Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Rodriguez|
|Produced by||Robert Rodriguez
|Written by||Robert Rodriguez|
William H. Macy
|Music by||George Oldziey
|Editing by||Ethan Maniquis
|Studio||Imagenation Abu Dhabi
Media Rights Capital
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||August 21, 2009|
|Running time||89 minutes|
United Arab Emirates
Shorts (also known as Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock poster title or Shorts: A Not-So-Tall Tale trailer title) is a 2009 family comedy/adventure film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It was released in the United States on August 21, 2009. A Nintendo DS video game of the same name was announced on June 23, 2009, with a prospective July release date in advance of the movie.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2011)|
The movie starts before the logo with twins (Cambell Westmoreland and Zoe Webb) who decide to have a staring contest. The game continues throughout the course of the movie as a running gag. Both brother and sister lose because their mom snapped her fingers in front of their faces, causing both to blink at the same time. As they wondered who won the game they began a new round, which starts the logo and begins the film.
Episode 2 
Toby "Toe" Thompson (Jimmy Bennett) begins telling the story from his point of view and explaining The Black Box Inc, where the "Black Box", a small cube that can fill any technological need is created. Toe is regularly bullied by Helvetica "Hel" Black (Jolie Vanier) and her brother Colbert "Cole" (Devon Gearhart). Toe speculates in front of everyone that Hel loves him, which infuriates Hel and ends with Toe head first in a trash can.
As Toe walks home, Cole and his gang chase him into a construction site and start throwing rocks. Cole throws a rainbow-colored rock at Toe and him in the head. Toe picks up the rock, and upon hearing a voice telling him to make a wish, he wishes for friends, which come in the form of tiny aliens. Toe takes the aliens to school, which leads to a series of events ending with Toe and Hel falling from the school's roof and breaking their arms. The aliens decide leave, but Toe keeps the rock.
Episode 1 
During a thunderstorm, the rainbow-colored rock falls out of the sky, and lands in the forest behind the Short's House. The three brothers, Loogie (Trevor Gagnon), Laser (Leo Howard), and Lug (Rebel Rodriguez) follow a rainbow and go looking for a pot of gold, but instead find the rock. Loogie picks it up and wishes that he knew what it was, and a voice tells him the it is a Wishing Rock. Loogie then proceeds to wish for a fortress with a canyon around it filled with crocodiles and snakes. Laser wants to use it wisely, such as wishing for world peace. The brothers get into a tug of war and the rock falls into the canyon. The brothers venture to retrieve it, and are attacked by the crocodiles and snakes. Loogie jumps into the stomach of the crocodile who swallowed the rock and recovers it, and then wishes the snakes away just as they are attacking Laser.
Loogie comes out claiming that he felt it make a wish. They turn around and see the crocodiles standing on their hind legs who proceed to chase them. Loogie wishes that something would take them away, and a giant pterodactyl swoops out of the sky and snatches them up dumping them into the fortress. Laser sees the crocodiles climbing out of the canyon and climbing up the wall, Lug hears their baby sister crying on the baby monitor they brought and demands that they get home. Loogie wishes for telekinesis and a giant gust of wind blows the crocodiles away.
Loogie then wishes that they could just go back home and start over. They then argue over what to do with the rock. To solve the dilemma, Loogie wishes that one of them was super-smart, but, as he was not more specific, the power is given to their baby sister (portrayed by Bianca Rodriguez and voiced by Elizabeth Avellan) Loogie then hands the rock to Laser agreeing that his hands are the wrongs hands for the rock. Laser steps outside and wishes for a catapult and put the rock in the launcher and is about to get rid of it, making them lose rock in a pile of dirt, which is where Cole found the rock to throw at Toe.
Episode 4 
Toe's older sister Stacey (Kat Dennings) arrives to tutor "Nose" Noseworthy (Jake Short), Toe's old germophobic friend. Nose picks his nose against his father's wishes and accidentally flicks the booger into his father's radioactive work study. Nose takes the rock from Stacey and wishes that his dad's inventions worked the way they were supposed too. He gets his wish, but it causes his booger to mutate. Toe and Loogie, now friends, arrive at Nose's house in time to see Nose's booger mutate into a giant monster. They leave as quickly as possible, but Toe gets caught by the booger. Nose rescues him by saying that if the booger mutant should eat his friend, Nose will eat the booger's friend (another booger), and the two run out of the house as soon as the booger mutant gives in to Nose's commands. However, it goes ahead and tries to eat Toe and Nose. After helping Nose's father (William H. Macy) capture the monster outside of the house, Toe and Loogie take the rock and leave.
Episode 3 
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson (Leslie Mann and Jon Cryer) are having trouble with their relationship, as Mr. Carbon Black (James Spader) forces them to compete in making a new sales idea for the black box. Mrs. Thompson goes to look at Toe's phone, and finds the rock on the floor in his room. She takes the rock just as Toe wakes up. She and Mr. Thompson go to a Black Box Inc. costume party. While on the patio of Mr. Black's house, she wishes that she and her husband were closer, due to the fact that earlier, Mr. Thompson texted her hugs and kisses, while literally standing right next to her. They become mutated together into a two-headed person and try to hide from Mr. Black.
