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Shorts (2009)

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A young boy's discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes chaos in the suburban town of Black Falls when jealous kids and scheming adults alike set out to get their hands on it.


Robert Rodriguez


Robert Rodriguez, Álvaro Rodríguez (additional material)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Bennett ... Toe Thompson
Jake Short ... Nose Noseworthy
Kat Dennings ... Stacey Thompson
Trevor Gagnon ... Loogie
Devon Gearhart ... Cole Black
Jolie Vanier ... Helvetica Black
Rebel Rodriguez ... Lug
Leo Howard ... Laser
Leslie Mann ... Mom Thompson
Jon Cryer ... Dad Thompson
William H. Macy ... Dr. Noseworthy
James Spader ... Mr. Black
Angela Lanza ... Teacher
Alejandro Rose-Garcia ... John / Boyfriend
Cambell Westmoreland Cambell Westmoreland ... Blinker #1


A young boy's discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes chaos in the suburban town of Black Falls when jealous kids and scheming adults alike set out to get their hands on it.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not So TALL Tales From The Director Of 'Spy Kids'


Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

21 August 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,410,339, 21 August 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$20,916,309, 13 December 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


DITRADE(Robert Rodriguez): [fictional brand names]: Toby is seen eating Great White Bites cereal, also seen in Rodriguez' Planet Terror (2007). See more »


During the initial classroom scene when the teacher is conducting an experiment with catalysts, the "blink contest" girl blinks in a brief moment wherein the aliens are circling the bottoms of the classroom desks, ruining her record. See more »


Helvetica Black: Shall we do this?
Toe Thompson: I just realized something. I know why you have them beat up on me everyday.
Helvetica Black: 'Cause I hate you?
Toe Thompson: Because you love me. That's right isn't it? We're both outsiders, We're both ignored, we both have railroad tracks for braces. we're lonely and boring and always getting in trouble because we have nothing else better to do.So, you're head-over-heels in love with me and that makes you furious! Am I right?
Helvetica Black: How about... NO!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Asides from the Warner Bros. Pictures, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, Media Rights Capital and Troublemaker Studios logos, there are no opening credits after the title has been shown. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2016) See more »


Spy Ballet
Written by Robert Rodriguez
Courtesy of MRX Music Corp. (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Target Demographic: 6-10 (possibly slow 11-year-olds)
23 August 2009 | by RichardSRussell-1See all my reviews

Shorts (PG, 1:29) — Fantasy: Fairy Tales, 3rd string, original

You might think that "Shorts" refers to the size of the heroes in this film, but in fact it's an allusion to the movie's structure, purporting to be a collection of short films recorded over a 2-day period but shown out of sequence, thus: 0: The Blinkers 2: Alien8ed 1: Wishing Rock 4: Big Bad Booger 3: The Miscommunicators 5: The End

The narrator is Toby "Toe" Thompson (Jimmy Bennett), a geeky kid with braces who's the butt of the bullying inflicted by his school's 2 rich kids, Helvetica and Cole Black, dotter and son of leading citizen Carbon Black (James Spader), whose company, Black Box Worldwide Inc., essentially owns the town of Black Falls.

One day Toe discovers a rainbow-colored rock that keeps whispering "make a wish" to him. Turns out the rock has the power to make those wishes come true. Toe starts out wishing for friends just as interesting and unique as he is and is rewarded by a double brace of tiny flying saucers crewed by LGMs who can use advanced tech to make many of his fondest dreams a reality.

The stone keeps getting misplaced, stolen, thrown away, picked up by accident, or launched at random, however, which means that almost every other character gets a chance to use it at one time or another, invariably with unforeseen consequences. This includes Toe's nabors, the Short boys (Laser, Lug, and notably Loogie), even geekier recluse Nose Noseworthy and his germophobic scientist dad, Toe's parents, and of course the Blacks.

This is all played very, very broadly for yuks. We are tipped off early that none of the cartoonish violence will have permanent effect when Loogie dives straight into the mouth of a huge crocodile to try to retrieve the wishing rock and gets koffed up moments later, slathered with half-digested croc lunch but otherwise unharmed.

There are more than just booger jokes, there's a giant animated booger. (Mercifully, there are no pee or fart jokes and only 1 fast visual gag involving pterodactyl poop. Thank you, Robert Rodriguez.)

The kids aren't very good actors, the jokes are corny, the special effects aren't particularly special, and the make-up is obviously fake (probably intentionally). None of this matters much, since it isn't intended to be taken seriously anyway.

Do all these shortcomings add up to a total loser? Not really. It's good-hearted as well as light-hearted, and the moral (be careful what you wish for) is something worth learning at about the age of the target audience. Plus which, not only does it not repeat itself, most of the ideas and gimmicks are original, and the dialog is occasionally witty.

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