Actor Rick Moranis makes a very rare public appearance in a new Disney Plus documentary series, 23 years after he retreated from the limelight.

Moranis, now 67, was the star of some of the biggest comedies and family films of the 80s and 90s, including Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Spaceballs, Ghostbusters and The Flintstones.

But in 1997, Moranis all but turned his back on Hollywood, and has rarely been seen on screen since, instead doing occasional voice work for animated series and films.

In a new episode of the Disney Plus series Disney Prop Culture dedicated entirely to the 1989 smash hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Moranis talks about his memories of the film, which spawned two sequels in the 90s.

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Moranis didn't step away from Hollywood until 1997, but his retreat from acting can be traced to 1991 when his wife died from breast cancer, leaving him to raise their two young children as a single parent.

He and costume designer Ann Belsky had only been married for five years when she died aged just 34. He has never remarried.

"I pulled out of making movies in about '96 or '97," the actor told USA Today in 2005.

"I'm a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the travelling involved in making movies.

"So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn't miss it."

In a 2013 interview, Moranis reflected on his move to focus on family, saying he realised it was a source of fascination to fans.

"The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn't have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence and decided I needed to spend more time at home," Moranis said in a podcast called Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.

"Nobody would pay attention to it, but because I came from celebrity and fame and what was the peak of a career, that was intriguing to people. To me, it wasn't that. I didn't have anything to do with that. It was work, and it was just time to make an adjustment."

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In that interview, Moranis did admit there were certain things he missed about the Hollywood life.

"I missed the people and I missed the very refreshing nature of doing something radically different every day," he said in the podcast.

Rick Moranis playing Barney Rubble in the film The Flinstones. Photo / Supplied
Rick Moranis playing Barney Rubble in the film The Flinstones. Photo / Supplied

"Raising kids and being a stay-at-home parent, especially a single parent … there's a lot of sameness. It's a very different kind of life than being on the set with [Dan] Aykroyd and [Bill] Murray and Steve Martin. So I missed that kind of thing, but I found lots of joy and lots of rewards in other places. It was just all part of an adjustment."

And in a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moranis insisted he never fully retired from acting, and is always available for the right role.

"I'm interested in anything that I would find interesting," he says of potential roles.
"I still get the occasional query about a film or television role, and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I'll probably do it."

"But I'm happy with the things I said yes to, and I'm very happy with the many things I've said no to. Yes, I am picky, and I'll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me."

And he may just have found it: Moranis is expected to reprise his role as the hapless inventor dad character Wayne Szalinski for Shrunk, a big screen reboot of Honey I Shrunk the Kids that's in development.