Spy Kids Wiki

"Huge New Adventure* *Slightly Larger Spies"
—tagline, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (known in-film as Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams) is a 2002 American spy adventure comedy film written, edited, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, produced by Elizabeth Avellán, and Rodriguez, and starring Antonio BanderasCarla GuginoAlexa VegaDaryl SabaraMike JudgeRicardo MontalbánHolland TaylorChristopher McDonaldDanny TrejoCheech MarinSteve BuscemiTaylor MomsenMatt O'Leary, and Emily Osment.

The second installment in the Spy Kids film series, which began with 2001's Spy Kids, the film was theatrically released on August 7, 2002 by Dimension Films.[1] Upon release, Spy Kids 2 received mostly positive reviews from critics[2] and grossed over $119 million worldwide.[3]


The OSS now has a full child spy section, of which Carmen Cortez and Juni Cortez have become agents. Even though they were the first of the new Spy Kids Division, they are not considered the top Spy Kids, and soon they face particularly difficult competition with Gary and Gerti Giggles, the children of OSS agent Donnagon Giggles, whom Carmen and Juni helped to rescue on their first mission. It is shown that Carmen defends Gary, and has a crush on him, which strains her relationship with Juni.

An incident at a Troublemaker Theme Park owned by Dinky Winks unravels when the President's daughter Alexandra deliberately sabotages a thrill ride which juggles its passengers, forcing the Giggles and the Cortez kids to compete in the rescue. At the OSS awards banquet, Donnagon hacks into the TelePrompTer which the President was reading from, and is named director of the OSS instead of Gregorio Cortez. A fight ensues when a group of Magna Men arrive and render all adults unconscious. They are after the "Transmooker", a highly coveted device which can shut off all electronic and magnetic devices. Juni recovers it, but drops it when Gary tries to take it from him. Gary then blames Juni for the loss, resulting in Juni being fired.

The next morning, Carmen manages to hack into the database, and reinstates Juni as an agent. She and Juni use some hints from Alexander Minion, and follow the trail to a mysterious island off the coast of Madagascar, where all electronics refuse to work. Gary and Gerti meanwhile are sent to the Gobi Desert, where they fall into camel poop, whereupon they swear revenge.

Shortly after arriving, Carmen and Juni meet Dr. Romero, the sole human inhabitant of the Island of Leeke Leeke and a lunatic scientist who has been attempting to create genetically-miniaturized animals, so he can make a profit by selling the animals to kids in "miniature zoos." He had an experiment go wrong after accidentally pouring growth serum onto the mutated set of animals, as a result, he is unwilling to leave his lab, out of fear of being eaten.

When Carmen is captured by a Spork, a flying pig mutant, she is dropped into its nest with Gerti, who reveals to her that Gary is not what he seems to be. Carmen changes her feelings for Gary after he tries to kill Juni, and she sides with her brother. Meanwhile, Romero, having been encouraged by Juni, finds out that his creatures are much friendlier than he thought. Carmen and Juni eventually find and recover the Transmooker, and are surprised when their family, having been informed of their disappearance, joins them. Donnagon then confronts the group, takes the Transmooker and attempts to use it to destroy the Cortez family, but it malfunctions. Gerti reveals she sabotaged it and threatens Donnagon with telling everything to her mother.

The President and his staff arrive on the island. Donnagon is fired by the President and his daughter, Gary is temporarily disavowed, and Alexandra appoints Gregorio as director of the OSS on her father's behalf. Even though he is offered a promotion, Juni resigns due to the impersonal treatment he had received by the OSS after being framed. As the Cortez family leaves the island, Romero gives Juni a miniature spider-monkey as a gift, and all the island's inhabitants bid farewell to the Cortez family.

During the credits, Machete hosts a concert featuring Carmen (with a microphone which auto-tunes her voice, and a belt that helps her dance), and Juni (with a guitar that plays itself), but realizes too late that he never put any batteries in them before they went onstage. Meanwhile, Dinky Winks paddles to Romero's island to strike up a business deal.



Spy Kids 2 was filmed entirely on High Definition digital video. After seeing George Lucas using digital video for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Rodriguez tested the technology during re-shoots for the first Spy Kids film. Rodriguez used the cameras unfiltered.[4] Principal photography took place from October 2001 to March 2002.

