The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D

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The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Rodriguez
Written by
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Marcel Rodriguez
Story byRacer Max Rodriguez[a]
Produced by
CinematographyRobert Rodriguez
Edited byRobert Rodriguez
Music by
Distributed by
Release dates
  • June 4, 2005 (2005-06-04) (Los Angeles)[2]
  • June 10, 2005 (2005-06-10) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million
Box office$72 million[4]

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (or simply Sharkboy and Lavagirl) is a 2005 American 3D superhero adventure film[1] co-written and directed by Robert Rodriguez and originally released in the United States on June 10, 2005, by Miramax Films and Dimension Films. The production companies were Dimension Films, Columbia Pictures and Troublemaker Studios. The film uses the anaglyph 3D technology, similar to the one used in Rodriguez's 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, most notably Racer Max.

Sharkboy and Lavagirl received mostly negative reviews from critics, with much of the criticism directed at the film's poor 3-D, while the visual aspects and performances received some praise. The film also underperformed at the box office earning just $39.2 million in the United States and $32.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $72 million on a $50 million budget. It has since garnered a cult following and is often regarded as a cult classic.[5][6][7]

A standalone/legacy sequel titled We Can Be Heroes was released on Netflix on December 25, 2020, with Dooley reprising her role.


Max, a lonely ten-year-old boy in suburban Austin, creates an imaginative world called Planet Drool. In this dream realm, his creations Sharkboy and Lavagirl come to life. Max faces challenges in the real world, including bullying from Linus and his parents' troubled marriage. Sharkboy and Lavagirl appear in the real world and invite Max to Planet Drool, where they discover Mr. Electric is corrupting the dream world. Together, they embark on a journey to restore Planet Drool, facing obstacles and bonding along the way.

They confront Mr. Electric, but he traps them in the Dream Graveyard. Guided by Tobor, a robot toy Max abandoned, they plan to freeze time with the Crystal Heart to repair the dream world. However, they are captured by Minus, who is revealed to be Linus, the mastermind behind the corruption. After escaping, they obtain the Crystal Heart but face challenges, leading to Lavagirl sacrificing herself to save Sharkboy.

Realizing his selfishness, Max becomes the Daydreamer and gains reality-warping powers. He defeats Minus and proposes to create a better dream world together. Mr. Electric rejects the offer, targeting Max on Earth. Max awakens in the real world during a tornado, and Sharkboy and Lavagirl save his parents. Max gives the Crystal Heart to his classmate Marissa, who freezes and destroys Mr. Electric.

In the end, peace is restored. Sharkboy becomes King of the Ocean, searching for his father, and Lavagirl becomes Queen of Earth's Volcanoes. Max, reconciled with his parents, repairs Tobor and encourages everyone to "dream a better dream and work to make it real."


  • Cayden Boyd as Max. An imaginative 10-year-old[8] 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".[8]
  • 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."[9] 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.[10] Lautner was the first to audition for the film, says Rodriguez, and was chosen immediately.[11]
  • Taylor Dooley as Lavagirl. The role was cast after the two other main characters, Sharkboy and Max had already been cast.[8] 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".[12]
  • 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 solve his problems. 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, the voice of Tobor, and the voice of 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.[13]
  • 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.

Director Robert Rodriguez has an uncredited role voicing a shark, and his children, Rebel and Racer, portray Sharkboy at age five and age seven respectively. Rico Torres portrays Sharkboy's father. Marc Musso and Shane Graham play children at Max's school.


Parts of the film were shot on location in Texas from 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.[14] Eleven visual effects companies (Hybride Technologies, Cafe FX, The Orphanage, Post Logic, Hy*drau*lx, 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.[15]

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, presumably Dooley, got the role.[16]

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D was a co-production of Dimension Films, Columbia Pictures, and Troublemaker Studios, and was distributed in the United States by Miramax and Dimension Films.[17][4]


Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedJune 10, 2005
GenreRock, pop
LabelVarèse Sarabande
Robert Rodriguez film soundtrack chronology
Sin City
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
Planet Terror
Professional ratings
Review scores
Music from the Movies[19]

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

1."The Shark Boy"Robert Rodriguez, John Debney 3:47
2."The Lava Girl"Rodriguez 1:28
3."Max's Dream"Rodriguez 1:37
4."Sharkboy and Lavagirl Return"Rodriguez 1:44
5."Planet Drool"Rodriguez 2:12
6."Mount Never Rest"Graeme Revell 2:35
7."Passage of Time"Rodriguez, Carl Thiel 1:30
8."Mr. Electric"Revell 1:09
9."Train of Thought"Debney 2:01
10."Dream Dream Dream Dream (Dream Dream)"RodriguezShark Boy and the Lava Girls1:54
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
16."Lavagirl's Sacrifice"Rodriguez 2:10
17."The Light"Rodriguez 2:21
18."Battle of the Dreamers"Rodriguez 1:21
19."Mr. Electric on Earth"Revell 1:15
20."Unplugged"Rodriguez, Debney 1:12
21."The Day Dreamer"Rodriguez, Debney 1:29
22."Sharkboy and Lavagirl"Rodriguez, Rebecca RodriguezAriel Abshire & The Lava Girls4:09
Total length:43:26



The teaser trailer for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl premiered in February 2005, during theatrical screenings of Pooh's Heffalump Movie. The teaser was later attached to theatrical screenings of The Longest Yard, and Madagascar.


