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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spy Kids is an action-packed adventure that includes a little bit of potty humor (which most kids will find hilarious) and one almost-swear word. Younger children might be scared by the mutant creatures, but most will find them more silly than frightening. Characters are frequently in peril (though it's usually played for laughs), and there's a certain amount of head-bonking violence. But no one even gets a scratch, except for one villain, whose encounter with flames leaves her having a very bad hair day.
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What's the story?
SPY KIDS Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are the children of Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino), once the cleverest spies in the world but now loving parents who make a living as consultants. Or so they say. It turns out that once the kids go to bed, Gregorio and Ingrid flip a few switches to connect to a command center that keeps them involved in spy missions, though now from a safe distance. When top secret agents start disappearing, Gregorio and Ingrid call on "Uncle Felix" (Cheech Marin) to watch the kids and climb back into their spy gear to go off and save the world. But then they, too, disappear, and it's up to Carmen and Juni to rescue their parents -- and, while they're at it, the rest of the world.
Is it any good?
Imagine James Bond crossed with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and you might have an idea of what to expect in this, one of the best family movies of 2001. Spy Kids has just the right combination of giddy fantasy, exciting adventure, wonderful special effects, and sly comedy to be ideal for 7- to 12-year-olds and their families. It's also notable for featuring strong female characters and and characters and performers from the Latino culture.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the conclusion of Spy Kids that spy work is easy compared to keeping a family together. What does it take to keep a family together and functioning well so that everyone's happy?
How does the violence in this movie compare to what you've seen in other movies? How does the fantasy element affect its impact?
- In theaters: March 30, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: February 18, 2003
- Cast: Alexa Vega, Antonio Banderas, Daryl Sabara
- Director: Robert Rodriguez
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters
- Character Strengths: Courage, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: action sequences
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