Filming sites[]

  • Arenal Lake, Costa Rica
  • Austin, Texas, USA
  • Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA
  • Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA
  • Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA[5]

Special effects[]

Despite the fact that this film uses over twice the amount of special effects shots than the first film, Rodriguez did not ask the producers for a larger budget; he said "...I told the studio I don't want more money. I just want to be more creative".[6] Rodriguez picked some visual effects companies who were eager and less established, as well as starting up his own Troublemaker Studios, and reemploying Hybride, who had worked with him on the first film.[7] Gregor Punchatz, the film's lead animator, employed a certain technique to make the movements of the computer generated creatures resemble the stop-motion work of filmmaker Ray Harryhausen,[6] who has a cameo in the film.[8] The scene with the army of live skeletons was shot on a real rock formation, with the two young actors on safety wires, and the computer generated skeletons added later to over three dozen shots.[9]


Spy Kids 2 Soundtrack

Soundtrack album by Various artists

The film score was co-written by Robert Rodriguez and composer John Debney, who had also co-written the score for Spy Kids. The sound is a mix of rock, pop and indie rock, and includes songs performed by Alan Cumming and Alexa PenaVega. Unusually, the orchestral score for the film was recorded in the auditorium of a local high school in Georgetown High School, Austin.[10]

  • "The Juggler"
  • "Spy Ballet"
  • "Magna Men"
  • "Treehouse"
  • "R.A.L.P.H."
  • "Floop's Dream"
  • "Escape from DragonSpy"
  • "SpyParents"
  • "Island of Lost Dreams"
  • "Donnagon's Big Office"/"The Giggles"
  • "Mysterious Volcano Island"
  • "Romero's Zoo Too"
  • "Mothership"/"SpyGrandparents"
  • "Magna Racers"
  • "Aztec Treasure Room"
  • "Skeletons"
  • "Creature Battle"
  • "Romero's Creatures"/"SpyBeach"
  • "SpyDad vs. SpyDad"/"Romero's Gift"
  • "Isle of Dreams"

Additional music not on the soundtrack album includes "Oye Como Spy", which is an adaptation of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va", performed by Los Lobos (the song is on the soundtrack album from the first Spy Kids film).


Home Media[]

Spy Kids 2 Blu-ray

The Blu-Ray cover

The film was released on Video and DVD in the United States on February 18, 2003 by Dimension Home Video.

On August 2, 2011, the film was rereleased on Blu-ray for the tenth anniversary of the franchise and to coincide with the fourth film, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.[11]


Box Office[]

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams opened theatrically on August 7, 2002 in 3,307 venues and earned $16,711,716 in its first weekend, ranking third in the North American box office behind XXX and the second weekend of Signs.[12] The film ended its run on January 12, 2003, having grossed $85,846,429 in the United States and Canada, and $33,876,929 overseas for a worldwide total of $119,723,358.[3]

Critical response[]

The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has a 75% "Certified Fresh" approval score based on 136 reviews, with an average rating of 6.60/10, while audiences scored at 39% based on over 100,000 ratings, with an average rating of 3/5. The site's critical consensus reads: "Though the concept is no longer fresh, Spy Kids 2 is still an agreeable and energetic romp."[2] Metacritic reports a 66 out of 100 rating based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and commented, "With "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams," the Spy Kids franchise establishes itself as a durable part of the movie landscape: a James Bond series for kids.[14] Kenneth Turan of the New York Times gave it 4 out of 5 stars said, "The movie is a gaudy, noisy thrill ride -- hyperactive, slightly out of control and full of kinetic, mischievous charm."[15] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "The antics are a tad more frantic, and the gizmos work overtime, as if ... Robert Rodriguez felt the hot breath of el diablo on his neck. On the other hand, the inventiveness is still superior and the network of friends and family is extended."[16] Michael Wilmington of Metromix Chicago, noting how Rodriguez borrows many elements from television and earlier films, stated that, "Rodriguez recycles and refurbishes all these old movie bits with the opportunistic energy of a man looting his old attic toy chest -- but he also puts some personal feeling into the movie. This is a film about families staying together, children asserting themselves and even, to some degree, Latino power".[17]


