Spy Kids

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Spy Kids
Spy Kids logo.png
Official film series logo
Created byRobert Rodriguez
Original workSpy Kids (2001)
OwnerTroublemaker Studios
Print publications
Book(s)Junior Novelizations (first three movies)
Spy Kids Adventures series
Films and television
Television seriesSpy Kids: Mission Critical (2018)
  • Spy Kids
  • Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
  • Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

Spy Kids is an American spy family action-adventure comedy franchise created by Robert Rodriguez. The plot follows adventures of Carmen and Juni Cortez, two children who become involved in their parents' espionage organization. The films include Latino themes, as Rodriguez is of Mexican descent.[1]



Spy Kids was influenced by James Bond films. The first film was "a fusion of Willy Wonka and James Bond"[2] and the second was the "Mysterious Island and James Bond mix".

The spy organization in the films is called the OSS. These initials are from the Office of Strategic Services, a former U.S. intelligence organization during World War II which later evolved into the CIA. The character Donnagon Giggles, was named after William Joseph Donovan, the director of the original OSS.[3] The initials in the Spy Kids universe are never specified on screen, but, in one of the books, they stand for the Organization of Super Spies.


One of the main themes of Spy Kids is the unity of family. The children have adult responsibilities, and a lesson is that keeping secrets from family members can have a negative effect on relationships. The first film also deals extensively with sibling rivalry and the responsibility of older children. There also is a strong sense of Latino heritage.

Technical innovations[edit]

The other films were shot with High Definition digital video,[4] parts of the third film using an anaglyphic process to create the 3-D effect. Audiences were given red/blue 3D glasses with their tickets in movie theatres. Four sets of these glasses were also included in the DVD release. The third film was used as a test for a special Texas Instruments digital projector which can project polarized 3D, which does not require the red-blue lenses, later reused for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005).[5][6]


Film U.S. release date Director Screenwriter Producer(s)
Spy Kids March 30, 2001 Robert Rodriguez Elizabeth Avellán and Robert Rodriguez
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams August 7, 2002
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over July 25, 2003
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World August 19, 2011
Spy Kids: Armageddon[7] TBA Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez and Racer Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán

Spy Kids (2001)[edit]

After retiring from espionage for ten years, Gregorio and Ingrid (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino) are pulled back into duty for their important assignment despite the fact they were out of practice, and were captured. Their two children, Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara), stay with their uncle Felix Gumm (Cheech Marin) and discover the truth of their parents' past, which they had neglected to tell them because they were afraid that if they knew, they would picture danger at every corner; and decide to rescue them. On their first mission, Carmen and Juni manage to bring around their estranged uncle, Isador "Machete" Cortez (Danny Trejo), a genius gadget inventor and Juni helps to redeem a TV show host named Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming). Together, Carmen and Juni thwart the plan of Floop's notorious second in-command Alexander Minion (Tony Shalhoub) to develop an army of androids resembling young children (including Carmen and Juni themselves) for a mastermind named Mr. Lisp (Robert Patrick) and his partner Ms. Gradenko (Teri Hatcher). The robots based on Carmen and Juni became part of Floop's show.

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)[edit]

As agents of the OSS, Carmen and Juni try to save the daughter (Taylor Momsen) of The President Of The United States (Christopher McDonald) while facing a particularly hard competition with Gary and Gerti Giggles (Matt O'Leary and Emily Osment), the two children of a double-dealing agent Donnagon Giggles (Mike Judge), whom Carmen and Juni helped to rescue them from the first film. Juni gets fired from the OSS after fighting with Gary over a smaller version of the transmooker, a device that can shut off all electronic devices even though it was Gary who started the fight. Juni loses his spot for the best spy kid of the year award, while Donnagon plans to steal the transmooker to take over the world. On their second mission, Carmen and Juni follow the trail to the mysterious island of Leeke Leeke which is home to Romero (Steve Buscemi), an eccentric scientist who attempted to create genetically-miniaturised animals, but instead ended up with his island inhabited by mutant monsters. Eventually, Donnagon is fired and Gary is suspended, and the transmooker is destroyed. Juni is offered his job back, but in order to take a break from the OSS, he retires to start his own private eye agency.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)[edit]

After retiring from the OSS, Juni is thrust back into service when an evil mastermind named Sebastian "The Toymaker" (Sylvester Stallone) creates a fictional video game called Game Over, which hypnotizes its users. Carmen was sent on a mission to disable the game, but disappeared on Level 4. With the help of his maternal grandfather, Valentin Avellan (Ricardo Montalban), who uses a wheelchair, Juni is sent after Carmen and helps her to disable the game in order to save the world. It is revealed that Sebastian was the one who disabled Valentin in the first place. Instead of avenging his former partner, Valentin forgives Sebastian who is redeemed.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011)[edit]

The OSS has become the world's top spy agency, while the Spy Kids department has become defunct. A retired spy Marissa (Jessica Alba) is thrown back into the action along with her two stepchildren, Rebecca and Cecil (Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook), when a maniacal Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) attempts to take over the world. In order to save the world, Rebecca and Cecil must team up with Marissa.


