Tiny Homes On Wheels: Downsizing The Movie Review

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There I was searching on Canadian Netflix for documentaries on tiny homes on wheels, as I have come across them before when I saw the movie called “Downsizing”.  At first, I thought it was a documentary that was going to last a little over 2 hours but it wasn’t.  Instead, it was a science-fiction film about people being able to reduce themselves to the height of not more than 6 inches. 

The film was released on the big screen in 2017, but I did not notice it as I spend more time on the internet than watch TV, where advertising for it would have happened.  I did find a trailer of this movie at youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Md0XJZlbAk

The scientist behind the human body reduction idea goal in this film was that humans would have less of an environmental impact if they were vastly smaller than their original height.  They would consume fewer resources and take up less space on Earth.  The reduction operation has to be done out of a person’s own free will and is irreversible once it has been done.  

The main problem that comes up though, is that world politics have not changed and the reduction process gets used for dark purposes and the tiny world repeats some of the same bad situations of the big world.

The Arguments Used To Persuade People To become Tiny.

The film uses many of the reasons people choose to acquire a tiny home on wheels to convince people to become pixie size with twists that contradict one another attached to them. 

You can have a lower debt load because when you are tiny you do not need the same size of material things you did when you were big size.  You do not need as much material to make clothes for yourself or a house.  You could have dozens of outfits and still not take up much space.  You can have a mansion as a house since you will only use dollhouse size mansion that will take up way less space than an actual one.

Now, this idea is clearly a spoof on the original goals of the Tiny House Movement or what the scientist who came up with the body reduction procedure was aiming for.  Consuming habits are clearly not going down in this instance.  No one is sticking with living with the essentials.  Their habits have not changed.  They are still looking for material wealth.  Only it is at a cheap price and no one is feeling remorse because their material possessions don’t take up much room. 

Their consumption of energy sources is low not because they are being careful, but because as tiny people they just don’t use as much as big people.

I must also say that when persuading their audience to become tiny the arguments are presented for a white audience.  A very stereotypical middle-class white audience.  A man who works all day comes to his unreasonable size dollhouse home to find his wife relaxing in a tub who may or may not have spent too much money on a jewelry.  It depends on whether you think $83 is a high amount of money when you are living tiny.  That amount of money is the equivalent of a two-month food bill.  Still, for a ring that would be pricer in the big world that is cheap.

Most Of The Tiny Ethnic Minorities In This Film Are Not Living A Life Of Luxury.

There is one black woman in all of the film who states that going tiny is the best thing she ever did.  Perhaps a small percentage of minorities are doing well in the tiny community but it cannot be a high one.  After her appearance, all other ethnic minorities do not appear to be doing very well.  One of the main characters is a Vietnamese environmental activist who got shrunk against her will and lost a leg.  She lives in an overcrowded apartment building with tiny rooms, tinier than those you see in better neighborhoods.

These tiny people are poor.  The Vietnamese lady works as a house cleaner and brings leftovers from her clients’ fridges with their permission to the people in her housing complex who are all ethnic minorities.  She will even take medication with a pass expiratory date to those who might still benefit from it because most of the people she knows cannot afford to pay for their own medication. 

The white male lead in this movie played by Matt Damon, lives in a huge size dollhouse size home as a tiny man, while he lived in a smaller regular house when he was big size. 

This is the side that no one will obviously talk about when promoting the tiny human lifestyle.  Life is supposed to be better when you are tiny yet the problems from the big world repeat themselves. The politics don’t change.

None Of The Repeated Problems From The Big World Onto The Tiny World Get Resolved.

The scientist who came up with the way to shrink humans regrets that his ideal world is not working out.  He is sad the Vietnamese lady was shrunk against her will.  His solution is to take the original tiny colony he established underground where they can live until the Earth’s Atmosphere becomes completely clean again.  There they will continue propagating the human race.  

The Vietnamese lady and the Matt Damon character decide to continue doing good in their everyday lives until the pollution actually kills them, instead of burying themselves in the ground.

The Movie “Downsizing” Satires The Tiny House Movement’s Reasoning Into The Absurd.

When people take part in The Tiny House Movement one of the reasons is that they wish to lower their debt load by buying a cheaper home they will not have to spend years on paying a mortgage.  They can use the money they save for other things such as traveling or spend less time working and more time with their families. 

The second is to have less of an impact on the environment by using alternative energy sources such as solar panels.  They live a minimalist lifestyle to stop over-consumption of needless objects.  Most would like to live in a community with other tiny homes on wheels dwellers.

