Overall | Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) | Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) | Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Box Set) (1989)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Box Set) (1989)

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Released 21-Jul-2003

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Overall Package

    The original film Honey, I Shrunk The Kids was a surprising hit at the box office and a mildly entertaining film. That it spawned three sequels is even more surprising, as the whole concept could hardly be considered inventive enough to sustain that sort of follow up material. Unfortunately it could not and barring the one film that is not included in this box set, this obvious fact is well and truly demonstrated by the box set.

    Accordingly, the box set is a disappointment on two counts. Firstly, it is the only way you can currently get the three films included here and I would suspect that for most people the first film is the only one they really want. The box set is therefore a pricey way to do this. Secondly, given the deplorable lack of extras here, it is a crying shame that the opportunity was not taken to commit the third film (Honey, I Shrunk The Audience) to DVD for inclusion in the set. Okay, it's a 3-D film and the theatrical presentation features some additional effects (like the dog sneezing on you) that might not translate well to DVD, but it would have to be better than Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

    With generally average transfers and not a single extra in sight, this is hardly a high point of DVD presentation. Serious fans of the films will no doubt love that this is available but the rest will just have to lament the fact that there is no way at the moment to just get the first, and best, of the films.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) | Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) | Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

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Released 21-Jul-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 89:41
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joe Johnston
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Rick Moranis
Matt Frewer
Marcia Strassman
Kristine Sutherland
Thomas Wilson Brown
Jared Rushton
Amy O'Neill
Robert Oliveri
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music James Horner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The output of Walt Disney Pictures over the years can pretty much be categorised under one heading - family entertainment. Now given the number of families in the world, I suppose there is some logic in trying to dominate that one market segment. The downside is that an organisation the size of Walt Disney Pictures has to produce a certain number of films in a year in order to maintain the rather large workforce it must have, along with the workforces of assorted associated companies. That pressure I guess inevitably means that plenty of ideas for films are considered every year and it is equally inevitable that at times some rather dubious or underdeveloped stories get the go-ahead for production.

    That is perhaps what happened with Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Now don't get me wrong - I enjoy this film and have done for years. But truly, if you look at this with a cold heart, this is hardly a story to sustain a feature length film - before even considering the inevitable plot holes. Still, into production it went and by all accounts must have been rather successful as it spawned three sequels. Even by Disney's renowned ability for milking its properties for all they are worth, three sequels is a pretty impressive number, although admittedly one - the best one - is only a short film.

    Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) is an inventor who has been tinkering with a matter shrinking device without success, apparently for some time. This has placed something of a strain on his marriage to Diane (Marcia Strassman), but that strain might be alleviated if his latest efforts with the machine are improved. Unfortunately, that is not the case and things just seem to be coming to an end as an inventor until the kids get involved. Next door brat Ron Thompson (Jared Rushton) manages to put a baseball through the window into Wayne's inventing attic, said baseball being (rather unbelievably) the final missing ingredient in making the machine work. When Ron and Nick Szalinski (Robert Oliveri) go upstairs to retrieve the baseball, voila - zapped and shrunk. Further neighbour Russ Thompson Junior (Thomas Brown) and Amy Szalinski (Amy O'Neill) head upstairs to find out where the two boys have gone and they too are zapped. Now one quarter of an inch tall, they find themselves thrown out into the trash by Wayne after his troubled times at a conference. Now stuck at the bottom of the garden, the four children have to find their way back to the house, in order that they may be restored to their true size.

    Aside from plot holes the size of, well, the Szalinski's back garden, the story does lag somewhat at times and perhaps the film could have done with some tightening up at the screenplay stage. The story is blessed with a few decent dollops of comedy but again perhaps not enough to sustain the film for its entire current length. The acting is about what we would expect from this sort of film, and the same is true of the direction. The improvement comes in reasonable cinematography and special effects - although the passage of time has perhaps not been quite as good to the latter. So basically we are talking about the quintessential mediocre piece of Disney cinema. And yet despite all that, the film at some level does work and works quite well enough to be the sort of film that you can return to time and time again - just not every night.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Whilst the original theatrical ratio for the film was 1.85:1, the opening credits seem to extend beyond the frame. This may of course be overscan on my system and since I have no VHS tape for reference, this is probably the answer. However, that is not to say that the opening credits might not be incorrectly framed.

