The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (also known simply as Sharkboy and Lavagirl) is a 2005 American adventure film, directed and written by Robert Rodriguez and originally released in the United States on June 10, 2005 by Miramax Films, Columbia Pictures and Dimension Films. The film uses the anaglyph 3-D technology, similar to the one used in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The film stars Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, Cayden Boyd, David Arquette, Kristin Davis, and George Lopez. Many of the concepts and much of the story were conceived by Rodriguez's children. The special effects were done by Hybride Technologies, CafeFX, The Orphanage, Post Logic, Hydraulx, Industrial Light & Magic, R!ot Pictures, Tippett Studio, Amalgamated Pixels, Intelligent Creatures, and Troublemaker Digital. The film received negative reviews from critics with much of the criticism directed at the decision to post-convert the film into 3-D which damaged the film's visual look and earned $69.4 million on a $50 million budget.
Max is a lonely child in the suburbs of Austin who creates an imaginary dreamworld named Planet Drool, where all of his dreams come to life. He creates two characters; Sharkboy, who was raised by sharks after losing his father at sea, and Lavagirl, who can produce fire and lava, but has trouble touching objects without setting them alight. The two left Max to guard Planet Drool. In reality, Max's parents have little time for him, and their marital relationship is not going well. Max is also bullied by fellow schoolmate Linus. However, he does receive friendship from Marissa, the daughter of his teacher Mr. Electricidad, whose name is Spanish for "electricity". After a chase, Linus steals Max's dream journal (where all of his most precious dreams are kept) and vandalizes it. The next day, as Max attempts to retaliate, twin tornadoes form outside the school. Sharkboy and Lavagirl emerge from the tornadoes and have Max accompany them to Planet Drool, which he learns is turning bad because of Mr. Electric, the dreamworld's ruler and now-corrupt electrician.
They confront Mr. Electric, who attacks them and drops them in the Dream Graveyard, where some of Max's dreams have been dumped. They find Tobor, a robot toy that Max never finished building in the real world after being discouraged by his father. Tobor gives them a lift to other parts of the planet. The three form a friendship during their journey, but they face hardships, such as Sharkboy's anger for the oceans being frozen over, and Lavagirl's desperation to find her true purpose on Planet Drool. They are pursued by Mr. Electric and his plughounds across the planet. They plan to visit the Ice Princess and obtain the Crystal Heart, which can freeze time, giving them enough time to get to the center of Planet Drool and fix the dreamworld using Max's daydreaming. However, they are captured by Mr. Electric and delivered to Linus's Planet Drool incarnation Minus, who has altered the dreamworld with Max's own dream journal, and traps the three in a cage. Sharkboy gets annoyed by Minus and has a shark frenzy, destroying the cage. After they escape, Max retrieves the dream journal from Minus while he is sleeping. Max informs Sharkboy that his father is alive in his book, but when Lavagirl wishes to learn what it says about her true identity, she burns the book to ash. In rage, Lavagirl asks Max why she was made out of lava, but Sharkboy tells him to let her cool down.
After an encounter with the Ice Guardian, Max, Sharkboy, and Lavagirl reach the Ice Princess, the Planet Drool incarnation of Marissa Electricidad. She hands over the Crystal Heart, but they are too late to stop the corruption since the Ice Princess is the only one who can use the Crystal Heart's power, and she cannot leave her home. Mr. Electric tricks Sharkboy into jumping into water filled with electric eels, seemingly killing him. Lavagirl also dies after jumping into the water to retrieve Sharkboy. Tobor appears and convinces Max to dream a better and unselfish dream, which, in turn, revives Sharkboy, who then races Lavagirl to a volcano to revive her. Max concludes that her purpose is as a light against the dark clouds which have engulfed Planet Drool's skies. Max gains reality warping as the Daydreamer and defeats Minus in battle, then offers to make a better dreamworld between the two of them, to which Minus agrees.
Following Minus' reformation, Mr. Electric refuses to accept the new dreamworld and flies to Earth to kill Max while he is dreaming. Max awakens back in his classroom during the tornado storm. Mr. Electric materializes, and Max's parents get sucked into the storm, but are saved by Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Max gives the Crystal Heart to Marissa so she can use the Ice Princess's powers to destroy Mr. Electric. Max, Mr. Electricidad, and Linus make peace with one another and Max reunites with his parents.
