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Spy Kids
Spy kids.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Produced by
  • Elizabeth Avellán
  • Robert Rodriguez
Written by Robert Rodriguez
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Editing by Robert Rodriguez
Studio Troublemaker Studios
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s) March 30, 2001 (2001-03-30)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Money made $147.9 million

Spy Kids (stylised as SPY kids) is a 2001 American spy family film written, edited, directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez, co-produced by Elizabeth Avellán, and starring Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, Tony Shalhoub, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, and Mike Judge. The first installment in the Spy Kids film series, the film was theatrically released in the United States on March 30, 2001, by Dimension Films. It grossed $147 million worldwide and holds a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was nominated for Best Fantasy Film at the 28th Saturn Awards, but lost to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Three sequels were released: The Island of Lost Dreams in 2002, Game Over in 2003, and All the Time in the World in 2011. An animated reboot series, Spy Kids: Mission Critical, premiered in 2018.

Plot

Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are spies who have two children, Carmen and Juni, unaware of their parents' career. The couple works for the Organization of Super Spies (OSS) doing desk work but are suddenly called back to active field work to find missing agents. Gregorio suspects children's television host Fegan Floop has kidnapped the agents and mutated them into his "Fooglies" – creatures on his show. The children are left in the care of their uncle, Felix.

The couple is captured by Floop's "Thumb-Thumbs", robots whose arms, legs, and heads resemble oversized thumbs, and taken to Floop's castle. Felix is alerted to the parents’ capture, activates the fail-safe, and tells the children the truth about their parents, and that he is not their uncle but an agent sent to watch over them. The house is assaulted by ninja Thumbs-Thumbs, and Felix is captured while the children escape alone on a submarine set to auto-pilot to a safe house. At the safe house, the children learn of their parents' past as they decide to rescue them. Inside of his castle, Floop introduces his latest creation to Mr. Lisp, small robots in the shape of children. He wishes to replace the world leaders' children with these super-strong robots to control the world. The androids are "dumb", and cannot function outside of their inherent programming. Lisp is furious, demanding usable androids. Floop, along with his second-in-command Alexander Minion, interrogates Gregorio and Ingrid about 'The Third Brain'. Ingrid knows nothing of the subject, while Gregorio claims that he destroyed the brain years ago. After Floop leaves, Gregorio reveals to Ingrid that the Third Brain was a secret OSS project he once worked on: an AI brain with all the skills of the entire OSS. The project was scrapped as being too dangerous, but Gregorio couldn't bring himself to destroy the final prototype.

Back at the safe house, Carmen and Juni are visited by Ms. Gradenko, who claims she works for the OSS. Gradenko gives Carmen a bracelet as a sign of trust, and asks about the Third Brain, but Carmen does not know anything. Gradenko orders the house to be dismantled, and Juni sees Ninja Thumbs outside destroying the submarine. With Gradenko's intentions revealed, Juni accidentally exposes the Third Brain and a jetpack chase ensues. Carmen eventually gets the brain, and she and Juni escape. Carmen realizes too late that the bracelet Gradenko gave her was a tracking device, and she and Juni are attacked by their robot counterparts. Though Juni tries to destroy it, he is unable and the androids fly off with the Third Brain. With it, Floop can achieve his goal, but he wishes to continue his children's show. Minion has different plans and takes over, locking Floop into his "virtual room," the chamber where he films his television series. The siblings receive reluctant help from Gregorio's estranged brother Isador "Machete" Cortez when they come into his spy shop. When Machete refuses to accompany them, they steal some of his gear and take his spy plane to fly to Floop's castle. After a few mishaps, Juni crashes the plane into the castle, and the two swim inside the underwater entrance.

While their children storm the castle, Gregorio reveals to Ingrid that Minion used to work for the OSS but was fired after Gregorio reported him tampering with the Third Brain project. Juni rescues Floop who helps him and Carmen release their parents. Together they trap Minion and, confronting Lisp and Gradenko, the family is beset by all 500 robot children. Machete busts through the window, reconciling with Gregorio and joining the family to fight. However, at the last moment, Floop is able to reprogram the robots to change sides. The 500 super-strong robots quickly overpower Minion, Lisp, and Gradenko. With advice from Juni, Floop introduces the robot versions of Carmen and Juni on his show. The family's breakfast is interrupted by Devlin, the director of the OSS, who has a mission for Carmen and Juni. They both accept on one condition: that the Cortezes work together as a family.

Cast

Music

Spy Kids: Music from the Dimension Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Released April 10, 2001 (2001-04-10)
Recorded 2000
Genre Soundtrack, rock, pop
Length 31:03
Label Hollywood Records
Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology
The Faculty
(1998)
Spy Kids: Music from the Dimension Motion Picture
(2001)
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
(2002)
 Professional ratings
Source Rating
Filmtracks
Music from the Movies
SoundtrackNet

The film score is written by John Debney and Danny Elfman, with contributions from a variety of others, including director Robert Rodriguez and Marcel Rodriguez. Among Elfman's contributions is "Floop's Song (Cruel World)", which is performed by Cumming. Los Lobos covers the Tito Puente song, "Oye Como Va" (adapted as "Oye Como Spy" by David Garza and Robert Rodriguez). The song was nominated for "Outstanding Song in a Motion Picture Soundtrack" at the 2002 ALMA Awards. The closing theme, "Spy Kids (Save the World)", is performed by the Los Angeles indie pop band, Fonda.

The score won an award at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards.

  1. "Cortez Family" (Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira, Harry Gregson-Williams) – 1:39
  2. "My Parents Are Spies" (Danny Elfman) – 2:09
  3. "Spy Wedding" (Los Lobos, Robert Rodriguez) – 2:11
  4. "Spy Kids Demonstration" (John Debney, R. Rodriguez, Marcel Rodriguez) – 1:06
  5. "Parents on Mission" (Debney, Elfman, Greenaway, Pereira) – 1:17
  6. "Kids Escape House" (Greenaway, Pereira) – 3:14
  7. "Pod Chase" (Debney, Elfman, Gregson-Williams) – 1:38
  8. "The Safehouse" (Debney, Elfman) – 0:47
  9. "The Third Brain" (Debney, R. Rodriguez, M. Rodriguez) – 1:00
  10. "Buddy Pack Escape" (Elfman) – 1:39
  11. "Oye Como Spy" (Davíd Garza, Tito Puente, R. Rodriguez) Performed by Los Lobos – 2:59
  12. "Floop's Song (Cruel World)" (Elfman) Performed by Alan Cumming – 0:59
  13. "Spy Go Round" (Greenaway, Pereira, M. Rodriguez) – 2:11
  14. "Minion" (Chris Boardman, Greenaway, Pereira, R. Rodriguez) – 1:03
  15. "Sneaking Around Machetes" (Elfman) – 0:35
  16. "The Spy Plane" (Debney, Elfman) – 1:29
  17. "Floop's Castle" (Boardman) – 1:29
  18. "Final Family Theme" (Gregson-Williams) – 1:44
  19. "Spy Kids (Save the World)" Emily Cook, David Klotz, Dave Newton Performed by Fonda – 2:20

Sequels

Novelization

Talk Miramax Books released a novelization of the movie in March 2001. The novel was written by children's book author Megan Stine. The posters and end of the credits even say "Read the Talk/Miramax Books", telling the viewers to read the print retelling.

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