The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D Movie Poster Image

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D



Kids will love the 3-D aspect of this movie.
  • Review Date: September 18, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Some potty and gross-out humor involving vomiting and passing gas.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What's the story?

Shy 10-year-old Max (Cayden Boyd) loses himself in an elaborate fantasy world to escape the classmates who bully him and the constant bickering of his parents (David Arquette and Kristin Davis). Max's fourth grade teacher, Mr. Electricidad (George Lopez) encourages Max to keep recording his dreams, but Max makes the mistake of sharing the adventures of Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) with his class -- and of course no one believes that Max is friends with a boy who was raised by sharks and a girl with supernatural powers who emits red-hot rocks. But then Sharkboy and Lavagirl show up at school one stormy day and plead with Max to come with them to the three-dimensional Planet Drool -- Max's imagination and dreams are the only thing that can save their planet. Max heads to a paradise filled with roller coasters, cool gadgets like a fudge-spewing motorbike, and the delicious Land of Milk and Cookies to help his friends defeat the nefarious Mr. Electric and keep his dreams alive.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that this movie was based on the dreams and fantasies of the director's 7-year-old son -- which of your dreams is worthy of a movie? They could also talk about the importance of imagination and turning dreams into reality. Some kids may be inspired to start keep their own dream journal, just like Max.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 10, 2005
DVD release date:September 20, 2005
Cast:David Arquette, George Lopez, Taylor Lautner
Director:Robert Rodriguez
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Space and aliens
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild action and some rude humor.

This review of The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Just the right combination of fantasy and comedy.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byasmani74 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byreppinnewjersey August 16, 2013

Dont judge by the cover! A+ for me!

You know what? i am a 12 Turning 13 yr old female entering Middle school. It was on Disney Channel twice. I remember dearly when i was 5 years old i would watch this and be obsessed. I remember how i would over watch this movie and enjoy the action. Now, a teen, i watch it again. I understand it now. This movie is simply Outstanding the life lessons you learn is astounding! Ex. "...Dream a better dream, than make it reality." & "When you make your dream a reality, reality becomes a dream." & "Everything that is or was began with a dream." This movie is simply inspiration to me! It encourages me to fantasize, create, think, then Do! I'm sick and tired of people criticising this amazing movie! I AM 13 AND I ONCE AGAIN FELL DEEP IN LOVE WITH THIS MOVIE! Don't be fooled, this isn't some stupid movie for 2 yr olds. It gives some deep lessons to work for what you want, and live it. Anything is possible. I even cried! America is dissappointing me these days. As an American myself. You people do not know good movies, if this is so "God Awful", i heard. Watch it yourself. Don't judge by the cover. Open your mind up a little. I did. You can too. ♭♪☆
Teen, 14 years old Written byMillyMolly December 17, 2010


Great dn creating movie. Good rolemodels.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?