    This is in most respects only slightly better than average. Sharpness is adequate enough but is hardly to be confused with the best around. There is always a prevalent softness to the definition that whilst not really annoying per se does make for a slightly tired looking image. At one point this is compounded by a distinct loss of focus in the image. There is a soft graininess to the entire transfer, further eroding the sharpness of the image. Shadow detail is pretty good however, especially as there is plenty of opportunity here to go awry. Clarity is more than acceptable although this might not be to the advantage of the special effects at times.

    Where I did find the transfer disappointing is in the colours. There is a somewhat flat look to the colours that just adds to the nondescript nature of the whole transfer. Sure there are times when the colours come up nicely saturated and almost vibrant but most of the time this is not the case. The most obvious place is in the wandering through the back garden, where the green leaves of the grass have a tendency to look flat in colour rather than having a vibrant look that would accord more with the general look of a recently watered garden (as implied by the water flow and the sprinklers running). Of course, this does mean that there is no problem with oversaturation of colours, and colour bleed is also absent.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Thankfully there is nothing too much in the way of film-to-video artefacts either with the only issue being some instances of aliasing: the fridge door at 3:45, the lawnmower at 12:57, the car door at 30:36 and the steps at 39:57 being the sort of modest issue to be found. Unfortunately, right from the opening Walt Disney Pictures logo there is ample evidence of film artefacts, some of which are rather obvious. Dirt specks and scratches are to be seen, along with other evidence of film damage and film dirt.

    This is a single sided, single layered DVD so there is no layer change.

    There is a modest collection of subtitles on the DVD, including both English and English for the Hearing Impaired. They are perfectly decent efforts that don't miss a lot in the way of the dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is just the one soundtrack on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Lacking any other option, apart from watching the film without any audio at all, that was the one I listened to. On the balance, with the standard of some of the dialogue, watching without audio might not actually be a bad idea...

    The dialogue comes up reasonably well in the soundtrack but there are a few places where the dialogue is a little soft and you might have some problems understanding what was being said. Note that this does not include those places where the dialogue is deliberately at a very low level. There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync.

    The original music score comes from James Horner. Yes, before handling lush romantic pap as exemplified by that sinking romance ship thing, he eked out an existence producing very unlush, very unromantic pap as exemplified by this. Thoroughly unmemorable, thoroughly formulaic stuff.

    The overall soundtrack really is an unmemorable piece of work, too. Hardly a marvellous demonstration of six channel surround sound, there is a general feeling of slight congestion to the sound and the surround encoding is nothing to really write home about. However, there are highlights indeed and notable amongst them is the sequence with the bees that certainly swoops between the front and rear channels quite nicely. Given the age of the film and the rather limited opportunities to really show some strong surround encoding, the overall result is probably better than I expected. There really is nothing much for the low frequency effects channel to do so your subwoofer will not come into play often.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   They was shrunk I tell you...

Menu

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Whilst there is a distinct lack of any reliable reviews of the DVD, it does appear that the Region 1 release of the film is as bereft of extras as the Region 4. Oh, and it is also apparently missing a widescreen presentation. On the other hand the Region 1 release is available as a separate DVD to purchase, rather than being part of a box set. Still, the Region 4 release would have to be the better choice I would think. The Region 2 release appears to be the same as the Region 4.

Summary

    Honey, I Shrunk The Kids is hardly a great film no matter which way you look at it. It is a good example of the sort of relatively mediocre family entertainment that Disney churns out, or at least used to churn out, with almost gay abandon. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing but they are sort of the cinematic equivalent of a good Chinese meal: you stuff yourself silly with the fare but before too long you feel like you missed having a meal at all. Whilst the basic premise of the film is the biggest plot hole you can find, the story ends up being reasonably entertaining even after all these years. The transfer is in all respects a typically average effort that has sort of become the standard on these back catalogue releases from Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) | Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) | Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)

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Released 21-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 85:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Randal Kleiser
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Rick Moranis
Marcia Strassman
Lloyd Bridges
Robert Oliveri
John Shea
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music Bruce Broughton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, guess the running shoe brand
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Let me see - I want to do a sequel to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids in which we shrunk the kids, then blew them back up to normal size. Hey, how about we blow up the kids and then shrink them back again? Oh, that sounds like a whiz bang of an idea for a sequel - lets make it. But even better lets make the kids just a cute little baby boy so that we get the mommies out there into sympathetic mode.

