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The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D[lower-alpha 1] is a 2005 American adventure film[1] co-written and directed by Robert Rodriguez and originally released in the United States on June 10, 2005. The production companies were Dimension Films, Columbia Pictures and Troublemaker Studios.[2] 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 film received mixed reviews from critics with much of the criticism directed at the film's story and poor 3-D, while the visual aspects and performances received some praise. The film also underperformed at the box office earning just $39 million in the United States and $72 million worldwide on a $50 million budget.

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.

A film featuring Sharkboy and Lavagirl, We Can Be Heroes, though not a sequel,[5] was released on Netflix on December 25, 2020 with Dooley reprising her role.


Max is a lonely 10-year-old boy in the suburbs of Austin who creates an imaginary dream world 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 (who was a marine biologist) at sea and became a shark-hybrid himself, and Lavagirl, who can produce fire and lava, but has trouble touching objects without setting them on fire. The two left Max to guard Planet Drool. In reality, Max's parents have little time for him, and their marriage is not going well. Max is also bullied by his fellow classmate Linus. However, he does receive friendship from Marissa, the daughter of his teacher Mr. Electricidad. After a chase, Linus steals Max's dream journal 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 thanks to Mr. Electric, a robot resembling Mr. Electricidad and the dreamworld's now-corrupt electrician, under the orders of an unknown mastermind.

They confront Mr. Electric in his lair, but he drops them into 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 the mastermind, who is revealed to be Minus, a villain resembling Linus who has altered the dreamworld with Max's journal and traps the three in a cage. Sharkboy gets annoyed by singing bubbles called LaLas 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 a rage, Lavagirl asks Max why she is made out of lava, but Sharkboy tells him to let her cool down.

Max, Sharkboy, and Lavagirl eventually reach the Ice Princess, who resembles Marissa. 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. Afterward, Mr. Electric seemingly kills Sharkboy by fooling him into jumping into water filled with electric eels, which are his weakness, with Lavagirl sacrificing herself by jumping into the water to retrieve him. Tobor appears and convinces Max to dream a better and unselfish dream. Just then, Sharkboy regains consciousness and 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 powers as the Daydreamer and defeats Minus, then offers to make a better dreamworld between the two of them, to which Minus agrees. Later, Lavagirl thanks Max for making her realize that she is light.

Minus offers Mr. Electric to return to running Planet Drool, but Mr. Electric reveals that he never enjoyed doing so in the first place. He also informs Max that he made a terrible mistake of dreaming him up and flies to Earth to destroy Max while he is dreaming. Max awakens back in his classroom during the tornado storm. Mr. Electric arrives in the tornado before Max and an astonished Mr. Electricidad. Max's parents are caught in the storm as well but are saved by Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Max gives the Crystal Heart to Marissa so that she can use the Ice Princess's powers to freeze and 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 has become a proper dreamworld once 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[6] 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", Boyd said about the role. "I like that he's selfish in the beginning and he's not selfish in the end".[6]
  • 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 Lavagirl and she's overly motherly to Max."[7] 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 were there in Austin, TX he saw a DVD of me and asked me to choreograph my own fight scenes", said Lautner.[8] Lautner was the first to audition for the film, says Rodriguez, and was chosen immediately.[9]
  • Script error: No such module "anchor". Taylor Dooley as Lavagirl. The role was cast after the two other main characters, Sharkboy and Max had already been cast.[6] 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".[10]
  • 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. Mr. Electricidad is Max's teacher. Mr. Electric is Planet Drool's corrupt electrician. Tobor is an unfinished robot of Max that resided in the Dream Graveyard. The Ice Guardian is an inhabitant of the Ice Kingdom. Rodriguez states that he kept asking Lopez to play additional characters. Lopez spent a total of two weeks working on the film.[11]
  • 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, the ruler of the Ice Kingdom and keeper of the Crystal Heart, a necklace she wears that can freeze anything including time.
  • Robert Rodriguez has a 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 in September to December 2004, 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.

Miley Cyrus had auditioned for the film with Lautner, and said it came down to her and another girl who was also auditioning; however, Cyrus then began production on Hannah Montana, and thus the other girl, supposedly Dooley, got the role.[14]


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The film holds a 19% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 124 reviews, with an average rating of 4.33/10. The consensus reads, "The decision to turn this kiddie fantasy into a 3-D film was a miscalculation."[15] 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.[16]

Box office[]

For its opening weekend, the film earned $12.6 million in 2,655 theaters. It was placed at number 5 at the box office, being overshadowed by Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Madagascar, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and The Longest Yard.[17] The film was not very successful in the US, taking in $39.2 million and was a box office bomb. However, it did manage to gross $32.8 million overseas, for a total of $72 million worldwide.[4]


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.[18]


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Director Robert Rodriguez composed parts of the score himself, with contributions by composers John Debney and Graeme Revell.

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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 was never released. There was also a release of "Max's Journal" which shows more of the characters dream journal from the movie, as well as "The Illustrated Screenplay", which shows the script with concept designs, preproduction art, character sketches, and behind the scenes photos. They are illustrated throughout by Alex Toader, who designed characters and environments for the film and the previous Spy Kids franchise.[19]

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.[20]


Template:Main In an interview during the 2020 Comic-Con@Home event, Rodriguez confirmed that a character in his then-upcoming film We Can Be Heroes was the daughter of Sharkboy and Lavagirl who has both "shark and lava powers". Taylor Dooley was confirmed to reprise her role in the film as Lavagirl, although Lautner did not reprise his role.[21] Though it features the characters Sharkboy and Lavagirl, it is not a sequel.[5] We Can Be Heroes was released through Netflix in December 2020.





External links[]


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