In January 2021, it was announced that a reboot of the franchise is in development, with a film involving a plot that centers around a multicultural family. Robert Rodriguez will again serve as writer/director, while the project will be a joint-venture production between Skydance Media and Spyglass Media Group.[8][9] In March 2022, it was revealed to have landed at Netflix,[10] making it the second Spy Kids project produced for the platform.

Production Weekly had included the film in their report of upcoming projects in development. It is to be titled Spy Kids: Armageddon, which was the original title for Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.[7] In June 2022, it was announced that Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Everly Carganilla and Connor Esterson were set to star.[11] In July 2022, it was announced that Billy Magnussen was set to star.[12] In August 2022, it was announced that D. J. Cotrona was set to star.[13] The logline for the film is as follows: “When the children of the world’s greatest secret agents unwittingly help a powerful Game Developer unleash a computer virus that gives him control of all technology, they must become spies themselves to save their parents and the world.”[14] Production wrapped in late August 2022.[15][16]


Series Seasons Episodes First released Last released Showrunner(s) Network(s)
Spy Kids: Mission Critical 2 20 April 20, 2018 November 30, 2018 F.M. De Marco Netflix

Spy Kids: Mission Critical (2018)[edit]

On June 16, 2016, Netflix announced an animated Spy Kids television show entitled Spy Kids: Mission Critical with The Weinstein Company.[17] The first and second seasons both consist of 10 episodes[18] and is produced by Mainframe Studios.[19]

The series was announced by Mike Fleming Jr and created by Michael Hefferon and Sean Jara on May 6, 2015, with the villains being described “as colorful” as the protagonists, and the series is said to contain “as much comedy as wish fulfillment.” FM DeMarco is the head writer of the series. WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.'s Vancouver-based Mainframe Studios, the TV division of Rainmaker Entertainment, partnered with the Weinstein Company to produce the series, with the series being described as a "multi-season commitment". Robert Rodriguez serves as one of the executive producers due to Bob Weinstein dropping out and Harvey Weinstein getting fired from TWC. It premiered on Netflix worldwide on April 20, 2018.

Main cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in franchise.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  •  E indicates an appearance not included in the theatrical cut.
  •  V indicates a voice-only role.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Characters Films Television series
Spy Kids Spy Kids 2:
The Island of Lost Dreams
Spy Kids 3-D:
Game Over
Spy Kids:
All the Time in the World
Spy Kids:
Mission Critical
Season 1 Season 2
Carmen Cortez Alexa Vega
Addisyn FairY
Alexa Vega Ashley Bornancin
Juni Cortez Daryl Sabara Carter Hastings
Gregorio Cortez Antonio Banderas Antonio BanderasAE Christian Lanz
Ingrid Avellan Cortez Carla Gugino Carla GuginoE Mira Sorvino
Isador Cortez
Danny Trejo Character is silent
Fegan Floop Alan Cumming Christian Lanz
Felix Gumm Cheech Marin
Donnagon Giggles Mike Judge
Alexander Minion Tony Shalhoub
Ms. Gradenko Teri Hatcher
Mr. Lisp Robert Patrick
Devlin George Clooney George Clooney
Gary Giggles Matt O'Leary
Gerti Giggles Emily Osment
Romero Steve Buscemi
Valentin Avellan Ricardo Montalbán
Helga Avellan Holland Taylor Holland TaylorA
Dinky Winks Bill Paxton
Alexandra Taylor Momsen
President of the USA Christopher McDonald
The Toymaker
Sylvester Stallone
Arnold Ryan Pinkston
Francis Bobby Edner
Rez Robert Vito
The Deceiver
Courtney Jines
Francesca "Cesca" Giggles Salma Hayek
The Guy Elijah Wood
Marissa Wilson (née Cortez) Jessica Alba
Rebecca Wilson Rowan Blanchard
Cecil Wilson Mason Cook
Wilbur Wilson Joel McHale
Maria Wilson Belle and Genny Solorzano
Agent Argonaut Elmo
Ricky GervaisV
Danger D'Amo
The Timekeeper
Jeremy Piven
Jett GoodY
Editor / Cameraman Wray Krawford
Glitch Caitlyn Bairstow
Ace Nicholas Coombe
Claudia Floop
Nesta Cooper
Sir Awesome Richard Ian Cox
Peter St. Ignatius


