one of its beloved franchises: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the 1980s, HISTK starred Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski, an eccentric inventor who develops an electromagnetic shrinking ray. Like the title says, the invention goes awry, accidentally shrinking Wayne’s kids and the neighbor kids from next door. After getting thrown out in the trash, the kids must navigate the wilds of their own yard.

HISTK was an unexpected smash hit, earning over $200 million at the box office and spawning 2 sequels, a television series, and a 3-D ride at Disney parks. And it’s easy to see why: the 1989 film’s inventive special effects and heartwarming story made it an enduring family classic.

Now, Disney+ is looking to reboot the film, with Rick Moranis possibly coming out of retirement to reprise his role. Moranis retired from acting after the death of his wife and devoted himself to raising his kids. He hasn’t appeared in a live-action film since 1997. In the planned follow-up, Josh Gad would play his grown son Nick. Though the project is still in the early stages, Joe Johnston is in talks to direct, which would bring him full circle as the original was his first film. He has since directed many blockbusters, including Captain America: The First Avenger.

A reboot/sequel to this film is obviously a no-brainer. But its apparent synopsis leaves much to be desired. According to Disinsider:

“Aware that the family ties have loosened over time but seemingly afraid to confront anyone directly. He has been tinkering alone in his attic for decades, dealing with the grief of losing his wife. When we first meet him, he has accidentally shrunk himself and is flying around on a shrunken drone — seemingly lost in a continuous of tinkering and experimenting that often puts himself and his family in jeopardy. He later reveals he shut himself away to try and invent a solution to help shrink Diane’s cancer but found it hard to cope when he ran out of time. His guilt and shame is palpable. Through the crisis of the kids getting shrunk, the truth emerges and the bonds begin to redevelop between him and his kids.”

Ah yes, Disney’s solution to every storytelling quandary: when in doubt, kill the mom. This is a pretty dark take for a film franchise that featured kids swimming in bowls of cereal and riding bumble bees. It’s also an overused story trope that dates back to Bambi and was re-used in The Jungle Book, The Fox and the Hound, A Goofy Movie, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, and countless others.

Many attribute this fixation with maternal death to Walt Disney’s own mother, Flora Call Disney. After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt and Roy Disney purchased her a home in Burbank. She later passed away from the fumes of a malfunctioning gas furnace in the home. It’s a tragic legacy that may explain Disney’s penchant for protagonists with single parents.

(via Disinsider)

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What are up to on this glorious Tuesday, Mary Suevians?

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.