After a Hollywood red carpet premiere on June 4, 2005, at Los Angeles, the film was released theatrically on June 10, 2005. The movie was on screens for 23 weeks.

Home media[edit]

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl was originally released on September 20, 2005, on VHS, DVD and UMD.


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 character's 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.[21]

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.[22]


Box office[edit]

For its opening weekend, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D 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.[23] Grossing $39.2 million in the United States and $32.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $72 million,[4] the film was a box office flop.

Critical response [edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 20% based on 123 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The critical consensus reads, "The decision to turn this kiddie fantasy into a 3-D film was a miscalculation."[2] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 38 out of 100 based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[24] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+" on scale of A to F.[25]

Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four 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.[26]


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 undisclosed amount.[27]


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 youngest daughter of Sharkboy and Lavagirl who has shark powers. Taylor Dooley was confirmed to reprise her role in the film as Lavagirl, although Lautner did not reprise his role.[28] We Can Be Heroes was released through Netflix in December 2020. In January 2021, a sequel was announced.[29]


  1. ^ Labeled onscreen as "Based on the stories and dreams of Racer Max".
  2. ^ Robert Rodriguez is not credited as a producer onscreen, but is on the film's poster and DVD billing blocks.


  1. ^ a b "Detail view of Movies Page". Archived from the original on June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. June 10, 2005. Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D". Archived from the original on February 21, 2023. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "The Adventure of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D (2005)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sharkboy and Lavagirl gained cult status thanks to kids who got it". Polygon. December 23, 2020. Archived from the original on June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  6. ^ "Spider-Man Inspired Sharkboy & Lavagirl's Return in Netflix's We Can Be Heroes". MovieWeb. December 17, 2020. Archived from the original on June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2023.
  7. ^ "How Do Sharkboy and Lavagirl Actually Reproduce?". MEL Magazine. November 19, 2020. Archived from the original on June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2023. "The movie is bad. Like, 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes bad. Still, it's a cult classic for aughts kids, featuring some campy CGI and George Lopez's floating head as the villain Mr. Electric".
  8. ^ a b c "Scholastic News Online: Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, loves Taylor Dooley talk to Scholastic News Online about their exciting new movie". Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  9. ^ "Taylor Lautner Interview at". Archived from the original on May 29, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  10. ^ "Movieweb Interview With Taylor Lautner". Archived from the original on January 23, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  11. ^ Vena, Joceyln (May 1, 2009). "Taylor Lautner's Success Doesn't Surprise Robert Rodriguez". MTV Networks. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009.
  12. ^ " Interviews: Taylor Dooley, Taylor Lautner, and Cayden Boyd". Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  13. ^ " Interviews: George Lopez and Robert Rodriguez". Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  14. ^ Barker, Lynn (June 8, 2005). "Hangin' with Sharkboy, Lavagirl....and Max". Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  15. ^ DiLullo, Tara (June 10, 2005). "Shark Boy and Lava Girl: Back to 3D". Animation World Magazine. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  16. ^ "Interview with Miley Cyrus". October 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  17. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Archived from the original on June 27, 2021. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "Filmtracks: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (Robert Rodriguez/Graeme Revell/John Debney)". Archived from the original on August 12, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2007.
  19. ^ [1] Archived December 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Other reviews by Mike Brennan (August 31, 2005). "SoundtrackNet : The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl in 3D Soundtrack". Archived from the original on August 14, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  21. ^ Rodriguez, Robert; Roberson, Chris (2005). Sharkboy and Lavagirl Adventures: Book 2: Return to Planet Drool. Cover design and illustrations by Alex Toader. Troublemaker Publishing. ISBN 1-933104-05-8.
  22. ^ Jensen, Jeff (June 6, 2005). "Book Review: The Adventures of SharkBoy and LavaGirl: The Movie Storybook (2005)". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  23. ^ Gray, Brandon (June 13, 2005). "'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' Honeymoons at the Top". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  24. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 22, 2022. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  25. ^ "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  26. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 9, 2005). "'Shark Boy' bites in 3-D". Chicago Sun-Times (film review). Archived from the original on April 12, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  27. ^ Winnick, Zach. "Shark Boy Attacks Amazon Over Pint-Size Infringer". Law 360. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  28. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (July 23, 2020). "Robert Rodriguez Reveals New Details on the Return of Sharkboy & Lavagirl in Netflix's 'We Can Be Heroes'". Collider. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  29. ^ White, Peter (January 4, 2021). ""Bridgerton" and "We Can Be Heroes" Join "The Midnight Sky" As Top Netflix Festive Titles, Streamer Lines Up Sequel To Robert Rodriguez Kids Film". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.

External links[edit]