Travis Turner
Golden Brain Tom Kenny
Spurious Visage
Professor Küpkakke
Kopi Vasquez Candi Milo
Vida Immortata
Desmond "Dez" Vasquez Yuri Lowenthal
Zedmond "Zed" Vasquez
Jaime Vasquez
Jason Pietranthony
"Improv" Improvisario
Bradley Feinstein
Mint Condition
Patton Oswalt
Dr. Chad Jericho Thomas Lennon
JT the Worm Bobcat Goldthwait
Agent No-One Terrence Stone Robert Englund

Additional crew and production details[edit]

Film Crew/Detail
Composer(s) Cinematographer(s) Editor Production
Running time
Spy Kids Danny Elfman
Gavin Greenaway
Heitor Pereira
John Debney
Robert Rodriguez
Los Lobos
Harry Gregson-Williams
Guillermo Navarro Robert Rodriguez Troublemaker Studios
Dimension Films
Miramax Films 1 hour 28 minutes
Spy Kids 2:
The Island of Lost Dreams
John Debney
Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez 1 hour 40 minutes
Spy Kids 3-D:
Game Over
Robert Rodriguez 1 hour 24 minutes
Spy Kids:
All the Time in the World
Robert Rodriguez
Carl Thiel
Jimmy Lindsey
Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez
Rebecca Rodriguez
The Weinstein Company 1 hour 29 minutes
Spy Kids:
TBA TBA TBA Troublemaker Studios
Skydance Media
Spyglass Media Group
Netflix TBA


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
Spy Kids March 30, 2001 $112,719,001 $35,215,179 $147,934,180 $35,000,000 [20]
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams August 7, 2002 $85,846,429 $33,876,929 $119,723,358 $38,000,000 [21]
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over July 25, 2003 $111,761,982 $85,339,696 $197,101,678 $32,500,000 [22]
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World August 18, 2011 $38,538,188 $47,026,122 $85,564,310 $27,000,000 [23]
Total $348,865,600 $201,457,926 $550,323,526 $132,500,000

Critical and public response[edit]

Though the first and second film received positive reviews, the series experienced a steadily declining critical reception with each film.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[24]
Spy Kids 93% (128 reviews)[25] 71 (27 reviews)[26] A
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams 75% (135 reviews)[27] 66 (29 reviews)[28] A-
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over 45% (141 reviews)[29] 57 (30 reviews)[30] B+
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 23% (61 reviews)[31] 37 (14 reviews)[32] B+

Home media[edit]

  • September 18, 2001 (Spy Kids) on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • February 18, 2003 (Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams) on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • February 24, 2004 (Spy Kids 3D: Game Over) on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • August 2, 2011 (Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over) on DVD and Blu-ray Disc by Lionsgate (However, all 3 DVDs are still the original Buena Vista Home Entertainment copies.)
  • November 15th, 2011 (Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Triple Feature) on Blu-ray Disc by Lionsgate
  • November 22, 2011 (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World) on DVD and Blu-ray by Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • December 4, 2012 (Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D 3D Double Feature) on Blu-ray 3D Disc by Lionsgate
  • September 22, 2020 (Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Triple Feature) on Blu-ray Disc reissue by Paramount

In other media[edit]

Video games
  • Spy Kids Challenger (Game Boy Advance)
  • Spy Kids Mega Mission Zone (PC/Mac)
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (Game Boy Advance and PC/Mac)
  • Spy Kids: Learning Adventures series (PC/Mac)
  • Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (Nintendo DS)

See also[edit]

Related film series[edit]

Isador "Machete" Cortez, who appeared in all four Spy Kids film series as a supporting character, additionally had a series of two stand-alone films: Machete and Machete Kills, also written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. However, the Machete films share little in common with the Spy Kids films thematically and are not considered direct spin-offs, the first film instead being an adult-oriented action exploitation film, with the second film introducing science fiction elements; both films additionally share several cast members and characters with the Spy Kids films.[33] The idea for a Machete film came from a fake trailer promoting the Grindhouse double-feature by Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.[34] Trejo and Rodriguez have made two conflicting statements regarding its canonicity to the Spy Kids films. Trejo stated that the films depict "what Uncle Machete does when he's not taking care of the kids",[34] while Rodriguez stated in a Reddit AMA that they are alternate universes.[35] Regardless, Rodriguez has stated he was prompted by an incident on the set of the first Machete film to start envisioning a fourth film in the main Spy Kids film series, casting Jessica Alba as Machete's sister Marissa, a different character to the one she portrayed in Machete, with Trejo additionally reprising his role alongside her.[36][37][38][39]


