The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (also known simply as Sharkboy and Lavagirl) is a 2005 American adventure film written and directed 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 (2003). 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 now-corrupt electrician.
They confront Mr. Electric, who 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 fools 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, then offers to make a better dreamworld between the two of them, to which Minus agrees.
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. Mr. Electricidad, Linus and Max 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 10-year-old boy, 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. Lautner said about the character, "He's very self-confident and sometimes his confidence gets him into trouble. 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." 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. The role 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".
- David Arquette and Kristin Davis play Max's parents. Max's father 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 pair of "Cookie Giants," who live happily in the Land of Milk and Cookies.
- George Lopez as Mr. Electricidad, Mr. Electric, and the voices of Tobor and the Ice Guardian. Rodriguez states that he kept asking Lopez to play additional characters. Lopez spent a total of two weeks working on the film.
- Jacob Davich as Linus / Minus. 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 before ultimately befriending Max.
- 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.
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 children 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 Technologies, 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 received a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the consensus: "The decision to turn this kiddie fantasy into a 3-D film was a miscalculation." Roger Ebert gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and agreed with the other criticisms in which the 3-D process used was distracting and muted the colors, thus, he believes, "spoiling" much of the film and that the film would look more visually appealing when released in the home media market.
For its opening weekend, the film earned $12.6 million in 2,655 theaters. It also was placed #5 at the box office, being overshadowed by Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Madagascar, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and The Longest Yard. The film was not very successful in the US, taking in $39,177,541 and was a box office bomb. However, it did manage to gross $30,248,282 overseas, for a total of $69,425,966 worldwide.
The Total Nonstop Action professional wrestler Dean Roll, who trademarked the name "Shark Boy" in 1999, sued Miramax on June 8, 2005, claiming that his trademark had been infringed and demanding "[any] money, profits and advantages wrongfully gained". In April 2007, the suit was settled for a disclosed amount of $200,000.
|Music from the Movies|||
Director Robert Rodriguez composed parts of the score himself, with contributions by composers John Debney and Graeme Revell. Green Day were reportedly set to contribute "Wake Me Up When September Ends" to the soundtrack, but Robert Rodriguez declined it.
|1.||"The Shark Boy"||Robert Rodriguez, John Debney||3:47|
|2.||"The Lava Girl"||Rodriguez||1:28|
|4.||"Sharkboy and Lavagirl Return"||Rodriguez||1:44|
|6.||"Mount Never Rest"||Graeme Revell||2:35|
|7.||"Passage of Time"||Rodriguez, Carl Thiel||1:30|
|9.||"Train of Thought"||Debney||2:01|
|10.||"Dream Dream Dream Dream (Dream Dream)"||Rodriguez||Shark Boy and the Lava Girls||1:54|
|11.||"Stream of Consciousness"||Debney||1:33|
|12.||"Sea of Confusion"||Debney||3:04|
|13.||"The LaLa's"||Nicole Weinstein||1:09|
|14.||"The Ice Princess"||Rodriguez, Debney||2:51|
|15.||"Sharkboy vs. Mr. Electric"||Revell||0:55|
|18.||"Battle of the Dreamers"||Rodriguez||1:21|
|19.||"Mr. Electric on Earth"||Revell||1:15|
|21.||"The Day Dreamer"||Rodriguez, Debney||1:29|
|22.||"Sharkboy and Lavagirl"||Rodriguez, Rebecca Rodriguez||Ariel Abshire & The Lava Girls||4:09|
Around the time of the film's debut Rodriguez co-wrote a series of children's novels entitled Sharkboy and Lavagirl Adventures with acclaimed science fiction writer Chris Roberson. They include Book 1, The Day Dreamer, and Book 2, Return to Planet Drool, which announces that it will be continued in a third volume, Deep Sleep, which has yet to appear. They are illustrated throughout by Alex Toader, who designed characters and environments for the film and the previous Spy Kids franchise.
In the first book, the story of the film is told from Lavagirl's and Sharkboy's perspective, with at least one new event. In Return to Planet Drool, Sharkboy, remembering his encounter with the Imagineer in the first book, continues the search for his father by seeking to return to the Dream World. He meets a very bored Lavagirl in the underwater city of Vent, where she now reigns as queen, and together they embark on a subterranean journey. They encounter piranhas, a gargantuan red bear, and a city of inhabited by the dreams of bygone eras, where they are held captive by superheroes, pirates, and cowboys. By the end, after learning the city's secrets, Sharkboy still hopes to find his father, and Lavagirl the secrets of her origin.
Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly praised another book appearing around the time of the film, The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl: The Movie Storybook (by Racer Max Rodriguez and Robert Rodriguez), as a far cry from the usual movie storybook tie-in, and also praised Alex Toader's "cartoony yet detailed" illustrations.