Analysis of Spy kids

Summary Spy Kids is a story about a family of spies who face danger and adventure on their missions. The movie follows Carmen and Juni, two siblings who learn about the true identity of their parents and their own destiny as spies. Along the way, they team up with their uncle Izzy and the inventor Floop to overcome their enemies, including the evil mastermind Minion. With the help of their gadgets and skills, the Cortez family works together to rescue their parents and stop Minion from carrying out his dangerous plan.

Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The screenplay has an interesting concept but lacks the execution to make it engaging. The plot is convoluted and confusing at times, and the characters are not well-developed. The dialogue is often cheesy and predictable, which takes away from the serious moments of the story. The climax is also rushed, leaving the audience feeling unsatisfied.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay, there needs to be more focus on character development and less on gadgets and action scenes. The dialogue needs to be more natural and less forced, with more attention to the relationships between the characters. The plot could benefit from being streamlined to make it more cohesive, and the climax should be given more time to build, to give it the necessary emotional impact. Overall, the story needs to be more grounded in reality to make the audience connect with the characters and their world.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:


Juni is the younger sibling who struggles to keep up with his siblings but is brave and loyal when it counts. He is sensitive, insecure, and has a temper he struggles to control. Juni is clever and resourceful, providing comedic relief throughout the scene. He is also curious and observant, trying to piece together the mystery of Argonaut.


Carmen is a curious, sassy, and playful spy kid who is brave, resourceful, smart, and quick-thinking. She is a born leader, fiercely loyal to her family, and values justice and family above all else. She is also strong-willed, determined, sarcastic, and humorous with a soft spot for her brother Juni. She is competent in fighting, strategic planning, and technology. Although she can be impatient and short-tempered at times, she is growing more confident and independent throughout the movie and learning to trust her abilities and rely less on her parents.


Felix is a wise and experienced spy who is also a strict but caring father. He is patient with Juni and tries to teach him valuable lessons. He is a supportive and resourceful mentor who guides the kids in their spy training. Felix has a strong sense of duty to his friends and their children, and is deeply committed to keeping them safe from harm. He is calm and collected under pressure and can be relied upon in even the most dangerous of situations. Felix is also a trustworthy caretaker and friend to the spy family, and is always willing to put himself in harm's way to protect those he cares about.


Mom is a loving and supportive mother who encourages her children to embrace their talents. She is cautious but eager to be back in action as an ex-spy with an empathetic focus on her mission and her family's worries. Throughout the movie, she is a caring figure who tries to comfort and understand her family members.


Dad is a complex and multi-dimensional character who is fiercely dedicated to his family. He is serious and hard-working, with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Despite his initial disapproval of playful banter, he is deeply loving and protective of his children, and will stop at nothing to ensure their safety. His mysterious past as a spy has left him with a deep sense of internal conflict, and even as he is drawn back into the world of espionage, he struggles to reconcile his duty to his family with his own desires for adventure.


Argonaut is a high-tech gadget dog designed to aid the spy kids in their missions. He is loyal to the family and willing to help in any way he can. He is also revealed to be the Third Brain and capable of working a computer. Juni's trusty robotic sidekick and friend.


Floop is a once-successful children's TV show host who turned into a mad scientist driven by his desire to be respected. He is intelligent, manipulative, artistic and has a vulnerable side.


Minion is a complex character that evolves throughout the movie. He starts off as a loyal henchman to Floop, willing to do whatever it takes to help his boss succeed. He is ruthless and cunning, but he also has moments of doubt and regret. As the plot develops, Minion becomes more deceitful and power-hungry. He is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, even if it means turning people into toys for profit. Minion is also a childish villain who underestimates his opponents, but he still poses a real threat to the protagonists. In the climax of the movie, Minion undergoes a transformation into a monstrous villain, adding a lot of tension to the scene.

