Help, I Shrunk My Teacher (2015) Poster

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Size does matter
kosmasp22 September 2016
Especially when you are or get very small. What magic is in place here and why do teachers shrink like that? Well the message is clear enough, but I won't spoil it for you, so you'll have the fun watching it ... But back to this and back to school. It's a formula that you've probably and very likely have seen before.

So predictability is very high in this one. For a kids movie it's pretty nicely put together, even if you do consider all the clichés it does go through. The acting is OK, though nothing does stand out in particular. It's played for laughs and it doesn't really have to try too hard to achieve that, because of that well known formula. Nothing to get too excited about, but this has been done in far worse fashion too ...
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Eventually not too rewarding, not even for younger audiences
Horst_In_Translation31 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The German title here means basically "Help, I Shrunk My Teacher", so here we have a relatively new movie (slightly over a year by now) that once again deals with the subject of people getting shrunk and this time, a teacher is affected, well actually a head master and not just one in fact. But we'll get to that later. The movie runs for 97 minutes, including credits and is certainly aimed mostly at younger audiences. Once again, even if this is a kids movie, you will find a handful of pretty well-known German actors in here. These would be Stein, Kling, von Dohnányi, Zeiler and Waalkes. How do you see that a lot of time has passed? By the fact that it is no longer the young chubby Axel Stein playing the chaotic teenagers, but he is playing the kids' father now and he has lost a lot of weight. Still, admittedly, his body of work has never exactly been filled with greatness and Anja Kling is a bit of a female equivalent to him, who has also more than just a few really weak film in her filmography. This is not a failure here, but another weak addition i would say.

There are some good and some bad moments here. First of all, the premise with the unlikable teacher being shrunk is a decent one and I thought the execution here was also a success for the most part. What is not so great is the child actors / performances. Keymer, who plays the lead, has some good and some bad moments, his female co-lead Lina Hüesker is better, but her character feels really pointless the longer the film goes. The trio of antagonists are just downright bad and gimmicky for the most part. von Dohnányi probably gives the best performance here and honestly his little epilogue scene with Waalkes is better than most of the other stuff before that. Otto Waalkes plays a really small role that consists basically only of one scene and as much as I like him, it is ridiculous he received a Bambi for this. Sadly, his role selection recently has not been too inspired either ("Kartoffelsalat"), but I hope this Bambi will help him to step things up again and move in the right direction.

The problem with this film here is not the fact that people shrink or that there is an old spirit capable of great power and magic, it's the lackluster approach when it comes to love to detail. At the end, everybody all of a sudden is nice again and they like each other and can live with how it all turned out. This feels really rushed because honestly, they were such major antagonists only minutes before and the explanation that the bad guy shrunk too and this changes him is simply not good enough. These mathematics and geography quizzes at the very end were also pretty ridiculous. It seemed like they wanted to give the film a somewhat vibe of Indiana Jones for teenagers perhaps, but these scenes were very cringeworthy. Director Sven Unterwaldt Jr. has worked with Waalkes on many occasions already, so no surprise the two collaborate in here again as well. What is most shocking, however, is how weak the script eventually turns out despite no less than 3 people in charge of the screenplay which is only an "adaptation" of a children's novel. Disappointing and I believe there are many better German kids films out there. As far as I am concerned, there is no need for a sequel here and I give this one a thumbs-down.
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