- 1 hr 29 min
Shorts is a 2008 fantasy comedy-adventure film directed by Robert Rodriguez. The movie is set in the suburb of Black Falls, where everyone works for Black Box Corporation and the company is the center of the community's life. The story follows Toe Thompson (Jimmy Bennett), a young boy who discovers a magical rainbow-colored rock that grants wishes when he accidentally hits it with a rock. The rock falls into the hands of various children in the neighborhood and creates a series of adventures with each wish.
The movie is presented in a non-linear storytelling format, with each section of the story focusing on a different character and their encounter with the wishing rock. Each section is introduced with a different color scheme and animation style, adding to the whimsical and fantastical nature of the film.
Toe is the central character who establishes the narrative through his narration, telling the story of the rock's path through the hands of various children in the neighborhood. One of the children who finds the rock is Loogie (Trevor Gagnon), a boy who is constantly bullied by the two smallest members of the Black family whose father (James Spader) is the CEO of Black Box Corporation. He wishes for himself to become the biggest kid in school and is transformed into a giant, which sets off a series of comic mishaps and misadventures.
Another character that interacts with the magic rock is Nose Noseworthy (Jake Short), whose family is in charge of the town's garbage collection. Nose's little brother wishes for a mountain of ice cream, which brings an ice cream storm to the town, and everyone struggles to survive the sweetness. Then, the magical rock ends up in the hands of the Black family's daughter, Helvetica (Jolie Vanier), who wishes for her own magical change.
As the rock passes from one character to another, hilarious and surprising situations arise, each time bringing new excitement, twists, and turns to the story. The rock changes hands from the box's CEO to the kids, and it seems that it attracts the attention of the space creatures who wanted to wish something for themselves as well.
The acting performances from the young cast and the veterans are all excellent, and each character in the film is distinct and memorable, even those with smaller roles. The movie manages to present a cohesive storyline despite its fragmented, episodic structure.
The special effects in Shorts are impeccable, and the animation is rendered beautifully, creating a distinctive visual style with its vibrant colors palette. The movie uses its visual style in well-coordinated service of the entire film, offering a classic Rodriquez-style surrealism.
The film also delivers a few understated messages about community, individuality, and the nature of contentment. The characters learn that their wishes have unintended consequences, and that there are consequences to their selfishness. Ultimately, they come together to resolve their conflicts and learn to live within their means. Itâs a lesson that can be appreciated by children and adults alike.
Overall, Shorts is an enjoyable and fun family movie that blends comedy, adventure, and fantasy in a unique and engaging way. Itâs a classic Rodriquez-sheen presentation that uses the latest technologies of VFX and non-linear storytelling, and it all culminates into a fresh and exciting experience.
Shorts is a 2009 kids & family movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.7 and a MetaScore of 53.