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There's also a strong message about family life. Many sibling and parent-child relationships are strengthened over the course of the adventure. Toby makes new friends and rediscovers old ones who all work together.
Toby works tirelessly to keep the rocks from falling into the wrong hands. He convinces others to do the same, even when it's against their self interest. Helvetica, although a somewhat negative role model, is a strong female character, and she ultimately redeems herself.
Loogie's brothers are the voice of reason, trying to explain to Loogie that he should be wishing for world peace or the end of starvation instead of fortresses and candy bars.
Toby's parents are also good role models, prioritizing their marriage and family above career goals. Cartoonish and fantastical violence includes a booger turning into a giant monster that chases a group of scared people; a person becoming a weaponized, Transformers-like being that wreaks havoc on a town; a kid's "wish" of rattlesnakes and crocodiles coming true and then attacking him and his brothers ; and the like.
More realistic incidents include Helvetica's ongoing bullying of Toby, which usually consists of a daily trip, headfirst, into the nearest trash can; kids falling out of a tree; and kids falling out of a window and breaking both arms. Toby's parents lament their loss of intimacy, and, after a rock literally binds them at the hip, they nearly kiss and eventually fix their relationship.
Loogie misguidedly flirts with Toby's older sister, who's in a fight with her boyfriend they eventually make up with a hug. Fairly frequent use of colorful insults like "lunkhead," "hillbilly teeth," "Dr.
Dumb Butt," as well as more traditional ones like "you suck," "freak," and "loser. The candy bar Nutrageous is shown many times as part of a running joke a boy wishes he had an endless supply , and Skittles and IKEA are both mentioned. Parents need to know that this fantasy adventure from Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez is sure to appeal to kids and tweens. Expect some mild insults -- like "lunkhead" and "this sucks" -- and potty humor, mostly regarding a booger one entire vignette is devoted to the topic.
The violence is generally humorous and fantasy based; most is directly related to characters' wishes people transforming into animals, the above-mentioned booger becoming a giant menace, etc. On a more serious note, the movie has several thought-provoking messages about bullying, family relationships, and technology.
Add your rating See all 15 parent reviews. Add your rating See all 39 kid reviews. Every day, Toby is bullied by Black's daughter, Helvetica Jolie Vanier , and her crew of middle-school toughs. But life as Toby knows it changes when he's hit with a colorful rock that magically grants wishes -- big a fortress or small never-ending supply of candy bars. But he's not the only one in town with eyes on the rock, and, as the movie's title implies, this tall tale is told in five interrelated SHORTS.
The "one-man film crew" that is Robert Rodriguez writer, director, producer, co-editor, composer returns to his love of kids' imagination in this loopy funfest. Partly inspired by Rodriguez's own five children, the boisterous adventure is perfectly attuned to its audience, who no doubt will spend the entire 89 minutes laughing in delight at a booger monster, a girl bully turning into a male-swatting wasp, an army of crocodiles, parents literally stuck together, a boyfriend told to grow up he ends up a giant , and much, much more.
Rodriguez's homegrown special effects aren't anything to write George Lucas about, but kids will be too busy reveling in the slapstick antics to notice that the walking CGI crocodiles are kind of unsophisticated.
Instead, audiences will focus on the goofy, tween-targeted action. Their appealing characters are two of the many reasons kids will love this unpredictable, pleasantly zippy adventure. Families can talk about how the kids mis use the power of the magical rock.
Which characters used the rock for good, and which used it for selfish reasons? How did possessing the rock change the characters? What's the movie's message about our modern-day obsession with technology and fancy gadgets like the Black Box?
Do they help us or hurt us in communicating with others? The relationship between a bully and the person she picks on is one of the movie's main themes. How is bullying portrayed? Do most bullies attack kids physically? What are other ways that bullies can attack?
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Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support. Our ratings are based on child development best practices.
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