The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D Movie Poster Image
Kids will love the 3-D aspect of this movie.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 73 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWSaliga April 9, 2008

Wow, really bad!

We took our 4 & 1/2 yr. old to see this over the weekend- wish we would've washed the car instead. She loves going to the movies and attends non-a... Continue reading
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byJordifamily May 23, 2021


Just why :(
Teen, 15 years old Written byJessabella September 25, 2019

I Loved this movie

I don't understand how there is "too much violence"
Teen, 13 years old Written byDinmeraz78 B January 12, 2020

Bad movie. Very, very bad movie.

No one should ever see this movie. 0.5/5 stars

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate