help-i-shrunk-my-parents-2018-hilfe-ich-hab-meine-eltern-geschrumpft-trageser-review

HELP, I SHRUNK MY PARENTS

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by Tim Trageser

grade: 5.5

It is not a film with many pretensions, Help, I shrunk my Parents. Not even as far as the various script twists are concerned. The story unfolds in an often predictable way, albeit with good dynamics, and the young audience seems to be happy with it.

Young adult

Many will remember young, nice Felix (played by Oskar Keymer), the protagonist of the feature film Help, I shrunk my Teacher, directed by Sven Unterwaldt Jr. in 2015 and based on the children’s book of the same name by Sabine Ludwig. Following the success of the first film, the second feature film in the saga, Help, I Shrunk My Parents, arrived in cinemas in 2018. This time the direction was entrusted to Tim Trageser, but the cast is the same as in the previous feature film.

Since Felix had saved his school from imminent closure, therefore, a year has passed. His mother Sandra (Julia Hartmann) – who previously worked as a researcher in the US – has finally returned home, but this time it is his father Peter (Axel Stein) who would like to find work abroad. If his plans were to succeed, the whole family would have to move, but Felix is not enthusiastic about the idea of having to leave his school and his friends. When Sandra and Peter go to the school in order to talk to the headmistress, they are shrunk – using the same spell once used by Otto Leonhard against anyone who threatened his school – by former headmistress Hulda Stechbarth (Andrea Sawatzki), whose ghost has managed to break free from Otto Leonhard’s spell and threatens to change the school forever.

While Help, I shrunk my Teacher dealt with the delicate matter of misunderstandings between adults and children, in Help, I shrunk my Parents, director Tim Trageser focused mainly on the parent-child relationships and how certain situations can lead to sudden role reversals. When Sandra and Peter are shrunk and – after various vicissitudes – manage to return home, it is Felix who has to take care of them, find them suitable clothes, cook for them and make them suitable beds. Sandra and Peter soon realise that their Felix is now becoming an independent and responsible adult. A person who probably knows what is best for everyone.

Delicate and, at the same time, universal themes, therefore, in an amusing children’s comedy, which, however, just like the other two feature films in the saga (in addition to Help, I shrunk my Teacher , there is also Help, I shrunk my Friends, made in 2021 by Granz Henman), is a little too reminiscent of what has been made in the past (it is impossible not to think of the cult film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, directed by Joe Johnston in 1989) and is characterised above all by often contrived special effects and a mise-en-scene that is almost reminiscent of a TV film.

It is not a film with many pretensions, Help, I shrunk my Parents. Not even as far as the various script twists are concerned. The story unfolds in an often predictable way, albeit with a good pace, and the young audience seems to be happy with it. Young Felix is undoubtedly a charismatic protagonist, and although the films in which he is the protagonist tend to repeat themselves somewhat, they have always been quite successful. Who knows if we will still have the opportunity to follow his adventures after high school.

Original title: Hilfe, ich hab meine Eltern geschrumpft
Directed by: Tim Trageser
Country/year: Germany, Austria / 2018
Running time: 93’
Genre: adventure, comedy, fantasy, family
Cast: Oskar Keymer, Lina Hüesker, Anja Kling, Axel Stein, Julia Hartmann, Johannes Zeiler, Michael Ostrowski, Andrea Sawatzki, Otto Waalkes, Georg Sulzer, Maximilian Ehrenreich, Eloi Christ, Adem Karaduman, Florian Osswald, Cornelia Dworak, Jakob Oberschlick
Screenplay: Gerrit Hermans
Cinematography: Felix Poplawsky
Produced by: Blue Eyes Fiction, Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film Produktion, Karibufilm

Info: the page of Help, I shrunk my Parents on iMDb