If you were lucky enough to be alive in 1989, then you, too, may distantly recall the magic that was seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when it first premiered in theaters. Back then, the thrill of seeing the world from a bug's-eye view as you watched kids slide down giant blades of grass and ride a huge ant across their own backyard was enough to leave anyone thoroughly mind-blown.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was so popular that Disney didn't hesitate to capitalize on its success by making not one, but two more movies in which the characters found themselves inappropriately sized. First, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid was released in 1992. In this sequel, a toddler the size of Godzilla wreaks havoc on Las Vegas. Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves was released in 1997 and featured the parents finally getting a taste of their own medicine.
The third installment only seemed fitting, considering each of the movies' plots were fueled by hilariously bad parenting decisions. Get ready to see the films unfold from a parent's perspective as you take a look at the truly astounding parenting failures throughout the films.
Wayne Repeats All His Mistakes In The Second Movie
In Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, the two oldest Szalinski kids have managed to mature into relatively healthy young adults. However, the Szalinksis have added a new son, Adam, to their family. Wayne decides to test his object-enlarging machine on his toddler's favorite toy, so he carts both of his sons down to his new Nevada lab and zaps Adam's toy bunny.
To the surprise of no one but Wayne, Adam is accidentally zapped by the machine and continues to grow larger each time he's exposed to electricity. Once he's about 100 feet tall, he runs rampant through the city of Las Vegas, which would have been completely avoidable with proper safety precautions.142Is this bad parenting?
Wayne Is A Workaholic Who Neglects His Family
When Honey, I Shrunk the Kids opens, Wayne's son Nick is making his own miniature model of his father's machine as Wayne tinkers in the attic. When Nick's model is done, he takes it up to the attic lab to show his dad what he's accomplished. Rather than showing fatherly pride, Wayne completely blows off his son's achievement, telling him to go help his teenage sister Amy, who seems to be running the house while Mrs. Szalinski is away.
When Wayne leaves for the science conference, he hastily says goodbye to his kids and orders them to clean the house while he's gone. Even upon his return from the conference, he doesn't find it odd that both of his children are mysteriously missing. Rather than attempt to seek them out, he seems more concerned with where his "thinking couch" has gone, as it was shrunk along with the kids.144Is this bad parenting?
The Parents Never Attempt To Communicate With The Shrunken Kids
Apparently, Wayne never realizes that the kids are likely able to hear him. Given their microscopic size, he could have called out to them and let them know he was aware of the situation. The notion of communicating with the kids, however, never seems to occur to any of the adults in the film.
The Szalinskis never give the children any sort of advice, ask them for a sign to help locate them, or even tell them that they love them. Instead, they let the kids fend for themselves among the dangers of the yard.92Is this bad parenting?
Wayne Throws A Temper Tantrum When His Invention Fails
When Wayne returns home from the conference where he presented his invention, he seems genuinely stunned that it didn't work. Rather than using this experience as a learning opportunity, he physically attacks the machine he's worked on for five years. He later tells his wife that he plans to give up his dreams and return to the workforce rather than press on in the face of adversity.
What's worse, Wayne is completely unaware that his recently shrunken children are present for his tantrum. When he finally cleans up after himself, he accidentally sweeps them up, along with the neighbors' children, and throws them all out with the trash.116Is this bad parenting?