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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some bullying, although the movie makes it clear that this isn't acceptable behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Mild action violence -- very cartoonish. A character appears to die, but turns out to be fine. Some of the creepy creatures and sharks may frighten younger kids.
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Some potty and gross-out humor involving vomiting and passing gas.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the line between fantasy and reality is often blurred here, so kids under 7 may be confused about what's imaginary and what isn't. There's some potty and gross-out humor involving 3-D vomiting and passing gas, and some mild action violence that's very cartoonish. One of the young characters was separated from his father. Another character appears to die, but turns out to be fine. Some of the creepy creatures (such as the Plug Hounds and the sharks) may frighten younger kids. Max is bullied by his classmates. Sensitive kids may be upset when Max's parents argue and appear to be on the brink of divorce. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL IN 3-D may not be Oscar-worthy, but it will definitely please its target audience of elementary-school kids. The novelty of using 3-D glasses alone will make it irresistible; many of today's children have never had the opportunity to see action literally jump out of the screen at them, and they'll be amazed by the eye-popping experience. They'll also get a kick out of the story, which was "based on the intergalactic journeys and superhero stories created by director Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids)'s 7-year-old son Racer Max."
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D borrows heavily from The Wizard of Oz -- from the tornado that sets the action into motion to the appearance of familiar faces in the alternate world (Max's teacher, the class bully, and the object of Max's affection all have important roles in Planet Drool), many parts of the movie feel a little too familiar. But there are enough cool special effects and gadgets to captivate kids, and enough clever references to amuse parents (the kids take The Train Of Thought, float through The Stream of Consciousness, and experience a Brain Storm -- with brains raining from above due to an excess of creativity). The message about following your dreams becomes heavy-handed at times, but kids will be too busy taking in the 3-D images and losing themselves in a vibrant fantasy playground to notice.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate