When we first watched Honey I shrunk the Kids Playground, I had no idea who the lead characters were until midway through the movie when they started talking to each other. Although they looked quite a bit alike (Greg and Jane Smith are younger versions of Yaphet Kotto and Mikelder), there was a certain familiarity to their dialogue. I was interested in wondering how this couple would get along because after all, they seemed so incredibly similar. I wanted to find out if they shared something about themselves that separated them from other characters, but what really fascinates me is that throughout the movie, Honey and her sisters take up an entire play area of the local playground, even though most of their time is spent at the Frisbee.
Of course, it doesn’t help that the two main characters have these identical traits. And while it seems to be cute that the girls spend a large portion of their time playing with a Frisbee, I’m wondering if that could be considered too far for a children’s play area. After all, why do playground operators require that playground equipment is kept in a contained space? Why don’t they allow parents and caregivers to keep an eye on the children while they run wild?
I guess most parents view playground equipment as a necessary evil, and I can understand wanting to protect children from harm. After all, playground equipment can sometimes lead to disaster. There have been news reports about young children crushing play equipment or even getting hit by moving parts, which could result in life-threatening injuries. But are there other times when playground equipment may actually save lives?
In Honey I shrunk the Kids Playground, two young women take up residence in a wooden cabin. They are separated from their mom and dad, who are staying with their aunt and uncle. The women referred to as the “Mama” and” Papa” in the movie, are left alone at their new home. Their aunt provides them with toys to play with, but they soon discover that the toys are not strong enough to take the two ladies through the woods. (They are actually afraid to go far from their aunt’s house because it is too far away.) This prompts the two girls to practice climbing and walking on the wooden logs that their house is on top of.
Once they manage to scale the roof, however, they realize that they need two pieces of wood in order to reach the top. What they do not know is that when they reach the top, there is no ladder to use! Instead of calling for help, they decide to climb the ladder using only their hands. This is when Honey gets hurt. She tries to pull herself up using her hands, but to her dismay, Honey I shrunk the Kids Playground cannot support her full weight, so she falls off the ladder.
Fortunately, Mary Poppins, who has just come back from being away on her honeymoon, shows up at the rescue. After Mary sees how Mary helped Honey I shrunk the Kids Playground and realizes that she might have hurt her feelings, she decides to take Mary Poppins along to Honey I Shrugged the Kids Playground so that she can show her how to use the ladders. Once they are on the ground, they realize that the ladders were not meant to be used by just two people. They could have used a three-legged ladder, or an eight-legged one, or even a spider web! Instead, they decided to keep their secret from all of the other children, and simply continue their game inside.
When Mary Poppins gets tiring of being held up, she decides to take Andy on his honeymoon, so that they can enjoy being a family once again. At first, things seem alright, but soon enough, Andy gets jealous that Mary and her new husband, Arthur, will soon take him and Beth, their daughter, on a cruise ship to Europe, where they could stay right away. But when Mary Poppins’ doll falls off of the top of a tree and is found by Andy, they both rush to the park to pick up the doll, only to find that it has been shrunk. Now, instead of just being two tiny people, they are now Agnes, and Aunt Hilda.
The movie ends with a happily ever after conclusion, but this happy ending is only temporary. The two cousins return to the real world and find that Mary’s doll has been shrunk again. When they try to go back to the playground, they discover that there are no longer any ladders, and there are no cranes either. However, a big, menacing penguin named Pumba, who is obsessed with shrinking people like Mary and Andy, causes all kinds of trouble to get them back to the playground!