    I know I am a cynic at heart but I really cannot see that the pitch for this film did not go exactly along those lines - it is just too d*** obvious (not withstanding the fact that the film was originally called Big Baby and not intended to be a sequel).

    And so it is that three years after Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, the first of the sequels emerged: Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. This is one of those unfortunately not-too-rare occurrences where the title gives away the whole story of the film.

    On the strength of the success of his amazing matter shrinking device, as seen in the first movie, Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) has caught the corporate gravy train and has relocated to Las Vegas to continue working on the commercialisation of his invention. Naturally wife Diane (Marcia Strassman), daughter Amy (Amy O'Neill), son Nick (Robert Oliveri) and baby son Adam (Daniel and Joshua Shalikar) are along for the ride (albeit briefly in the case of Amy). With things not being all that hunky dory at work thanks to a condescending "boss" in Dr Hendrickson (John Shea), inevitably they only get worse when Wayne's latest brainwave to make the enlarging process work turns out to be the bottom of a certain well known cool drink manufacturer's bottle. So whilst testing his theory, Adam gets zapped and starts to grow rather large - with the inevitable problems that creates in a suburban home. Cue the hijinks as Wayne and Diane try to resolve the situation.

    Once again the plot holes are the size of the Nevada desert, but that is not the main problem here. The cutesy aspect of the film really drags the whole thing down and watching endless snippets of singing baby to sleep, dancing with baby to keep his attention and so on really does result in the film dragging. All things considered, Amy probably had the right idea in making a cameo and then jumping ship. There is little if anything here that is genuinely funny and certainly the acting and directing did not improve here. Of course part of the former is simply due to the fact that you cannot expect a two year old kid to have the acting chops of a Lawrence Olivier and so with said kid being the focus of the entire story, it suffers in consequence. The special effects are not so special at times, adding a leaden weight to proceedings too.

    All in all, even huge fans of the original film would be hard-pressed to find nice things to say about this sequel. I know I am.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which accords with the original theatrical release. Despite the suggestion made on the packaging, the transfer is actually 16x9 enhanced.

    This is something of an improvement in most respects over the transfer afforded the original film, but not by a whole lot. Sharpness is somewhat better, lacking the obvious softness of the original film's transfer, but with just enough to take the fine sharpness of the transfer. Definition is almost very good and the overall detail level is unlikely to cause too many concerns. The opening credits exhibit some grain but that is basically where the problem remains and only a very minor grain issue was noted thereafter. Shadow detail is good and were it not for some film dirt the clarity of the transfer would have almost been very good.

    The colours come up a little better this time too. Whilst there is still a dearth of really vibrant, bright primary colours, the night-time in Las Vegas is not too bad and the look is not as flat as the original film. Vibrancy is improved overall but there would certainly have been loads of scope for something even better. Black levels are decent but not spectacular. Despite the potential for a problem, in the end saturation was kept at a decent level and no oversaturation was noted. Colour bleed appeared to have been kept in check too.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Unfortunately, one area where the film does get decidedly worse than in the original film transfer is in film-to-video artefacts. Whilst individually there are none that I would call really gross, there is a high consistency in their presence that tends to detract somewhat from the enjoyment of the film. Aliasing is the major offender: it can be seen just about everywhere to a greater or lesser extent. The more obvious examples are on the roof at 3:35, the blinds at 4:09, the playpen at 4:49, the microwave on numerous occasions, the picture at 15:40, the van on numerous occasions and so on. Moiré artefacting can also be seen on the roof at 3:35 and on the shirt at 46:42. Film artefacts are less of a problem here although film dirt would seem to be a problem in the opening credits and there are a few black dirt specks floating around.

    This is a single sided, single layered DVD so there is no layer change.

