Image for Shorts

A young boy discovers a rock which grants wishes. So far, so awesome, however the joy is spoiled when calculating children and trouble-making adults all make a play for the power of the rock.


Another for-the-kids morality-tale squashed between grot-fests by one-man filmmaking mariachi Robert Rodriguez: he writes, directs, does the score, oversees the FX and surely never sleeps. And it’s a distinct improvement on his last two junior efforts, lumpy 3-D glitter Spy Kids 3 and Sharkboy.

Told in non-linear vignettes (‘shorts’), it follows the zany adventures of Toe Thompson (Jimmy Bennett), a bullied teen who happens upon a rock that grants wishes. And amid the flurry of Jumanji-ish CG bogeymen, crocs and dung beetles, he learns that getting what you wished for has its own cost. For all its digital spin (which can be a little wearing), the movie has an appealingly old-fashioned feel.

Despite the usual Rodriguez abundance of effects, there is a pleasingly traditional feel to this tale.