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Sharkboy and Lavagirl, An Unusual Classic

Apr 17, 2008
The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl takes viewers on a crazy ride in the grand tradition of fantastical films such as Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is set in an unusually colorful, and films such as The Never-ending Story, in which mistreatment by bullies sends the victim into a dream world where he can be a hero. The juxtaposition of fantasy and reality in the film is intriguing.

The action centers around ten year old Max. A dreamer who is often picked on at school, he creates his own friends from his infinite imagination. Shark Boy and Lava Girl are super heroes from Planet Drool who come exploding into Max's school room one day in search of his help in saving their planet from increasing darkness. As their world was born in Max's active imagination, the super heroes inform him that he is the only one who can save it.

Their adventures together are truly wild by any stretch of the imagination. The lines between fantasy and reality blur as the evil doers on Planet Drool are often real life foes of Max changed into strange antagonists. For instance, his actual Earth teacher, Mr. Electricidad, becomes the menacing Mr. Electric, whose nasty animated power cords threaten the heroes. By the end of the movie, the action has returned to Earth.

The otherworldly quality of Planet Drool sounds like the game Candy Land meshed with Willie Wonka's chocolate factory. The characters ride in a banana-split boat on the "Stream of Consciousness", take the out of control Train of Thought to the Land of Milk and Cookies, and get assistance from an Ice Princess in the Land of Ice. Interestingly, the screenwriter, Robert Rodriguez, got considerable amount help with the plot from his children. One, seven-year-old Racer, was actually given screen credit!

While the film may not have as much of an attraction for grown-ups as it does for children, it is still an interesting story. The story of a victim triumphing over a bully is always a favorite plot with youngsters.
About the Author
Steve Collins is an Author and Journalist based in California. A massive Disney fan, he uses the Disney Movie Club to complete the gaps in his collection. Read his articles about the movies he buys at the Disney Movie Club here.
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