    Just for a bit of inconsistency in the presentation of the box set in which you will find this title, one of the subtitle options (Finnish) has gone, leaving just the five options. The English and English for the Hearing Impaired efforts are very good and no major omissions were noted.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is just the one soundtrack on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    The dialogue comes up well in the soundtrack and there are no problems understanding what was being said. There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync.

    The original music score comes from Bruce Broughton and a staggeringly uninspired piece of work it is too. However, given the uninspired nature of the film, that was not the least bit surprising.

    Whilst it has probably even less to do than the soundtrack of the original film, this seems to do a slightly better job overall. There is some nice surround encoding here, no more so than around the 29:00 mark where the baby noises are nicely dealt with in the front surrounds whilst the dialogue continues in the centre channel. There are not too many opportunities for such encoding but when they arise they certainly seem to be fairly well handled. The low frequency effects channel gets a fair run at times too, especially when baby starts dancing. But we cannot ignore the fact that this is still a quite predominantly dialogue driven film and the soundtrack reflects that.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   They was blown up I tell you...

Menu

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Whilst there is once again a distinct lack of any reliable reviews of the DVD, it does appear that the Region 1 release of the film is again as bereft of extras as the Region 4. It too is also apparently missing a widescreen presentation. On the other hand, the Region 1 release is available as a separate DVD to purchase, rather than being part of a box set, although as I write this I am battling to explain why that is actually an advantage. Still, the Region 4 release would again have to be the better choice I would think. The Region 2 release appears to be the same as the Region 4.

Summary

    Honey, I Shrunk The Kids was hardly a great film, but was slightly better than Honey, I Blew Up The Kid. Whilst I can still enjoy the first film, there is nothing about the sequel that I really find at all engaging. Too much cutesy stuff is included to the detriment of some decent storyline-advancing stuff (just how much stuff of a kid running around a house was really necessary as opposed to just being filler?). If the first film was the cinematic equivalent of a Chinese meal, then the sequel is the cinematic equivalent of burnt toast. At least it gets a slightly better transfer if that is any help.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Monday, January 12, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) | Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) | Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)

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Released 21-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 71:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dean Cundey
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Rick Moranis
Eve Gordon
Bug Hall
Robin Bartlett
Stuart Pankin
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $69.95 Music Michael Tavera


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Norwegian
Finnish
Danish
Icelandic
Portuguese
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    And so we get to what is, for now at least, the third sequel to the reasonably entertaining Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (with wife and two kids). Not the greatest film ever made but at least it was a reasonable original and raised a couple of laughs. A nice little time filler of a movie. It obviously did quite well in terms of money as the folks at Disney, well renowned for making a buck, made a first sequel in the form of Honey, I Blew Up The Kid (with wife and three kids). This proved that the originality factor of the original film was not huge and certainly did not transcend a repeat. So after the relative disaster of the first sequel, there came the third sequel in the form of the utterly lamentable Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

    Wait a minute - third sequel? Well, yes, this is the third sequel. The second sequel was made in 1995, and the best of the series it was too - albeit a bit more expensive to see. The folks at Disney expanded the "family" with Honey, I Shrunk The Audience (with wife and ?two kids). You may not have heard of this one, which would not surprise as it is a 3D film at Walt Disney World (it may be at their other theme parks too, but I can only attest to the Orlando location).

    Staggeringly, this lamentable effort was the first to appear on DVD and has now been remastered for inclusion in the box set. How lamentable? Well, it is a straight to video release: what more needs to be said? If you thought that Honey, I Blew Up The Kid was an appalling sequel, this is worse by a factor of maybe 100. A comedy? I can guarantee you that the 72 minutes did not contain a single solitary nanosecond of anything remotely funny that could even hint at putting something like a smile on my face.

    The broad story here? Since the first film shrunk the kids, the second blew up the kid and the third shrunk the audience, what else is there left to do? Well, this one pretty much recycles the broad story of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, with the requisite change being that the obviously stupid Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) manages to stand in front of the business end of his soon to be displayed in the Smithsonian Institute shrinking device and manages this time to shrink himself, his brother Gordon (Stuart Pankin), his wife (Eve Gordon) and his sister-in-law Patty (Robin Bartlett). What follows are seventy dull minutes of "adventures" as they rely upon the kids to find them and blow them back up. And you really were not expecting much else were you?