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Juni Juni starts off as vulnerable and looking up to his siblings. Throughout the movie, he gains confidence and becomes more adventurous, brave, and resourceful. He learns to think before acting and apologize when necessary. Juni proves himself once again by shutting down Floop's virtual room, showing a noticeable character change. The character arc for Juni seems a bit scattered, as the descriptions of his character vary widely throughout the movie. The transition from being vulnerable and looking up to his siblings, to being a brave and resourceful spy kid, could have been shown more clearly and consistently throughout the movie.
To improve the character arc for Juni, it would be helpful to establish clear character traits and motivations for him early on in the movie, and then show how these evolve and change as he gains experience and faces challenges. One way to do this would be to give him a specific goal or mission to accomplish, which would provide a clear through-line for his character development.
Carmen Carmen's character arc involves her moving from being a curious and attentive child to a bold and spunky teenager who is proactive, taking the initiative, and a skilled spy. Throughout the movie, she becomes more confident and independent, learning to trust her abilities and rely less on her parents. She also starts to understand the stakes of the mission and the danger they are in. Her main challenge is learning to trust others, which she overcomes by realizing the importance of teamwork and reminding her parents of the importance of family and staying together. By the end of the movie, she is a proactive, strong-willed, and resourceful spy who is focused on rescuing her parents and taking down the bad guys. Although Carmen's character arc is well-written and shows clear growth in her character, there are several areas for improvement. For instance, her interactions with her brother Juni could be more nuanced, and they could have more moments of conflict and reconciliation to add depth to their relationship. Additionally, her mistrust of adults is never fully explained, and this could benefit from more exploration throughout the movie. Overall, her arc is predictable and could benefit from more unexpected plot twists and challenges to make it more engaging.
To improve Carmen's character arc, the movie could introduce more conflict and depth to her relationship with Juni, showing how their different personalities create tension and how they learn to support each other. Additionally, exploring the source of her mistrust of adults could add complexity to her backstory and provide more motivation for her actions throughout the movie. Finally, the movie could introduce more unexpected plot twists and challenges, such as a betrayal by a trusted ally, to keep the audience engaged and add more depth to Carmen's character arc.
Felix In the beginning of the movie, Felix is seen as a strict but caring father who is helping his children become spies. As the movie progresses, he takes on a more active role in their training and becomes a trusted ally. Throughout the movie, he faces multiple challenges and dangers, but always remains calm and collected, using his experience and expertise to help the spy kids escape and defend themselves. By the end of the movie, Felix has proven himself to be a capable and courageous ally, willing to do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. The character arc for Felix is strong, but could benefit from a clearer goal or motivation. While he is clearly committed to protecting his family and friends, it would be helpful to have a clearer understanding of why he became a spy in the first place, and what drives him to continue putting himself in danger. Additionally, while Felix is undeniably a capable and helpful character, he could benefit from more of an emotional journey - perhaps struggling with feelings of guilt or regret about the dangers he has put his family in, or grappling with the difficult choices he has had to make in order to protect them.
To improve Felix's character arc, it might be helpful to explore his backstory more deeply. What led him to become a spy? Was he driven by a sense of duty or a desire for adventure? What sacrifices has he made in the name of protecting his family? Giving Felix a clear motivation and backstory would help to deepen his character and make him feel more fully realized. Additionally, incorporating more emotional depth - perhaps in the form of guilt or regret - could add an extra layer of complexity to Felix's character, making him even more compelling and relatable.
Mom Mom's character arc involves her questioning her decision to go back into the field, but ultimately embracing her skillset to help her family. Her willingness to return to espionage reflects a strong desire to protect her loved ones. In the end, she learns to balance her past and present, embracing her family as well as her own strengths and experiences. The character arc is strong overall, but there could be more exploration of Mom's reluctance to go back into espionage. Additionally, her decision to return to the field could be more clearly motivated by the needs of her family.
To improve the character arc, consider adding a scene where Mom expresses her doubts about returning to espionage more explicitly. Additionally, the family's situation could be more clearly defined so that Mom's choice to return to the field feels more motivated by their safety.
Dad Over the course of the movie, Dad undergoes a transformation from a serious and controlling figure to a more relaxed and adventurous one. As he confronts his past and faces his fears, he learns to trust his own instincts and rely on others for help. He becomes more willing to take risks, and ultimately shows himself to be a competent and resourceful spy. At the same time, he remains deeply committed to his family, and uses his intelligence and bravery to protect them from harm. The character arc is well-constructed and believable, but it could benefit from a more fleshed-out exploration of Dad's internal conflict. While his past as a spy is alluded to throughout the movie, it is never fully explained, leaving the audience with a sense of ambiguity and confusion. Additionally, some of the scenes in which Dad is portrayed as fiercely protective of his family feel contrived and overstated, detracting from the subtler elements of his character.
To improve the character arc, it would be helpful to delve more deeply into Dad's backstory, and to explore the specific factors that led to his sense of internal conflict. This could be done through flashbacks to his days as a spy, or through conversations with other characters who knew him at that time. Additionally, some of the more overt displays of protectiveness could be toned down or reworked, in order to give the audience a better sense of the more nuanced aspects of Dad's personality.
