The Island of Lost Dreams
One has to hand it to Robert Rodriguez. He wrote, directed, produced, did the cinematography, and even edited this film. He has come up with what may be a successful film series. Hollywood certainly stresses the importance of family despite the opinion of certain critics to the contrary. The industry does produce strong family films.
Review by David Bruce

The Island of Lost Dreams


This page was created on August 12, 2002
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005

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Spy Kids (original)
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Alan Cumming .... Fegan Floop
Taylor Momsen .... President's Daughter
Christopher McDonald .... President of the USA
Dale Dudley .... Head Magna Man
Troy Robinson .... Magna Man/Waiter
Ron Hayden .... Main Secret Service Agent
Brian Thornton .... Secret Service Agent #2
Mark Turner .... Secret Service Agent #3
Bill Paxton .... Dinky Winks
Angela Lanza .... Park Public Relations
Felix Sabates .... Test Family
Tony Shalhoub .... Alexander Minion
rest of cast listed alphabetically
Deborah Abbott .... Spy Mom (uncredited)
Deidre A. Cannon .... Reporter (uncredited)
Ken Edwards .... OSS Spy (uncredited)
Michael S. Koenig .... Police Officer (uncredited)

Produced by
Elizabeth Avellan .... producer
Robert Rodriguez .... producer
Bob Weinstein .... executive producer
Harvey Weinstein .... executive producer

Original music by John Debney, Robert Rodriguez and Danny Elfman (theme music)

Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro and Robert Rodriguez

Film Editing by Robert Rodriguez

MPAA: Rated PG for action sequences and brief rude humor.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

Trailers, Photos -click here
CD Info

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
Robert Rodriguez, John Debney

No Poster available  as Aug 12, 2002
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Book infoSpy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (Spy Kids)
by Kiki Thorpe

Top Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez are on a new hot assignment from the OSS. Someone has stolen the government’s secret Transmooker device, and the Cortezes are off to a deserted island to get it back.

Their spy gadgets don’t work on the mysterious island, and the Cortez kids have to deal with their rival OSS Spy Kid agents, sneaky Gary and Gerti Giggles. They need their spy brainpower more than ever. And fast! They have to stop the device from being activated or the world as we know it will end.

Carmen and Juni have no time to lose, and they’re not about to let the Giggleses get in their way!


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Click to enlargeSUPERAGENTS INVOLVED: Cortez Family, every single one of them, including Gregorio, Ingrid, Carmen, Juni and Grandparents

BRIEF: The world is in trouble again and no one can save it except the Cortezes, but only if they all work together.

Click to enlargeANALYSIS: Sure, Carmen and Juni got their parents out of a big jam on their last assignment. And they’ve got awesome spy genetics. But are they ready for the biggest adventure of their lives – for far wilder inventions, even cooler gadgets and much higher stakes? The world’s fate rests on their shoulders, which are only slightly larger than last year. We can only be sure of one thing: this mission will test every spy in the family.

The family espionage adventure returns with SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS, an all-new episode in the lives of the super-spy Cortez family. When last we saw them, the Cortez kids had just joined the “family business” in order to win back their kidnapped parents. Using a mind-boggling assortment of spy gadgets, gizmos and their own considerably clever smarts, they saved the day and proved that kids can be heroes too. Now, Carmen and Juni are Level 2 OSS agents, about to set off on their own solo mission, or so they think. But this time it will take the whole family -- and then some -- to keep the world safe from a mysterious volcanic island populated by a mad scientist and his imaginative menagerie of creatures, an island where none of their gadgets work and they have to rely on their wits . . . and each other to save the day.

Writer, director, producer, editor, production designer, director of photography, re-recording mixer, and composer Robert Rodriguez has created an even bigger and bolder adventure for the Cortez family, jam-packed with even more fun characters, more fantastical, retro-cool inventions and more far-flung creations. SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS is Rodriguez’s ode to the very spirit of exploration, as his young spies set sail in a super-automated Dragon Spy Sub for lands unknown bringing along enough spy paraphernalia – from satellite-linked watches to rocket-powered hover-shoes -- to make James Bond’s Q green with envy. They enter a fairy tale world of Magna Men and mischievously mutated animals, and they find themselves in an all-out rivalry with another pair of Spy Kids. But they also find something else: the spirit of cooperation across generations.

Click to enlargeSays Rodriguez: “I called this film ‘THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS because I took every dream or imaginative thought I ever had as a kid – the gadgets I wished I could have, the fantastic places I wished I could travel – and the dreams all kids have for adventure and mystery and threw them all into this movie.”

For this second outing into the terrain where the family film meets international intrigue, Rodriguez added a new twist: a mysterious volcanic island filled with such oddities as hilariously hybridized animals and swashbuckling skeletons, where gadgets just don’t work, at least not at first. “Seeing how my own children have become so technologically savvy at an early age, I wanted to overload the Spy kids with gadgets and technology, of which they’ve become overly dependent on. So when they get to this mysterious island, their gadgets don’t work and they have rely on their creativity,” explains Rodriguez. “But of course, by the end their gadgets work again and then we really get to have fun by combining creativity and technology.”

Click to enlargeAlong with such pop-spy classics as “James Bond” and thrilling family adventures as “Willy Wonka” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” this time Rodriguez was also influenced by the imaginative fantasy worlds created by Ray Harryhausen in such films as “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Clash of the Titans.” “My earliest cinema memories come from watching films about mysterious islands with fantastical creatures running around,” admits Rodriguez. Click to enlarge“And this was a chance to update that genre with all the spy gadgets and fun family dynamics of SPY KIDS that families of today can enjoy together the way my family did growing up. It’s a hybrid of ideas – sort of all my dream projects in one. And the fun part is that it always takes the Spy Kids and the audience someplace unexpected.”