  • One of the gold items Carmen picks up and tosses away in the treasure chamber is the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Robert Rodriguez didn't ask George Lucas to use the idol because he knows Lucas and knows he won't get too mad.[6]
  • According to Rodriguez, the theme park at the beginning of the film was originally going to be Disneyland, but Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington was used instead after Disney refused permission to film in their park.
  • The scene where Gregorio has a hard time combing back Juni's hair is very similar to a scene from "The Misbehaviors" segment, also written and directed by Rodriguez, in the 1995 anthology film Four Rooms.
  • All the rides in Spy Kids 2 that are mentioned by name are computer animated. The Whippersnapper is the Oil Derrick and the NerveWracker was the Dive Bomber Alley at Six Flags Over Texas with computer animated movements, while the Vomiter and Juggler were both completely animated.
  • Spy Kids 2 is the second major motion picture shot entirely on digital video instead of film. The first was Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, both of which were released in the same year. After seeing Lucas using digital video for Star Wars: Episode II, Rodriguez tested the technology during reshoots for the first Spy Kids film.[4]
  • When developing Carmen and Juni further in the sequel, Rodriguez knew they would go "beyond the antagonistic relationship, and they would be working together more", basing it on his relations with his siblings.[18]
  • The reason why Spy Kids 2 has the subtitle "The Island of Lost Dreams" is because grownups like Rodriguez would reminisce on gadgets and toys they wished they had as kids such as the Spy Copter and the treehouse, eventually becoming 'lost dreams' as they grow up.[4][19]
  • Regarding Romero's God quote and its popularity on the internet, Rodriguez stated on a Decider interview "I was trying to make sense of why he would hide, and it just came to me. I gave him that line. I remember he read it in a certain way, and I was like, “Can you give me a haunted look from this take and give me the line reading from this?” He did it again, he just gave me exactly what I asked for. It’s just so haunting and perfect. I literally thought nobody would notice it. But it meant something to me at the time. I thought, “That theory kind of makes sense!” And you normally discover those kinds of things through art when you, yourself, are creating characters. Sometimes you get to get into the mindset of what a creator feels and could be going through. It kind of made sense, what he was trying to say. “Maybe this is why.” It’s so cool to see that people post that. My kids will say every once in a while, “Hey, people still really like this line!” I’m very proud of that line."[20]

Other media[]


Main article: Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Junior Novel

Talk Miramax Books released a novelization of the movie in June/July 2002. The novel was written by children's book author Kiki Thorpe. The posters and end of the credits even say "Read the Talk/Miramax Books", telling the viewers to read the print retelling.


  • Click here to view this page's gallery.


  • A list of the mistakes and continuity errors in this movie can be found here.





Behind the Scenes/Featurettes[]


Deleted Scenes[]

External links[]


  1. https://catalog.afi.com/Film/62577-SPY-KIDS2THEISLANDOFLOSTDREAMS
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/spy_kids_2_island_of_lost_dreams/
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=spykids2.htm
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 https://archive.org/details/CinefantastiqueVol34No5Aug2002/page/n48
  5. http://www.dallasfilmcommission.com/film-tourism/?doing_wp_cron=1498558564.5050749778747558593750
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 https://web.archive.org/web/20080603060037/http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue277/interview.html
  7. http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A99646
  8. http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/The-man-who-made-the-monsters-move-2777782.php
  9. http://www.digitalmediafx.com/Features/spykids2.html
  10. https://www.austinchronicle.com/screens/2002-08-09/99647/
  11. https://web.archive.org/web/20110518113749/http://www.dvdtown.com/news/spy-kids-films-are-headed-for-blu-ray/8727
  12. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2002&wknd=32&p=.htm
  13. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/spy-kids-2-island-of-lost-dreams
  14. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20020807/REVIEWS/208070301
  15. http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D06E1DB113BF934A3575BC0A9649C8B63&partner=Rotten%2520Tomatoes
  16. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,332919,00.html
  17. http://chicago.metromix.com/movies/review/movie-review-spy-kids/158522/content
  18. http://www.christiandivine.com/spykids1.htm
  19. https://moveablefest.com/interview-robert-rodriguez-on-spy-kids-2-the-island-of-lost-dreams/
  20. https://decider.com/2020/12/25/we-can-be-heroes-robert-rodriguez-interview/