main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
aka: The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, also known as Sharkboy and Lavagirl is a 2005 motion picture of action, adventure and fantasy by Robert Rodriguez, the writer, producer and director of Spy Kids. The film uses the same anaglyph 3D technology used in Spy Kids 3D: Game Over. The film stars Cayden Boyd, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, and George Lopez. Many of the concepts and much of the story were conceived by Rodriguez' kids.

Dreamer Max, ridiculed by his classmates, conjures up his perfect dreamworld... the Planet Drool. But his dream is more powerful than even he suspects, and his favorite dream super-heroes, Sharkboy and Lavagirl, materialize on Earth. They need help from Max. All is not well in Max's dreamworld. An alien intelligence is interfering and darkness threatens his beloved Planet Drool. Is it true, as Sharkboy and Lavagirl say, that only Max, the powerful dreamer, can stop it? Max takes off on a wild and dangerous journey to the fantastic Planet Drool with Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Can they discover the source of the danger? Will they be able to stop it in time?


  • 3D Movie: Select parts of the film.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Lavagirl calls Sharkboy "Sharky" and Sharkboy calls Lavagirl "LG".
  • Agent Scully: Max's parents don't believe Sharkboy and Lavagirl ate the cookies despite the shark bitemarks and the melted glass.
  • An Aesop: The movie sets up for a "you need to solve your problems in the real world" aesop (i.e., the protagonist has a problem, goes to a fantasy world, learns how to fix their problem, goes back to the real world and applies their newly learned lessons without the aid of their fantasy friends). The real aesop, however, can be found under "Stock Aesops".
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: Sharkboy tries to do this to Lavagirl on the ice bridge. It doesn't work.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sharkboy and Lavagirl are repeatedly implied to have a crush on one another but it really shows when Lavagirl jumps into the ocean to save Sharkboy, knowing full well that this will kill her. Not to mention the fact that Sharkboy and Lavagirl kiss at the end of the film.
  • Bad Butt: Minus. On Planet Drool, where dreams become reality, he has a lot of potential for cruelty, but it is deliberately scaled back so the heroes aren't in too much danger since they are always given an opportunity to save themselves.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Happiness of others is considered torture.
  • Berserk Button: Sharkboy cannot handle high pitched sounds very well. He also tries to rip Mr. Electric apart upon discovering that Mr. Electric has killed a bunch of fish.
  • Big Bad: Minus.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Mr Electricidad's name. Probably part of the director's Patriotic Fervor.
  • Break the Cutie: Max is a victim of this.
  • Bridal Carry: Sharkboy carries Lavagirl this way when taking her to a volcano to bring her back to life.
  • The Cameo: Rocket, Racer, and Rebel Rodriguez all show up in the movie. Rocket plays one of Linus's friends, and Racer and Rebel play the younger versions of Sharkboy.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Max's dreams exist until they see it for themselves.
  • Chekhov's Gun: If you were to take a shot for every line in the beginning of the film that became significant when Max went to Planet Drool, you'd be smashed in no time. A couple of examples: "One more and we'll have to change your name to Minus", and Marissa creating the comic book about Ice Girl.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Max is this to everyone else.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The glasses for the spaceship: blue for the boys, pink for the girls. Unless you're Max... then you get stuck with a pink pair.
  • Conspicuous CGI: A hefty majority of the movie has incredibly obvious and often times gaudy CG models and backgrounds.
  • Cute Bruiser: Lavagirl can lift desks with one hand.
    • That may be because of the wind from the tornado though, considering the teacher does the same thing later on.
    • It actually almost appears to be lampshading it, too, if you see said teacher's reaction to it.
  • Disney Death/Heroic Sacrifice: Lavagirl leaps into the ocean to save Sharkboy, even though, because she is made of fire, it will kill her.
  • The Ditz: Lavagirl.
  • Dull Surprise: Jacob Davich as Linus/Minus gives a fairly wooden performance. Though it could be intentional due to how cynical and depressed Linus is.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Most obviously invoked when the scene during which the Ice Princess hands over her crystal heart is treated like a marriage ceremony. Much more subtly, however, is that Mr. Electricidad treats Max — a fourth-grader — like he's trying to put the moves on his daughter.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Mr. Electric's tendency to explain his electric-related puns.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Mr. Electric.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: A rapid-flash version early in the movie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Max has to see his two greatest dreams "die" in order for him to make things right.
  • Exact Words: Sharkboy's father really is at the bottom of the sea... in a submarine looking for Sharkboy.
  • Elemental Powers: Water and fire, naturally.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Mr. Electric used to supply Planet Drool with power, but he got so fed up with all the happiness that he decided to destroy everything.
  • Faux Action Girl: Much is made of Lavagirl's destructive power, but she fails to hurt Mr. Electric, does nothing to any of his minions, and spends most of her time in the Ice Castle frozen where it would have made the most sense for her fire to come into play.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Lavagirl's Fire vs Ice Princess' Ice vs Electricidad's Lightning.
