Pint Sized Secret Agents
Release Date: March 30, 2001
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 86 minutes
Distributor: Dimension Films
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Producer: Elizabeth Avellan & Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Address Comments To:Bob & Harvey Weinstein
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At the center of the story is the Cortez family, a family hiding secrets from one another. For years, Ingrid Cortez has told her children the bedtime story of “The Spies Who Fell in Love.” Her children, Carmen and Juni, don’t suspect that the spies in the fairy tale are actually their parents. Antonio Banderas stars as Gregorio Cortez, who still maintains contact with his espionage bosses. When seven secret agents disappear, Gregorio comes out of retirement to find out what happened. Ingrid decides to go with her husband, so they leave the children in the care of their “Uncle” Felix. The bad guys kidnap Ingrid and Gregorio, however, and show up at the family home looking for a special gadget that can help create an army of superhuman kid robots designed to take over the world. Carmen and Juni spring into action to rescue their parents and save the world.
SPY KIDS has several positive messages and a moral worldview. Not only does it show the children defeating evil, it also shows them converting one of the villains to do good instead of evil by reprogramming the robots. The movie also teaches that families should not keep secrets from one another. Finally, the dialogue explicitly states that keeping a family together is the most challenging task of all. Marriage and family require courage and hard work, the mother indicates at one point.
The colorful set designs, special effects and costumes in SPY KIDS may remind some of the classic children’s movie, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, starring Gene Wilder. Alan Cumming from TITUS plays a goofy TV children’s show host named Fegan Floop who’s reminiscent not only of Wilder’s character but also of Pee Wee Herman’s TV show, PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE. The frenetic action pace of the new movie doesn’t quite hold together at times, however. The plot leaps from one thing to another. Not enough attention is paid to building an appropriate climax. This is a failing that also undermines several James Bond movies. Furthermore, some of the adult performances in SPY KIDS are self-consciously humorous. Adult audiences may find SPY KIDS a little tiring and silly at times, but children may enjoy it more.
SPY KIDS includes some scary moments, where the two children are chased by frightening black-hooded henchmen and by weird robots or androids who have big thumbs in place of heads, arms and legs. These scenes may give some children nightmares. The movie also has a few instances of mild foul language. Thus, many parents may want to keep their younger children at home.
SPY KIDS has several positive messages and a moral worldview. The dialogue explicitly states that keeping a family together is the most challenging task of all. Marriage and family require courage and hard work, the mother says at one point. The colorful set designs, special effects and costumes in SPY KIDS are quite imaginative. The frenetic action pace doesn’t quite hold together at times, however. Not enough attention is paid to building an appropriate climax. There are also some scary characters that may give some little children nightmares. Thus, parents may want to keep their younger children at home