The movie “Downsizing” presents the idea that a percentage of humanity has a darker motive behind their reasons for downsizing.  They downsize themselves so they can consume more without the same consequences happening as when they were bigger.  They have no control over themselves. 

They become tiny in order to have what big rich people have.  Their concern for the environment is non-existent.  They are egocentric people.

The only people who live in a community fashion are the poor and the original tiny people colony established by the scientist who discovered the way to reduce people.

If you don’t like or understand satire you may not like this movie at all.  If you are currently a tiny home on wheels dweller sincere in your efforts to help the planet and live in a community you may find this movie insulting to your morals and values.  If you are into a bit of dark humor now and then you might actually get a kick out of this movie even if you support the Tiny house movement.

Pictures used in this article were taken from Yahoo Images.  The youtube video was not created by me.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Marina Tidbury

Marina one


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10 thoughts on “Tiny Homes On Wheels: Downsizing The Movie Review”

  1. I did see this movie, although it was a while ago.  I think it would be pretty scary if it was the reality, I remember when I was watching it.  I was thinking yes you can make small houses etc, but you can’t change the whole world so how would that work?  It just seemed a bit crazy the whole thing.  Weird to me but a good movie to watch.  Gets you thinking for sure.

  2. I watched Downsizing on a plane, on a small screen, which was probably appropriate in the circumstances. I thought the premise of the movie was good, but I was rather disappointed with the execution. Christoph Waltz’s character was just annoying. I am unsure there is really a correlation between the movie and your own tiny homes on wheels, which has more to with true downsizing and minimalist living. I wish you luck with your project.

    1. Actually, I think the movie “Downsizing” is a satire on people who really don’t understand the reasoning behind downsizing and minimalist living.

  3. Hi Marina,

    What can I say about downsizing or reducing yourself to 6inches. I don’t think anyone would ever be interested to be smaller.

    The only concern  I have is: if we are tiny what about the animals in the world? They can crush us with ease…

    I would never want to be tiny because I think we could die fast. I see no positive benefits besides consuming less. I think it is pure entertainment. May it be a big joke. It is funny tough.

    I will share it with my friends. I wonder what they would say about this topic ?!

    Much Love,


  4. Hi Marina, really interesting movie. I once heard about the Tiny House Movement, but I wasn’t very familiar with it. I live in Europe and I think there things are a bit different than in the US. People don’t have so many mortgages to pay so they rarely buy a tinier house just for this reason. 

    But the irony of this movie is really funny – all those people go tiny and claim to have a better life, but in reality it’s even worse. What genre is it? Is it a comedy or a satirical movie? I’m going to do a quick research on the Internet and see where I can find it, it seems like a movie I shouldn’t miss. Thanks a lot for the info.

    1. There is a company called “Baluchon” in France that builds tiny homes which I did write an article on.  There is also some tiny house building going on in Scotland which I have not yet written on.  I found the movie “Downsizing” on Canadian Netflix.

  5. Hello Marina,

    I really haven’t seen the movie, downsizing. I think it would be an amazing movie to watch and I’ll be looking forward to seeing it. When I’m done with watching the movie, then I can come back and give an honest review. Thanks for sharing this article. Was a nice read.

    warm regards

  6. Hello, I have read the whole review of this movie. Thanks for sharing this beautiful information about tiny homes on wheels. This information is very helpful for us. I learn many important things about tiny homes on wheels. I like your post so much. I will share it with my friends. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

  7. This article got meme thinking. If it happened that the human race is truly of tiny size, 6inches or even 12inches. It’d be kinda ridiculous, how are we gonna interact with our environment.

    I’m yet to watch the Downsizing movie, but from your narration, I will liken it to ananother movie ‘What happened to Monday’ where a Doctor came up with the rule of one sibling per family. It turned out that people were deceived as their children were processed (scorched) in the Cryosleep. 

  8. Hey, Marina!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but I do recall watching the trailer of it before it actually came out. I can’t believe that I missed it at the time. Matt Damon is like one of my favorite actors.

    And I do agree with you about the essence of the movie as far as I can tell from the trailer for now. It really seems that the sole and only reason that they decided to get small was that of how that changes their financial situation. They weren’t concerned with the pollution and humankind footprint so to say on the planet, much rather about their own gain.

    Which by no means is contrary to human nature. I do believe that if in reality, we would have this option, many people would do it exactly for those same reasons.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your opinion.

    Cheers and have a Great One!


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