In designing SPY KIDS 2, Rodriguez blew past all perceived limits and gave free reign to his gadget-loving, adventure-craving, kid-like imagination. Abandoning all traditional moviemaking techniques, including film, Rodriguez shot in a fast and furious new style, using 2 custom “hot-rodded” hi-definition cameras, and then bringing the whole movie back home to his garage where he edited, worked on effects, and recorded and mixed the final sound. Rodriguez put the priority on bringing his often magical, sometimes mythical, always eye-popping creative vision to life. Like an old-fashioned auteur, he brings his high-energy sense of storytelling fun to every aspect of the moviemaking process. He also brought his passionate feelings about the vital nature of families – and how much they mean to kids – once again to the fore. “I felt that since this was a sequel, in a summer filled with sequels, I wanted the movie to feel special. I decided to make it like you would a giant home movie. The home cooked meal is always best. I involved my family in every aspect of the moviemaking process and wanted to have an extremely hands on approach to the making of it. I’m hoping the audience will notice the difference, an imaginative and hands on link from a moviemaker’s imagination to the audience’s. Doing all these different key jobs is also the most fun you can have in the movie world, and I wanted to be as free as a creative kid making a giant finger-painting.”

“This film is even more based on family – and we meet more of the Cortez family -- because to me the Spy Kids idea is always about showing how exciting and adventurous having a great family life can be,” says Rodriguez. “We created even more action and adventure for this sequel but at the core it remains very much about the mission of family life. That’s where the magic happens. To me, what makes the movie worthwhile for me to make, and for families to spend their time sitting and watching it together, is that it’s not a movie about spies that happen to be in the same family. It’s about a family, that just happen to be spies.”

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Click to enlargeOne has to hand it to Robert Rodriguez. He wrote, directed, produced, did the cinematography, and even edited this film. He has come up with what may be a successful film series. The first Spy Kids was very innovative. Robert Rodriguez launched a film series with strong Latin-American connections, one that utilizes many actors and technicians of Mexican-American dissent. It is most refreshing.

I must say that I was not as moved by this film as I was by the original. This film didn't have the spark that the first one did. Nonetheless, the theater was packed.

Click to enlargeThe plot line of this film is typical of family films today: The salvation of the family means the salvation of the world. This same theme can be found in Austin Powers Gold Member, and in Master of Disguise, motion pictures that opened up at about the same time as this film. In this episode the spy kids end up on the Island of Dreams. They need to defeat the corrupt villain in order to save the world from destruction. The story boils down to a very practical and understandable scenario. The evil one needs to destroy the spy kids’ family in order to control the world. The family, once it unites, defeats the enemy. The idea of this film, as with some many others of this kind, suggests that the safety and salvation of the world is directly related to the safety and salvation of the family.

I think it would be wonderful if a family film avoided this theme. It has been overdone. It's almost as if Hollywood believes that a "family film" needs to be about a family coming back together again. Hollywood certainly stresses the importance of family despite the opinion of certain critics to the contrary. The industry does produce strong family films.

Click to enlargeThere are some very interesting things to note about this film in that it reflects certain changes that have occurred in our postmodern culture:

  • It is the girls, not the boys, who seem to control each situation.
  • There are few distinguishing differences between how girls and boys dress.
  • The children are technically literate.
  • They believe that they can fully accomplish what they set out to do.
  • They do not depend on parental help, government assistance, or even on a group of friends.
  • The children are very connected to their parents and yet they are independent.
  • High value is placed on friendship, to the point that the betrayal of friendship is seen as high crime.
  • Finally, the film is filled with a mix of reality and fantasy. It certainly flows in the same mythical postmodern stream as Harry Potter, the Beatle's Magical Mystery Tour and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Click to enlargeThere is a new era emerging out of the postmodern world that is also reflected in this film. It is the emergence of the Creative era, which can be seen in the following:

  • The making of this film reflects a coalition of several ethnic groups.
  • It celebrates the creativity of the individual, Robert Rodriguez.
  • It is interested not only in what computers and technology can do, but also what a low-tech rubber band can do.
  • The kids are placed on the island where their technology does not work so that they need to rely on their own creativity to survive.
  • They discover a creative genius, like themselves: a man who has genetically engineered new kinds of animals.

In many ways this film chronicles the transition between the Postmodern and Creative eras.

Click to enlargeI must say that I missed seeing any strong spiritual connections in this film. As I have stated in earlier reviews, I do not necessarily equate family issues with spiritual issues. It is a good family film, but it has little spirituality, even though the Mexican-American culture is rich in Catholic imagery, signs and symbols. I truly missed that element here. Certainly being trapped on an island with frightening beasts would have prompted even the most devout atheist to pray. And what parent would not utter a prayer if their children were missing?

What is Robert Rodriguez afraid of?
Surely the salvation of the world involves more than just keeping families intact.

—SK2 Review
—SK2 Trailers, Photos
—SK2 About this Film
—SK2 Spiritual Connections
—SK2 Forum

Spy Kids (original)
—SK3 Review
—SK3 Trailers, Photos
—SK3 About this Film
—SK3 Spiritual Connections
—SK3 Forum

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