Story

Families usually have secrets, but Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino) have kept a huge one from their children, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara). Gregorio and Ingrid used to be international spies. It’s only when they’re kidnapped that Carmen and Juni find out their parents aren’t as boring as they thought.

Carmen and Juni have to stop squabbling and work together to save their parents from the evil Floop (Alan Cumming) and his ‘Thumb Thumbs’. The world’s in danger from Floop’s plans to launch an army of robot spy children, who can’t be beaten by humans.

Themes

Separation from parents; children as victims; espionage

Violence

Spy Kids contains scenes that show children fighting. Children might copy these scenes. For example:

  • Carmen kicks her brother on the bottom, pushes him and makes him fall off the monkey bars.
  • A boy says to Juni, ‘My dad is going to beat up your dad’.
  • A robot child trips up an adult and holds his arm so tightly that it hurts.
  • A robot child throws Juni onto a roundabout and makes it spin uncontrollably.
  • Another robot child punches Carmen in the face so that she becomes unconscious.

Other violent scenes in Spy Kids include the following:

  • Carmen and Juni are rushed to a safe house after masked men attack their house.
  • The men smash windows and fight (kicking and hitting) with their uncle. The men smash through a wall and chase the children in boats. Their boat smashes through another boat.
  • People with guns enter the safe house and threaten Carmen and Juni.
  • Helicopters fly closely overhead at a wedding, making people jump out of the way over tables. The bride and groom put on parachutes and jump off a cliff into a waiting speedboat.
  • A father makes a snide comment to Juni and then yells to his son, ‘Show ‘em who’s boss’. In a dream sequence, Gregorio imagines hitting the boy’s father in the face so hard that the man is thrown against the building into a window.
  • Gregorio and Ingrid drive off a cliff and plunge into the water where their car turns into a submarine.
  • Ingrid and Gregorio are imprisoned and tied tightly to chairs.
  • Juni uses a jet pack to lift a man up into a fan.
  • An out-of-control jet pack hits a woman and pushes her into a wall. Then it sets her hair on fire.
  • Carmen and Juni’s plane crashes after she hits him, forcing the plane off course. They jump out before the plane crashes on to rocks.
  • Carmen spits ‘electroshock gum’ on a ‘Thumb Thumb’, which paralyses him.
  • The robot children are told to ‘tear them limb from limb’.
  • Gregorio joins the family by smashing through a window.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five. For example:

  • The mutant henchmen of Floop and the ‘Thumb Thumbs’ might be scary for younger children.
  • A man with a contraption on his head changes into a cartoon-like character with hugely distorted features.
  • Close-up shots of the robot children shows them with glowing eyes.
  • There’s an image of the female baddie with her hair burned in patches.
  • The setting of Floop’s castle is quite unusual and might disturb some preschoolers.
  • The movie has lots of explosions and scenes with people falling. 

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Carmen and Juni are alone when Floop kidnaps their parents.
  • Juni falls from his sister’s arm while flying. She rushes down to save him from falling.
  • The robot children fight with Carmen and Juni.
  • When the children are in their submarine, they pass a couple of sharks, which are seen close up through the porthole. Carmen tells Juni to close his eyes. 

From 8-13

Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above. 

Over 13

It’s unlikely that children in this age group will be disturbed by anything in this movie. 

Sexual references

This movie has some sexual references. For example, a woman wears a tight dress, and Ingrid flirts with Gregorio by whispering in his ear. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie has some use of substances. For example, a couple of quick scenes show grown-up characters drinking wine. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some sexual activity. For example, Gregorio and Ingrid kiss a couple of times. 

Product placement

This movie shows someone eating a McDonald’s meal. 

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language and put-downs. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Spy Kids is an action-packed movie. Its plot features a brother and sister who have to work together to save their parents and the world from an evil plan. Along the way, they come across plenty of clever spy gadgets and learn lots of spying tricks.

The main messages from this movie are about the importance of:

  • family and working together: Ingrid comments that she misses the ‘adventure’ of being a spy but keeping her family together is her biggest challenge
  • honesty: keeping secrets in the family causes problems, but once the secrets are out, the family works through them together.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about bullying, genetic engineering (cloning and mutation) and international spying. 

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