  • Follow the Leader: In-universe example: after Max tells his story about Sharkboy and Lavagirl to the class, the next day they all have their own set of boy-girl superheroes (e.g., Metalboy and Plasticgirl).
  • Foreshadowing: Mr. Electricidad says they might have to change Linus's name to "Minus," the name that belongs to his Planet Drool alter-ego.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Cleverly invoked when they realize Sharkboy's vehicle has no gas. Lavagirl looks at the chocolate coming out of the tailpipe, and says "fudge" with the inflection and facial expression of its R-rated counterpart.
  • Groin Attack: During the chase scene at the playground, Max slips on a jungle gym and ends up straddling a rope by his groin.
  • Grumpy Bear: Sharkboy, who is angry about being unable to find his father, the frozen waters, and not being made King of the Ocean.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Sharkboy rips things to shreds with his claws and teeth while Lavagirl shoots flames from her hand.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set Sharkboy off.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Sharkboy.
  • The Heavy: Mr. Electric, again.
  • Hulking Out: When Sharkboy goes into a "shark frenzy," he gains his eponymous teeth.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Mr. Electric, number one source of shockingly terrible jokes. It might as well be considered a thunderstorm of puns.
    • A lot of the puns in this movie are dream/mind based too.
  • An Ice Person: The Ice Princess.
  • Idiot Ball: Lavagirl keeps forgetting she can't touch things without burning or melting them and ends up destroying the dream journal this way.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: All over the place.
  • Informed Ability: It's said that Lavagirl destroys everything she touches, but the only thing she actually destroys in the film is Max's journal. She can even touch ice without it melting.
    • She melted the ice bridge. She melted a glass full of milk. She left burned footprints on the lawn and burned several student's schoolwork. Sharkboy can't even touch her without burning himself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sharkboy.
  • Level Ate: The Land of Milk and Cookies, complete with giant cookies and milk river.
  • Magma Man / Playing with Fire: Take a guess.
  • Making a Splash: Sharkboy can shoot water from his hands.
  • Mr. Imagination: Max.
  • Meaningful Echo: "We're not compatible!"
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Sharkboy who was taught as a kid by sharks to always follow his instincts even when they might lead him into peril. He even says at one point that he can't fight his instincts.
  • Mythology Gag: It wouldn't be a Robert Rodriguez movie otherwise. We see Big Kahuna Burger and the logo for Troublemaker Studios.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Linus is the first to fight Mr. Electric after his Heel-Face Turn and return to Earth and is promptly shocked for it.
  • One Steve Limit: Strangely averted in the cast: both Sharkboy and Lavagirl were played by actors named Taylor.
  • Opposites Attract: Lavagirl and Sharkboy. Lavagirl lampshades this.
    LG: We're not compatible!
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Zig-zagged.
  • Painting the Medium: The spaceship scene was blatantly designed for Lavagirl to instruct the audience to put on their 3D glasses from within the movie. A cheap set of glasses were even packaged with the DVD. The scene is, however, somewhat out of place if you don't have any or are watching the movie on television.
  • Plot Hole: When they get to the Land of Milk and Cookies, Sharkboy says he hates chocolate. So why did he eat the cookies Max's mom made?
    • He didn't eat the full cookie...
  • Quest for Identity: Throughout the movie, Lavagirl keeps trying to find out who she really is and what her purpose is. It turns out that she is not destruction or fire but light.
  • Reality Warper: Max. And Minus.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The eponymous characters, though not color coded as one would think. Sharkboy tends to be the more angry and emotive one while Lavagirl tends to be the more passive one.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Minus, aka Linus.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Tobor.
  • Shark Man: Shark Boy, of course.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: When Sharkboy is singing Max to sleep, he either does this to himself, or just actually calls Max a "bleep".
  • Spit Take: The movie apparently adores this trope. Several moments in the movie people are spitting stuff out, from chocolate chip cookies to lava rocks, although most are to show off the 3-D effects.
  • Stepford Smiler: Lavagirl is a Type A. It's hard being upbeat when everything you touch literally goes up in smoke.
  • Stock Aesops: Of the "follow your dreams" variety, but presented as "dream a better dream".
  • Team Mom: Lavagirl.
  • This Means Warpaint: While traveling through the Land of Milk and Cookies, Max spreads blue and pink frosting across his cheeks before charging at plughounds.
  • Trickster: The Ice Princess' test for Max (and the fact that she doesn't tell him that only she can use the crystal heart before she gives it to him) reveals her as one.
    • Though that just implied however.
  • Tron Lines / Volcanic Veins: Lavagirl, of course.
  • Unknown Rival: The Ice Princess for Lavagirl. The two girls never even share a scene but Lavagirl hates her because of her theme being ice.
  • Visual Pun: All over the place.
  • With Catlike Tread: Sharkboy's 'lullaby'. With kung fu!
  • Write Who You Know: In-universe example as most of the dream inhabitants are based off of people Max knows in real life.
  • You Gotta Have Pink Hair: Lavagirl.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Apparently, everything Max dreams is "correct"...
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: "Shark frenzy!"

Adams ApplesFilms of 2005 - 2009 Ĉon Flux

alternative title(s): The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy