On April 30th, Intrada Records presented an expanded edition of their 2009 premiere release Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the 1989 classic family adventure that had become one of James Horner’s most controversial efforts, while remaining a beloved entry in his discography. It is an anniversary of sorts, with 15 years passing since that album made its debut.

James Horner and Simon Rhodes created the 2009 soundtrack album with Intrada, which coincided with the film’s 20th anniversary and despite being a huge box office hit and becoming a home video and television staple, no soundtrack album appeared at the time of the film’s release. Their album was a brisk 51 minute presentation arranged for the best album listening experience as Simon Rhodes opted to intercut the best takes of each cue, rather than utilize the final print takes as originally recorded by Shawn Murphy in 1989. Cues such as the “Main Title”, “Shrunk” and “Thanksgiving Dinner” were given a slighter sense of urgency and precision due to these editorial choices. The album’s sonics were quite stellar, with Horner leading the London Symphony Orchestra in what must have been one of the most rambunctious and lighthearted fare for the prestigious orchestra to perform.

Director Joe Johnston had temp scored portions of film with Amarcord by composer Nino Rota, and the popular “Powerhouse B” music from Raymond Scott, which had become an oft-quoted piece of music in many cartoons involving a ‘mad scientist’ or ‘assembly line’ motif and Horner was tasked with incorporating both of these ideas into his score. Shades of Danny Elfman’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure in terms of stylistic similarity to Rota’s music also gave Horner’s score a lot of attention and resulted in some controversy as to the sense of originality and use of musical quotations. The on-screen end credits featured Nino Rota, while the score’s cue sheets were revised to include Raymond Scott.

As comprehensive as the 2009 album was, there were still a few pieces left behind. James Horner and Simon Rhodes elected not to include a number of cues that added to the film’s narrative, so making their debut here are “A Long Way Home” for the shrunken kids discovering unforeseen obstacles before calling on the family dog Quark to try and rescue them. In this cue, James Horner referenced another contemporary film about children on a wild adventure: The Goonies by Dave Grusin, although both take inspiration from Sir William Walton’s score for the 1955 film Richard III and is heard again briefly in the cue “Ant Rodeo”. The theme was reprised for “Thanksgiving Dinner and End Credits”, however Simon Rhodes chose a take that removed a portion of the quote for that finale;

Also new to the program are “Bee Flight / “After The Bees”, a whimsical yet dissonant piece of suspense for when the kids and inventor Wayne Szalinski face off against a bee who takes the kids on a wild ride and concludes with a brief moment that echoes “Dark Discovery” from Horner’s Aliens. “After The Bees” is ominous, but plays during a lighter moment where Amy Szalinski boasts about the potential in her father’s invention making her family rich and famous; A prelude to the beautifully tender “Night Time” cue that was likely left off the 2009 album due to the material being so close to it musically, is now present and titled “Letting Antony Go”.

Two short cues for the film’s shrinking invention (and more usage of the Powerhouse motif) are “Grand Slam” and “Laser Beam”, totalling one minute for Ron Thompson hitting the baseball that activates the shrink machine which shrinks everyone soon after, and these are now available in the extras section of the album. Curiously, the final cue on the album in the extras is titled “Astride the Ant”, which appears to be the music for when the kids look at their ordeal as something of a safari through the backyard jungle. The 2009 album included this cue, hidden in the cue “Flying Szalinsky”, and seems to be replicated here with the same two-minute runtime, albeit with the corrected spelling ‘Szalinski’. In addition to these six pieces that complete the score, the album has been rearranged closer to the film’s chronological order, save for the short “After the Bees” and the extras.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge my own love and appreciation for this score.

I was 8 years old when Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was released on June 23, 1989, the same day as the landmark blockbuster Batman. While I had known some of Horner’s films as a child such as An American Tail and The Land Before Time it was this film that immediately jumped out at me from a musical sense, and the first where I took notice of Horner’s name as it appeared most appropriately during the animated title sequence, on a vinyl record.

Growing up, whenever the film appeared on television I was there to watch it, whenever I wasn’t watching the old VHS tape.While I’ve always loved the film on its own merits, the music was such a dear favorite that I lamented the fact that I couldn’t listen to it on its own. I even did what many film score kids resorted to in those days, placing my stereo tape player in front of my TV speaker and recording the credits so I could listen that way. Times have certainly changed since!

The Intrada album from 2009 came after the score had been put out into the newfangled World Wide Web with two dubiously-sourced bootlegs, and the quality and care of the Intrada, not to mention the seal of approval and official status of the label, the composer and the studio, meant a childhood dream had come true 20 years after the film’s release. To see this new expanded presentation is to relive that dream come true, and I am forever grateful to Intrada, to James Horner, and to my mother who first put the puffy Disney clamshell VHS in front of me.

A 20th anniversary soundtrack debut, a 15th anniversary expanded edition in time for the now 35th anniversary of the film’s release. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is having a very sweet anniversary this year.



01. Main Title (1:58)
02. Strange Neighbors (1:49)
03. Test Run (2:08)
04. Shrunk (5:38)
05. A New World (3:31)
06. A Long Way Home (3:33)
07. Bee Flight/After The Bees (2:48)
08. The Machine Works (2:05)
09. Watering The Grass (4:13)
10. Ant Rodeo (3:45)
11. Flying Szalinski (1:59)
12. Letting Antony Go (1:51)
13. Night Time (5:04)

14. Scorpion Attack (3:34)
15. Lawn Mower! (5:44)
16. Eaten Alive (2:45)
17. Big Russ Volunteers (1:24)
18. Thanksgiving Dinner And End Credits (5:28)
Total Score Time: 59:37

19. Grand Slam (0:32)
20. Laser Beam (0:31)
21. Astride The Ant (0:47)
Total Extras Time: 1:58)
Total CD Time: 61:45

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