    The story is not much to worry about, the performances (sorry, but I really have difficulty describing them as acting) are borderline rubbish and the whole thing smacks of a film done by numbers from a bunch of hacks that we are thankfully unlikely to hear from again. What makes this even worse is the fact that the direct to video type budget is woefully exposed under the digital eye and the effects really look anything but believable. And it is a very sad indictment of the whole Disney organisation that this sort of banal rubbish is what they turn out better (or is that worse?) than anyone else in the business.

    The original release was completely avoidable for the simple reason that it was sold separately. Unfortunately, that is not possible this time round as it comes as part of the box set. However, just because it is in the box set does not mean that you have to watch it. There is nothing the slightest bit amusing about this and I doubt even the youngsters would find anything here to keep them amused. By the time this incarnation came out, the novelty had well and truly worn off and the whole deal had become really passé.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Being made for video, the original aspect ratio of the film is 1.33:1 as we have here, which is of course not 16x9 enhanced.

    This time round the transfer seems to be much better than I remember it, so perhaps I was overly harsh in the review of the original release. Still, at best the transfer is only reasonably sharp and reasonably well detailed. However, there are some underlying problems in this regard and you certainly will find places here that you really would not like to freeze frame on. Shadow detail is average and clarity is probably slightly better than average, but nothing to rave over. Light grain is present but given the direct-to-video nature of the film this is perhaps no worse than we would have expected. There did not seem to be any low level noise problems with the transfer.

    The colours here certainly don't really zing at all, and whilst a little bit more vibrant than previously thought the absence of bright primary colours is obvious. Saturation could have been better and certainly a less conservative range of colours might have brightened the film considerably. The opening main title credit is slightly oversaturated and slightly bleeds, but that is the extent of those problems in the transfer.

    There are plenty of issues with the transfer here that may or may not be MPEG artefacts. I am guessing that the problem is source material related but compounded by the compression process. Certainly if you watch this on a computer, you will be disappointed with the very interlaced look of the image with obvious "ghosting" occurring wherever there is rapid camera movement - compounding when there is also action movement in the film. On a television the issue is not as noticeable but is still visible, most notably around 26:12 and 26:14 in the transfer. This is during the escape by fishing line from Adam's bedroom and the lack of resolution in the picture looks all the world like chronic interlacing issues. There was some aliasing in the transfer (such as in the car at 15:09) but nothing that was really significant, and there did not appear to be any other film-to-video artefacts. There did not seem to be any real problems with film artefacts.

    This is a single sided, single layered DVD so there is no layer change.

    Just for a bit more inconsistency in the presentation of the box set in which you will find this title, the Finnish subtitle option omitted on the second film reappears along with a couple more choices not found on the other two discs in the box set. The English and English for the Hearing Impaired efforts are very good and no major omissions were noted.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    In common with the other discs in the box set, there is just the one soundtrack on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The original release of the film on DVD featured a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and to be blunt I don't see that anything was really gained - other than consistency - by remastering the sound for six channels.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout, and there did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the transfer.

    The musical score comes from Michael Tavera and a completely ignorable effort it is. There is little here that would be worthwhile worrying about.

    The original release's two channel soundtrack was a completely unmemorable effort that was at least reasonably open sounding with no congestion or distortion. That is the same description that can be applied to this six channel effort. The surround encoding is not that wonderful, although to be fair there is nothing much beyond the dialogue for much of the film. There is little in the way of bass action here and what there is is quite well handled.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

   Are we really caring at this point?

Menu

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From the available reliable reviews of the DVD, it appears that the Region 1 release of the film is virtually identical to the Region 4.

Summary

    Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is a piece of utter rubbish that should never have made it onto DVD the first time around, let alone being remastered for re-release in the box set. I doubt that anyone of any age would find anything even remotely funny or entertaining in this 72 minute piece of purgatory. It features better than average transfers in all respects, although the video transfer does feature some rather grotesque problems at times. To be avoided at all costs.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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