Family Fun with a Magical Element
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Audience: Older children and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures/Time Warner
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Producer: Elizabeth Avellan and Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Address Comments To:Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President/COO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
“Toe” is a young boy picked on by the Helvetica and her brother. The two bullies are the children of Mr. Black, the man who runs the gadget company for which all the families in town work.
The wishing rock is first discovered by Loogie, who with his brothers end up making a mess of their wishes, including conjuring upright walking crocodiles and huge cobras. The rock is passed to Toe, who uses the rock to get friends, but they turn out to be aliens who eventually leave him. The rock also ends up with Nose, a germ phobic boy whose wish makes his dad’s science experiments a success but that, in turn, creates a huge “booger monster.” The wishing rock ultimately gets into the hands of the Black family, who lead the whole town in a battle for the rock and the ability to have unlimited wishes.
SHORTS is a fun movie designed with children, especially boys, in mind. The story is fast paced with many special effects dinosaurs and comical monsters. The story, which is episodic in nature, is told as a series of short “chapters” (hence the title SHORTS), which are not told sequentially. This adds to the movie’s fun.
The story has one key problem and that is that the wishing rock is so powerful that the climax falls flat. The rock has been used to create a huge robot creature but instead of wishing for “reversal” or “put everything back to normal” as was done earlier, the boys keep wishing for bigger things to fight the monster. There’s no real reason to do that, except to create a stronger ending.
SHORTS has a good message, though certainly well traveled, of parents valuing relationships more than work. However, there is a strong humanist worldview as the characters say that the power is in yourself. SHORTS also contains strong politically correct content, including a strong environmentalist viewpoint with references to global warming.
There is, obviously, a strong magical element in the movie’s slightly mixed pagan worldview. The magic is ultimately rejected, however, because it’s too strong and people misuse it or goof it up. There’s also some “bathroom” humor, but it is mild in nature.
SHORTS is a fun movie, but caution and discernment is required for the worldview elements.
SHORTS is a fun movie designed with kids in mind. The story is told as a series of short “chapters,” which are not told sequentially. SHORTS has a good message of parents valuing relationships more than work. However, there is a pagan worldview as the characters say that the power is in yourself. The wishing rock has a strong magical element, but the magic ultimately seems to be rejected. SHORTS also contains politically correct content, including environmentalism. There’s also some “bathroom” humor, but it is mild in nature. SHORTS is entertaining, but it requires caution and discernment.