The Origin Of The Thumb-Thumbs And Other Awesome ‘Spy Kids’ Facts

Life & Culture Writer

It has been 15 years since acclaimed director Robert Rodriguez brought audiences the best children’s espionage movie ever made: Spy Kids. Take that, Agent Cody Banks! The film is a visual delight, blending the magic of Willy Wonka with the action of James Bond. It really has it all, from slick gadgets to jokes about peeing and pooping.

Boasting an all-star cast, including Antonio Banderas, Tony Shaloub, Terri Hatcher, Alan Cumming, and Robert Patrick, the film was lauded for highlighting a Latino family and featuring strong female characters, things traditionally overlooked in family fare and action films. For audiences, it provided a touchstone that connected everyone who was part of the 7 to 12 year old age range in 2001. To celebrate the film’s anniversary and to get that Floop song stuck in your head, let’s take a look at some fascinating facts about a film that Robert Rodriguez built from his boyhood fantasies.

The thumb-thumbs were based on drawings from Rodriguez’s childhood.

Those brutally strong and woefully clumsy henchmen made of thumbs are literally from Rodriguez’s childhood because they are based on drawings he did at the age of 11. Ever imaginative, his favorite movie as a child was Escape from Witch Mountain; Rodriguez admits drawing from both that film and from Willy Wonka and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when developing the fantastic world of Spy Kids.

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