He finds them and invites them inside (thinking they're wearing a costume). Meanwhile, Toe realizes that Mrs. Thompson took the rock and rushes to the costume party, despite Helvetica warning him against coming. Hel finds the rock as Toe arrives to try to take it back. Toe is interrupted by Cole, who dumps him in the garbage. An infuriated Hel wishes Cole into a dung beetle before losing the rock. The rock is found by Mr. Black who, unaware of its power, accidentally wishes for all of the employees to go for each other's throats. In the chaos, Hel takes the rock and tries to tell her dad about it, but he won't listen to her. So Hel wishes that her dad would listen to her for a change, causing his ears to become gigantic.
Hel, now drunk with power, wishes off her casts and for a rocket bike to escape with the rock, but hits a curb and lands headfirst into a trash can, losing the rock. The rock rolls back to Mr. Black's house and smashes through the door, landing at Mr. Black's feet. He picks it up and is tackled by some of the guests. Toe runs in and grabs the rock and wishes everyone back to normal. The doorbell rings and Toe answers it and comes face to face with Helvetica who is furious. She threatens to break every other bone in Toe's body if he doesn't give her the rock. Toe smartly answers "You Wish" before throwing the rock as far as he can, where it lands at the Noseworth's house.
Episode 5 
Toe and Loogie contemplate what to do with the rock. They are ambushed by Helvetica and Cole when the rest of the kids show up and they all fight over the rock until it winds up in the hands of Mr. Black. Mr. Black tells all his employees that they are all fired because he has the rock and claims it is the only upgrade the Black Box needs and then considers stopping the business altogether wishes for a giant pile of money. Helevetica tricks him by asking him if he's joking, he states, "My girl, I wish I were," which makes the money disappear and he falls to the edge of the Black Box company building where he is forced to hang on, dangling for his life.
He loses his grip on the rock which falls into the hands of his chief security guard. It is unknown what he was going to wish for because it was interrupted by Hel who wishes that the man was an Oscar-Meyer wiener, which he turns into and thus rolls away. Suddenly a giant teenage boy appears and Mr. Black offers him $10.00 if he helps him down. Stacey realizes that the giant is her 23 year-old ex-boyfriend (which she caused by wishing he would "grow up") and faints, but is revived by Loogie who uses the Black Box as a fan. Mr. Black wishes that he was the most powerful thing in the world and turns into a giant man-like Black Box and the children team up using their previous wishes to stop him. Soon, the infant tells them that the rock is starting to feel misused, as shown by the fact that the rock starts undoing all of their wishes. She also tells them the rock could destroy the Earth because of all of the petty wishes they make. Together they get rid of it and all of the events that happened because of the wishes disappear. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson state that they plan to work together to Mr. Black who agrees.
He later reverts the Black Box into the Green Box, suggesting it to be more environmental. Mr. Noseworthy and son lose their germophobia, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson become closer, and last it is suggested that Hel and Toe will marry in the future, then Hel said "I didn't say that". In the end, all the children become friends and walk off while Loogie wishes that their story became a Hollywood movie, to which Hel replies "like that's gonna happen."
- Jimmy Bennett as Toby Thompson.
- Jon Cryer as Mr. Bill Thompson, Toby's father who works at Black Box, Inc.
- Leslie Mann as Mrs. Jane Thompson, Toby's mother who also works at Black Box, Inc.
- Kat Dennings as Stacey Thompson, Toby's older sister.
- William H. Macy as Dr. Noseworthy, A germophobe scientist who doesn't like Contamination.
- Jolie Vanier as Helvetica Black, a girl bully who secretly has a crush on Toby.
- Devon Gearhart as Colbert "Cole" Black, Carbon’s son and captain of the football team. He's Helvetica's brother who cares deeply for her and is the leader of his own gang which Helvetica sometimes leads.
- James Spader as Mr. Carbon Black, a greedy man who invented the black box and founded the Black Box Community.
- Trevor Gagnon as Loogie Short, a boy who found the wishing rock. When he had the wishing rock he wished for unreasonable stuff. He flirted with Toby's older sister throughout the movie.
- Rebel Rodriguez as Lug Short, Loogie's older brother. He is the most video game obsessed and easily angered of the three Short brothers.
- Leo Howard as Laser Short, Loogie's older brother. He seems to be the smartest of the three Short brothers.
- Bianca Rodriguez as the Short brothers' infant sister, simply referred to as "(the) Baby". She is voiced by Elizabeth Avellan
- Jake Short as "Nose" Noseworthy, a germophobe scientist like his father.
- Racer Rodriguez as Bully #1, a member of Cole's gang.
- Rocket Rodriguez as Bully #2, also a member of Cole's gang.
- Alejandro Rose-Garcia as John, Stacey's boyfriend.
- Cambell Westmoreland as Blinker #1
- Zoe Webb as Blinker #2
Critical response 
Box office 
For its opening weekend, the film made $6,410,339 upon an average of $2,065 from 3,105 theaters. It opened at #6, being overshadowed by Inglourious Basterds, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Julie & Julia. Overall, the film was a minor success at the box office, grossing about $21 million in the United States and Canada, and about $26 million worldwide. It is considered a financial disappointment compared to other films that Robert Rodriguez has directed, making only a third of what the Spy Kids films had made. However, the film was made on a low budget, and the overall box office return recouped it and made a huge profit for distributor Warner Bros.
- "Shorts (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Shorts - Release Dates
- "Majesco Entertainment Announces 'Shorts' for Nintendo DS". Majesco Entertainment. PR Newsire. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- "Shorts (Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Official Site
- Official Facebook
- Shorts at Metacritic
- Shorts at the Internet Movie Database
- Shorts at Rotten Tomatoes