Max later informs his class that Planet Drool became a proper dreamworld again, Sharkboy became the King of the Ocean, and Lavagirl became Queen of the Volcanoes, and as the film shows Max finally finishing Tobor, he reminds the class to "dream a better dream, and work to make it real".
- Cayden Boyd as Max. An imaginative ten-year-old, known as the "day-dreamer" on Planet Drool. "At first he's dreaming all for himself; he wants Shark Boy and Lava Girl to take him away", says Boyd about the role. "I like that he's selfish in the beginning and he's not selfish in the end".
- Taylor Lautner as Sharkboy. Dreamt up by Max, Sharkboy is a young warrior who was raised by sharks after he was separated from his father, a marine biologist, when a waterspout sunk their floating laboratory. He has many shark-like adaptations to his body, including gills, fins, sharpened teeth, claws, peak strength, highly trained sense of hearing, strong sense of smell, agility, reflexes and swimming ability. Sharkboy can also communicate with marine life and is not affected by deep sea pressure or decompression sickness. He is also known for imitating the sharks in his personality. "He's very self-confident and sometimes his confidence gets him into trouble', says Lautner about the character. "He's also kinda jealous of the character, Max, because he has an inside crush on Lava Girl and she's overly motherly to Max." Sharkboy also has an explosive temper which is shown several times in the movie, including a scene in which the Lalas are singing and Sharkboy complains about how his highly trained ears finding their high pitched singing uncomfortable and then becoming very angry and going into a shark frenzy. Lautner's martial arts skills helped him to obtain the role of Sharkboy. "When I auditioned for the film, Robert Rodriguez, the director, didn’t know that I had my martial arts [background], and while we there in Austin, TX he saw a DVD of me and asked me to choreograph my own fight scenes", said Lautner. Lautner was the first to audition for the film, says Rodriguez, and was chosen immediately.
- Taylor Dooley as Lavagirl. She is the other young warrior who protects Planet Drool, and was also created by Max. She can change herself into lava, and control lava in her direct vicinity. Her origins are unknown; she is uncertain of her own identity and purpose throughout much of the film. She has an explosive temper like Sharkboy, but is better at controlling it than he is and rarely gets very angry. The role of Lavagirl was cast after the two other main characters (Sharkboy and Max) had already been cast. Her lava bike was Computer-generated, like many of the elements in the film; Dooley and Lautner described the on-set versions of the lava bike and Sharkboy's shark-themed jetski as "a green box with handles".
- George Lopez as Mr. Electricidad / Mr. Electric, Tobor, and Ice Guardian. Mr. Electricidad is Max's schoolteacher, and is sometimes intolerant of active imagination. When his Mr. Electric counterpart shows up he is horrified as he's not a bad guy and learns the power of imagination. His alter ego is Mr. Electric, who maintains the equilibrium of Planet Drool until he becomes corrupted by Minus. Mr. Electric is heard to have a sense of humor, manifest in puns related mostly to electricity. His challenge to Sharkboy is followed by a companionable "Watts up?". Later, Mr. Electric shouts "Charge!" as he emerges from the tornado, indicating both an electric surge of power and an advance into battle. Immediately before his destruction, he threatens the class with "Megahertz", suggesting "mega hurts". Rodriguez wrote the part with Lopez in mind. This is a reference to his television series in which he also has a son named Max.
- Tobor and the Ice Guardian (the Ice Princess' father) are voiced by George Lopez in the film. Tobor is a robot who appears in the Dream Graveyard on Planet Drool. Max had formerly tried to build Tobor in the real world, but had been discouraged by a careless remark of his father's. The name "Tobor" evidently is "robot" spelled backward. The Ice Guardian has a very small role; he is a tall figure made apparently of animate ice and a protective father to the Ice Princess, much as Mr. Electricidad is to his own daughter Marissa. Rodriguez states that he kept asking Lopez to play additional characters. Lopez spent a total of two weeks working on the film.
