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Spy Kids is the first film of the Spy Kids trilogy. It is directed and written by Robert Rodriguez. It stars Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara and was released in 2001. Rodriguez also produced with Elizabeth Avellan and Guillermo Navarro and was the editor of the film. The film was released in United States theaters on March 30, 2001 and on VHS and DVD on September 28, 2001.


Carmen and Juni Cortez live with their parents, Ingrid and Gregorio, who they believe are boring, unaware that their parents are actually semi-retired international spies, working for an organization called the OSS (Orginazation of Super Spies). Originally, Ingrid and Gregorio were enemies until they fell in love and got married. They retired to some degree when they had their children. Juni lacks self-esteem and watches a children's television show named "Floop's Flooglies", presented by a man named Fegan Floop. Gregorio shows dislike and later suspicions towards the show when several fellow spies go missing. Ingrid and Gregorio decide to investigate and leave their children in the care of Uncle Felix Gumm, although he is not actually their uncle, rather a family guardian. Ingrid and Gregorio are captured by Floop's men.

In Floop's island castle, the entertainer is reluctantly assisting a businessman named Mr. Lisp in creating an army of superstrong robots, using the children of world leaders as a disguise, to conquer the world. The robots were constructed by Floop's servant Alexander Minion. An item named the Third Brain is required to power the robots, or at least give them the ability to speak and think. Ingrid and Gregorio were brought in, due to Gregorio being one of the scientists who created the Third Brain and hid it, although he refuses to give the hiding place. Floop's minions invade the Cortez home, although Carmen and Juni escape whilst Felix is captured, but not before he tells the children the truth about their parents. The children flee to a safe house where they decide to become spies, until Ms. Gradenko, a fellow spy, arrives to help them. It is revealed that Third Brain is hidden in the house and that Gradenko is in allegiance with Lisp. The children escape but soon encounter robotic clones of themselves who steal the Third Brain and deliver it to Minion, who takes command of the robots and imprisons Floop.

Carmen and Juni locate Gregorio's estranged brother Machete, an inventor, who harbors bitter feelings against his brother and refuses to help them. They steal a map of Floop's castle and a spyplane and head off on their own. The two make it to the castle and search for their parents. Juni finds Floop and frees him, convincing him to help them and explaining what was missing from his TV show, children. Carmen, Juni and Floop free Ingrid and Gregorio and then confront Minion, trapping him in a machine that creates the characters on Floop's show (who are actually the missing agents). Minion deliberately starts the machine but escapes before his mind becomes mush, only altering his appearance with three extra heads. The spies confront Minion, Lisp and Gradenko and are attacked by their 500-man army of child robots. Machete arrives to help, but Floop rewrites the children's minds to make them act like children (as Minion says to Lisp, "They have minds of their own now, sir; anything we tell them to do goes in one ear and out the other!"), saving the Cortez family and causing the children to play with the villains, tossing them around in the air. Gregorio and Machete reform their brotherly relationship, and Floop redesigns his show with Minion and the robotic Carmen and Juni as his new characters. The leader of the OSS, Devlin, offers the Cortez children jobs as spies, to which Carmen responds that the spywork is easy, whilst keeping their Cortez family together is the hardest mission of all. She demands that they be allowed to work together as a family.





The film score is written by John Debney and Danny Elfman and also Grayson Lawrence, with contributions from a variety of others, including director Robert Rodriguez and Marcel Rodriguez. Among Elfman's contributions is "Floop's Song (Cruel World)", which is performed by Alan Cumming. Los Lobos covers the Tito Puente song, "Oye Como Va" (adapted as "Oye Como Spy" by David Garza and Robert Rodriguez). The song was nominated for "outstanding song in a motion picture soundtrack" at the 2002 ALMA Awards. The closing theme, "Spy Kids (Save the World)", is performed by the Los Angeles indie pop band, Fonda.

The score won an award at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards.

Track listing

  1. "Cortez Family" (Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira, Harry Gregson-Williams) – 1:39
  2. "My Parents Are Spies" (Danny Elfman) – 2:09
  3. "Spy Wedding" (Los Lobos, Robert Rodriguez) – 2:11
  4. "Spy Kids Demonstration" (John Debney, Robert Rodriguez, Marcel Rodriguez) – 1:06
  5. "Parents on Mission" (John Debney, Danny Elfman, Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira) – 1:17
  6. "Kids Escape House" (Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira) – 3:14
  7. "Pod Chase" (John Debney, Danny Elfman, Harry Gregson-Williams) – 1:38
  8. "The Safehouse" (John Debney, Danny Elfman) – 0:47
  9. "The Third Brain" (John Debney, Robert Rodriguez, Marcel Rodriguez) – 1:00
  10. "Buddy Pack Escape" (Danny Elfman) – 1:39
  11. "Oye Como Spy" (Davíd Garza, Tito Puente, Robert Rodriguez) – 2:59
  12. "Floop's Song (Cruel World)" (Danny Elfman) – 0:59
  13. "Spy Go Round" (Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira, Marcel Rodriguez) – 2:11
  14. "Minion" (Chris Boardman, Gavin Greenaway, Heitor Teixeira Pereira, Robert Rodriguez) – 1:03
  15. "Sneaking Around Machetes" (Danny Elfman) – 0:35
  16. "The Spy Plane" (John Debney, Danny Elfman) – 1:29
  17. "Floop's Castle" (Chris Boardman) – 1:29
  18. "Final Family Theme" (Harry Gregson-Williams) – 1:44
  19. "Spy Kids (Save the World)" (Emily Cook, David Klotz and Dave Newton) – 2:20

Filming locations

Release and reception

The film received very positive reviews when it was released. It received 93% percent of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

A special edition with deleted scenes was released to theaters on August 8, 2001. There were plans to release the special edition to DVD but it never materialized, despite the fact that a director's commentary and interviews were already recorded for it.

Awards and nominations

Award Result Category Recipient
ALMA Award Won Outstanding Director in a Motion Picture Robert Rodriguez
Nominated Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Antonio Banderas
Outstanding Motion Picture Spy Kids
Outstanding Screenplay (Original or Adapted) Robert Rodriguez
Outstanding Song in a Motion Picture Soundtrack Los Lobos

For the song "Oye Como Spy"
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Won Top Box Office Films John Debney
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror, USA Nominated Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film Spy Kids
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Nominated Best Family Film - Live Action Spy Kids
Kid's Choice Awards, USA Nominated Favorite Male Action Hero Antonio Banderas
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Nominated Best Family Film Spy Kids
Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Family Feature Film - Comedy Spy Kids
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Alexa Vega


  1. Interview with Robert Rodriguez from LatinoReview

External links

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