The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D

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The Adventures of
Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
Adventures of shark boy and lava girl poster.jpg
North American theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Rodriguez
Written by
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Marcel Rodriguez
Story byRacer Rodriguez
Produced byElizabeth Avellán
CinematographyRobert Rodriguez
Edited byRobert Rodriguez
Music by
Distributed by
Release dates
  • June 4, 2005 (2005-06-04) (Los Angeles, premiere)[3]
  • June 10, 2005 (2005-06-10)
Running time
93 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million
Box office$72 million[5]

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D[a] (often shortened to 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. The production companies were Dimension Films, Columbia Pictures and Troublemaker Studios.[3] 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 negative 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.

Another film featuring Sharkboy and Lavagirl, We Can Be Heroes, was released on Netflix on December 25, 2020 with Dooley reprising her role.


Max is a lonely 10-year-old boy living in the suburbs of Austin. In his imagination he has created a dreamworld named Planet Drool, where his dreams come to life. It contains two main characters: Sharkboy, who was raised by sharks after losing his father (a marine biologist) at sea, and became a shark-hybrid himself, and Lavagirl, who can produce fire and lava but has trouble controlling her power, so that objects often catch fire when she touches them. The pair act as protectors of Planet Drool. In the real world, Max's parents have little time for him, and their marriage is not going well. At school, he is bullied by his classmate Linus. He does receive some friendship from Marissa, the daughter of the teacher, Mr. Electricidad. Linus steals Max's dream journal and threatens to "make changes" to it. The next day, twin tornadoes form outside the school. Sharkboy and Lavagirl emerge from the storm and ask Max to 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 travel to Planet Drool with the Shark Rocket with an autopilot control. Max then realizes that he has never come up with a landing function.

They confront Mr. Electric in his lair, but he drops them into the Dream Graveyard, where many of Max's dreams have been dumped. They find Tobor, a robot toy that Max never finished building after being discouraged by his father. Tobor carries them to other parts of the planet. The three bond during their journey, but face hardships, such as Sharkboy's anger that the oceans are frozen over, and Lavagirl's desperation to find her true purpose on Planet Drool. They are pursued by Mr. Electric and his "plughounds". They plan to reach the Ice Princess and obtain the Crystal Heart, with which they could freeze time, giving them enough time to get to the center of Planet Drool and for Max to fix the dreamworld by re-dreaming it. Instead, they are captured by Mr. Electric and delivered to the mastermind, who is revealed to be Minus, a villain resembling Linus who has altered Max's journal and hence the dreamworld. Minus traps them in a cage. Sharkboy becomes enraged by singing bubbles and destroys the cage in a "shark frenzy". Max retrieves his dream journal while Minus is sleeping. Reading the book, Max informs Sharkboy that his father is still alive, but when Lavagirl wishes to learn what it says about her true identity, she grabs the book and it burns to ash. In a desperate rage, Lavagirl asks Max why he made her out of lava, and runs off. Max wants to follow, but Sharkboy tells him to let her cool down.

The three eventually reach the Ice Princess, who resembles Marissa. She hands over the Crystal Heart, but they are unable to stop the corruption, since the Ice Princess is the only one who can use the Crystal Heart's power, and cannot leave her home. Afterwards, Mr. Electric seemingly kills Sharkboy by tricking him into jumping into water filled with electric eels, which are his weakness. Lavagirl sacrifices herself by jumping into the water to retrieve him. Max realizes he has been selfish in wanting to get back to Earth. Tobor appears and convinces Max to dream a better, unselfish dream. Just then, Sharkboy regains consciousness and races Lavagirl to a volcano to revive her. Max realizes that Lavagirl's purpose is as a light against the darkness which has engulfed Planet Drool. Max becomes the "Daydreamer" and gains reality-warping powers to defeats Minus. He then offers that the two join to make a better dreamworld, and Minus agrees. Lavagirl thanks Max and Sharkboy for saving her.

Minus offers to let Mr. Electric return to running Planet Drool, but Mr. Electric reveals that he never enjoyed doing so in the first place. He tells 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 in front of the class and an astonished Mr. Electricidad. Max's parents are caught in the storm too, but are saved by Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Max gives the Crystal Heart to Marissa so 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 now-reconciled parents.

Later, Max informs his class that Planet Drool is a proper dreamworld once again, that Sharkboy is now King of the Ocean and that Lavagirl is Queen of the Volcanoes. 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]
  • 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]


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.[15] 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.[5]

Critical response [edit]

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D 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."[16] 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.[17]


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]

Director 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


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]


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.[23]


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.[24] We Can Be Heroes was released through Netflix in December 2020. In January 2021, a sequel was announced.[25]


  1. ^ Also released under The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.


  1. ^ a b c "Detail view of Movies Page". Archived from the original on June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D".
  4. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D".
  5. ^ a b "The Adventure of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Scholastic News Online: Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, loves Taylor Dooley talk to Scholastic News Online about their exciting new movie". Retrieved May 11, 2008.
  7. ^ "Taylor Lautner Interview at". Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  8. ^ "Movieweb Interview With Taylor Lautner". Archived from the original on January 23, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  9. ^ Vena, Joceyln. "Taylor Lautner's Success Doesn't Surprise Robert Rodriguez". MTV Networks. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  10. ^ " Interviews: Taylor Dooley, Taylor Lautner, and Cayden Boyd". Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  11. ^ " Interviews: George Lopez and Robert Rodriguez". Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Barker, Lynn (June 8, 2005). "Hangin' with Sharkboy, Lavagirl....and Max". Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Interview with Miley Cyrus". October 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  15. ^ Gray, Brandon (June 13, 2005). "'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' Honeymoons at the Top". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  16. ^ "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  17. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 9, 2005). "The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D (PG)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 23, 2007. Movie review
  18. ^ "Filmtracks: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (Robert Rodriguez/Graeme Revell/John Debney)".
  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". 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. Retrieved June 17, 2009.
  23. ^ Winnick, Zach. "Shark Boy Attacks Amazon Over Pint-Size Infringer". Law 360. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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]