- David Arquette and Kristin Davis play Max's dad and mom respectively. Max's dad is an unemployed writer. They are on the brink of a divorce. They mean well for Max but are unable to settle his troubles. On Planet Drool, Max's parents appear as a couple of Cookie Giants who live happily in the Land of Milk and Cookies. Like Sharkboy and Max, they are used as sources for a running gag wherein one character eats a mouthful of some substance and then violently spits it out, spraying the audience's viewpoint. This joke, when the male Giant is its central character, serves as a device to reflect his alter-ego's dislike of his wife's burnt chocolate-chip cookies, which are implied to be the inspiration, in Max's mind, for the Giant's location. It also gives a reason to show his wife's empathy, which is lacking in Max's real world.
- Jacob Davich as Linus / Minus. The secondary antagonist; He is a bully at Max's school and steals his Dream Journal. With it, he enters Max's dreamworld and, using the name "Minus" (a nickname bestowed by Mr. Electricidad for Linus' habit of disliked conduct), alters it to his version. He is ultimately converted to Max's friendship when the true nature of his bullying is revealed. The dream he later creates for himself, as shown in a resolving scene, is a superhero named "Mr. Positive", possibly as a contrast with his creator's nickname of "Minus".
- Sasha Pieterse as Marissa Electricidad / Ice Princess. Marissa is the daughter of Mr. Electricidad, and at first the only student who befriends Max. On Planet Drool, she appears as the Ice Princess, keeper of the Crystal Heart, which is a necklace she wears which can freeze anything, including time. Because Max and his friends desire an increased opportunity wherein to defeat Mr. Electric, they request the Crystal Heart of her, to discover that only she and her alter-ego Marissa can use it. Marissa is often kept under very severe scrutiny by her father; possibly as a result, Max has imagined the Ice Princess as capable of speaking boldly to her father, correcting him when he suppresses her. Because Max seems to have an emotional "soft spot" for Marissa, the oath he takes to protect the Crystal Heart resembles a Catholic wedding vow, Lavagirl is jealous of her.
Robert Rodriguez has an uncredited role voicing a shark. As seen in the credits, two of Robert Rodriguez's children, Rebel and Racer, portray Sharkboy at age five and age seven respectively. Rico Torres plays Sharkboy's father. Marc Musso and Shane Graham play kids at Max's school.
Parts of the film were shot on location in Texas, where Max resides and goes to school in the film. Much of the film was shot in a studio against green screen. Most of the ships, landscapes and other effects including some creatures and characters, were accomplished digitally. According to Lautner and Dooley, when filming the scene with the dream train, the front part of the train was an actual physical set piece. "The whole inside was there and when they have all the gadgets you can pull on, that was all there but everything else was a green screen," said Dooley. Eleven visual effects companies (Hybride, CafeFX, The Orphanage, Post Logic, Hydraulx, Industrial Light & Magic, R!ot Pictures, Tippett Studio, Amalgamated Pixels and Intelligent Creatures and Rodriguez's Texas-based Troublemaker Digital) worked on the film in order to accomplish over 1,000 visual effect shots.
Robert Rodriguez appears in the credits fourteen times, most notably as director, a producer, a screenwriter (along with Marcel Rodriguez), visual effects supervisor, director of photography, editor, a camera operator, and a composer and performer. The story is credited to Racer Max Rodriguez, with additional story elements by Rebecca Rodriguez, who also wrote the lyrics for the main song, "Sharkboy and Lavagirl". Other members of the Rodriguez family can be seen in the film or were involved in the production.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, claiming that "The decision to turn this kiddie fantasy into a 3-D film was fucking genius." Roger Ebert found that the 3-D process used was awesome and complimented the colors, thus, he believes, "improving" much of the film. Others have claimed it is the best kids film ever created.
For its opening weekend, the film earned $12,582,088, averaging $4,739 per screen in 2,655 theaters. It also was placed #5 at the box office, being overshadowed by Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Madagascar, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The film was not very successful in the US, taking in $39,177,541. However, it did manage to gross $30,248,282 overseas, and a total of $69,425,966 worldwide, which makes the film a minor success.
The Total Nonstop Action professional wrestler Dean Roll, who trademarked the name "Shark Boy" in 1999, filed a lawsuit against Miramax on June 8, 2005, claiming that his trademark had been infringed and demanding "[any] money, profits and advantages wrongfully gained". In the April of 2007, the suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
|Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D|
|Soundt album by various artists|
|Released||June 28, 2005|
|Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology|