Rick Moranis Movies That Made Him a Legend

There are 20-year-old who’ve never seen a Rick Moranis movie in theaters, but Generation X grew up with him. Moranis was a legend in ’80s and ’90s comedies. After his wife died, he stepped back from Hollywood to take care of his kids. He has continued to do voice work and even released two albums. They’re good. You should listen to them!

Rick Moranis and Frank Oz
L-R: Frank Oz, Rick Moranis | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Ryan Reynolds brought Moranis back for a commercial for Mint Mobile, and now Moranis is in the news again. Unfortunately, this time Moranis was the victim of an assault. A representative for Moranis told The Hollywood Reporter, “He is fine but grateful for everyone’s thoughts and well wishes.” Here’s a look at the must see Moranis movies to either revisit, or for new fanns discover for the firs time. 

Rick Moranis’ first movie was ‘Strange Brew’ with his ‘SCTV’ costar

Moranis was part of Second City Television, where he had the recurring character Bob McKenzie. Bob and his brother Doug (Dave Thomas) hosted the Canadian talk show Great White North

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas
Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Strange Brew was the McKenzies’ own movie. They go to work at a bottling plant and uncover a conspiracy to poison the beer with brainwashing chemicals! A cult movie was born. 

Rick Moranis held his own with the ‘Ghostbusters’

Ghostbusters had a stacked comedy lineup with Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and director Ivan Reitman. Moranis played Louis Tully, an accountant who got possessed. Moranis stood out so much that they brought him back for Ghostbusters II

Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver
Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

RELATED: Why Rick Moranis Needs to Be in the New ‘Ghostbusters’

Rick Moranis sang in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Little Shop of Horrors began life as a cheapie Roger Corman horror movie. The Broadway musical adaptation became a smash, so they made a big budget Hollywood movie out of the musical. Moranis played Seymour Krelborn, the flower shop clerk who discovers a man eating plant.

Little Shop of Horrors
L-R: Vincent Gardenia, Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene | Murray Close/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Little Shop of Horrors’: How a Horror Musical Launched the Disney Renaissance

Moranis has a great voice for songs like “Downtown,” “Feed Me” and “Suddenly Seymour.” The 1986 release gave the play a happier ending, but the original ending is now available on Blu-ray. And a remake is in the works that could star Josh Gad as Seymour. 

‘Spaceballs’ made a mockery of Darth Vader 

Mel Brooks took aim at science-fiction movies with his comedy Spaceballs. Brooks cast Moranis as Dark Helmet, a ridiculous parody of Darth Vader. Helmet is frustrated by his crew (“I knew it. I’m surrounded by *ssholes.”) and has an absurdly tangential family relationship to the Luke Skywalker counterpart, Lone Star (Bill Pullman). Sci-fi got the treatment Brooks gave to westerns, classic horror and historical epics thanks in large part to Moranis’s portrayal.

‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ was Rick Moranis’s franchise

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids probably led to Moranis’s thriving family movie career too, like Little Giants and voicing Disney cartoons. Honey was a bona fide franchise though. As Prof. Wayne Szalinski, Moranis first invented a shrinking ray that miniaturized his kids in their own back yard.

The sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid went in reverse, turning his toddler into a Godzilla sized monster. In the third film, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, Szalinski, his wife and their neighbors got the shrinking treatment. Moranis also reprised his role for a 3D Disneyland attraction and has signed on to the Disney+ series Shrunk. 

Rick Moranis had dramatic chops in ‘Parenthood’

Parenthood told the story of an extended family, all with their own unique challenges raising a family. Moranis played a father who was pushing his daughter to overachieve so hard, he forgot to let her be a kid. He’s funny as an overly driven husband and father, but like the other subplots in the film, really hits home the importance of a balanced family life. 

Rick Moranis was Barney Rubble for the ’90s in ‘The Flintstones’

Universal Pictures brought the animated Flintstones to life in a 1994 movie. They couldn’t have found a better Barney Rubble than Moranis. While not one of Moranis’s funniest classics, it is worth seeing just to see a live-action Bedrock brought to life.

Rick Moranis and John Goodman
L-R: Rick Moranis and John Goodman | Universal/Getty Images

Although it was a hit, the live-action cast did not return. Instead, a prequel, Viva Rock Vegas, featured an all new live-action cast in 2000.