  1. ^ The Walt Disney Company had to cut their own share on the fourth film with The Weinstein Company to 5% after the latter party lost their bid to reclaim Miramax Films.[40]


  1. ^ AFP (October 23, 2013). "'Machete' director Robert Rodriguez doesn't see Oscar future". /gulfnews.com. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Interview with Mexican director Robert Rodriguez | Film". The Guardian. 2001-04-11. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  3. ^ CIA: Look Back … Gen. William J. Donovan Heads Office of Strategic Services
  4. ^ Fred Topel (August 2002). "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams". Cinefantastique. Vol. 34, no. 5. pp. 46–49. Rodriguez shot SPY KIDS 2 entirely with High Definition digital cameras
  5. ^ "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over". CINEMABLEND. 2016-05-27. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 9, 2005). "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D movie review (2005)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  7. ^ a b "Production Weekly – Issue 1300 – Thursday, May 26, 2022 / 17 Listings – 38 Pages". Production Weekly. May 25, 2022. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 26, 2021). "Skydance Media To Reimagine The 'Spy Kids' Franchise With Spyglass Media And Series Creator Robert Rodriguez". Deadline. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  9. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (January 26, 2021). "Robert Rodriguez Rebooting 'Spy Kids' Franchise at Skydance Media". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  10. ^ Grobar, Matt (March 30, 2022). "'Spy Kids' Franchise Reimagining In Works At Netflix; Robert Rodriguez Returning To Mount Next Film For Skydance, Spyglass". Deadline. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 23, 2022). "'Spy Kids': Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Everly Carganilla And Connor Esterson Starring In Reboot For Netflix, Skydance And Spyglass". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  12. ^ Cordero, Rosy (July 23, 2022). "'Spy Kids': Billy Magnussen Joins Netflix Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 8, 2022). "'Spy Kids': DJ Cotrona Joins Next Installment For Netflix, Skydance And Spyglass". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Keith, Chantel (June 25, 2022). "'Spy Kids': Netflix Introduces Cast and Plot for Upcoming Reboot". Spring Tribune.
  15. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (August 31, 2022). "Just wrapped a new SPYkids for @Netflix, working with my son Racer Max! First foto is from the set of SPYkids 2 in 2002. Not much has changed, only now he's co-writer, co-producer, and a little heavier". Twitter. Archived from the original on August 31, 2022. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  16. ^ "Robert Rodriguez on Instagram: "Just wrapped a new SPYkids for @Netflix, working with my son Racer Max! First foto is from the set of SPYkids 2 in 2002. Not much has changed, only now he's co-writer, co-producer, and a little heavier."". Instagram. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  17. ^ Brian Steinberg (June 16, 2016). "Netflix Readies Animated 'Spy Kids,' 'Llama Llama' Series (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "And just like that we are underway on mixing our second season episodes of Spy Kids: Mission Critical #SpyKidsMC18 First up - ep. 3!". November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  19. ^ Pinto, Jordan (March 24, 2017). "Wow! Unlimited inks deal with Weinstein Co, Netflix". Playback. Brunico Communications. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "Spy Kids (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  21. ^ "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  23. ^ "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  24. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  25. ^ Spy Kids Rotten Tomatoes
  26. ^ Spy Kids, retrieved 2021-01-29
  27. ^ Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Rotten Tomatoes
  28. ^ Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, retrieved 2021-01-29
  29. ^ Spy Kids 3-D - Game Over Rotten Tomatoes
  30. ^ Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, retrieved 2021-01-29
  31. ^ Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D Rotten Tomatoes
  32. ^ Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, retrieved 2021-01-29
  33. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (February 2014). "I am director Robert Rodriguez, here again with El Rey. Let's play". Reddit. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  34. ^ a b Westel, Bob (April 1, 2011). "A roundtable chat with actor Danny Trejo, aka "Machete"". Premium Hollywood.
  35. ^ Rodriguez, Robert (February 2014). "I am director Robert Rodriguez, here again with El Rey. Let's play". Reddit. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  36. ^ Wilson, Lisa (August 15, 2011). "Busy Alba relates to 'Spy Kids' mom". Toronto Sun. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  37. ^ Thompson, Bob (August 14, 2011). "Spy mom, real mom". ottawacitizen.com. Retrieved August 14, 2011.[dead link]
  38. ^ Connelly, Brendon (September 25, 2009). "Dimension Confirm Details of Scream 4, Spy Kids 4, An American Werewolf in London Redux and More". SlashFilm. Archived from the original on October 31, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  39. ^ Connelly, Brendon (December 21, 2009). "Robert Rodriguez Sequel Log-Jam: More Machete, Sin City 2 and Spy Kids Reboot". SlashFilm. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  40. ^ "Miramax movies, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Ron Tutor". NYDailyNews.com. February 3, 2011.