Argonaut At first, Argonaut is just an adorable gadget dog that adds to the spy kids' tech arsenal. As the story progresses, he proves himself to be a valuable member of the team. When he reveals himself to be the Third Brain, his role in the group is solidified, and he becomes a trusted ally. He becomes more autonomous and takes on more responsibility in the group's operations. By the end of the movie, Argonaut is an integral part of the spy kids' team and proves to be indispensable. The character arc for Argonaut works well within the context of the story. However, it would be beneficial to give him more agency and character development beyond being a helpful sidekick. It would be interesting to explore his motivations and desires beyond just serving the spy kids.
One way to improve Argonaut's character arc could be to give him a personal stake in the mission. Perhaps he has a personal connection to the villain or a previous mission. This would give him a deeper motivation for helping the spy kids beyond being programmed to do so. Additionally, exploring his relationship with Juni and the other spy kids could add another layer to his character development.
Floop Floop starts off as a villainous mastermind obsessed with creating twisted creatures and finding the 'Third Brain.' He tries to convince Felix to help him with his plans, showing his manipulative side. Carmen and Juni use their gadgets and skills to continue their mission. Floop is increasingly conflicted about his own plans and motivations, suggesting that he may not be in full control of the situation. He is manipulative and selfish but also artistically inclined. He regrets his past actions and wants to stop Minion from causing any more harm. Floop ultimately proves to be an ally in the end, taking Carmen's suggestion and incorporating their doppelganger robots in his show. The character arc is well-rounded and shows Floop's growth from a villainous mastermind to a redeemed ally. However, there could be more emphasis on his vulnerable side and desire for acceptance throughout the movie to enhance his character development.
Include more scenes where Floop's insecurities and desire for acceptance are emphasized to highlight his character's vulnerability. Show Floop's relationship with Minion in more detail to further develop his conflicted emotions and motivations.
Minion Minion's character arc revolves around his journey from a loyal henchman to a monstrous villain. Throughout the movie, he becomes more deceitful and power-hungry, but he still maintains some of his loyalty to Floop. However, as he realizes the extent of Floop's deception, he begins to turn against him. His transformation into a monstrous villain is the result of his desire to become more powerful and control everything around him, including people's lives. In the end, Minion is defeated, but not before he realizes the error of his ways and sacrifices himself to save the protagonists. The character arc is intriguing, but it could be more nuanced. Minion's transformation into a monstrous villain feels too sudden and almost forced. It would be better if his descent into evil was a gradual process with more buildup and foreshadowing. Additionally, his redemption at the end feels a bit forced, and it would be better if it were more earned.
To improve the character arc, consider adding more scenes that show Minion's descent into evil. Perhaps he could begin to have second thoughts about his actions or show more signs of guilt and remorse. Also, consider making his redemption more earned. Perhaps he could sacrifice himself to save the protagonists, but not before he has a moment with one of them where he apologizes for his actions and tries to make amends.
Theme Theme Details Themee Explanation
Spy Work and EspionageThe parents work as spies and are on a mission to find Donnagon and Jack Braxford. They also discuss their espionage work and future plans over breakfast. Carmen and Juni also receive help from their parents' agency to escape from Floop's agents.The theme of spy work and espionage is significant throughout the screenplay, as it forms the basis of the story. It is a theme that shows the importance of the work that the parents do as spies, which helps to save lives and protect people from danger. It also highlights the challenges that spies face, and the need for collaboration and teamwork to achieve success.
Family Bonds and LoveThe Cortez family works together to save their parents from Floop's captivity. They also pledge to undertake missions together to keep the family together. Carmen and Juni ask their mom to tell them a story about two spies who fall in love. The mom tells a story about a woman spy sent to kill a man spy but they end up falling in love. Carmen then hears a story about two spies who get married, despite being from opposite sides.The theme of family bonds and love is essential in the screenplay, as it shows the importance of family and the bond that exists within a family. It highlights how working and supporting each other can lead to success and help overcome challenges. The theme also emphasizes the strength of love and how it can bring together diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Creativity and InventionMr. Floop presents his latest invention to criminals for approval. Floop realizes he needs the Third Brain to boost creativity and creates robot twins that the siblings fight. Floop and Minion discuss cloning world leaders' children for their program.The theme of creativity and invention is notable in the screenplay, as it highlights the importance of innovation and creativity in problem-solving. It emphasizes how creativity can lead to the development of new technologies and help overcome challenges. The theme also presents the ethical dilemmas arising from the abuse of creativity and the potential for negative consequences of new inventions.
Heroism and BraveryCarmen and Juni escape from Floop's agents with the help of Argonaut. They use gadgets to evade pursuit and end up in a Woolworth's, where they discover the Third Brain's importance. Carmen and Juni successfully infiltrate the castle using Izzy's gear. Juni uses an electro gumball to shut down Floop's virtual room, and they finish saving their parents before Dad forcibly teaches Minion a lesson. The Cortez family rescues their parents and prevents Minion from turning them into toys. XS and Y6 become renowned for their heroism.The theme of heroism and bravery is notable in the screenplay, as it highlights the importance of courage and determination in overcoming challenges. It emphasizes how ordinary people can become heroes when they act courageously and that anyone can be a hero, regardless of their age or background. The theme also highlights the importance of working together to achieve success.
Technology and InnovationThe Cortez family uses gadgets to evade pursuit and overcome obstacles. Floop presents his latest invention to criminals and uses new technologies to create robot twins. Carmen discovers a locator and receives a message from Felix to find Machete, and the siblings manage to convince him to let them use the Beijing Express.The theme of technology and innovation is notable in the screenplay, as it highlights the importance of technology in overcoming challenges and achieving success. It emphasizes how new technologies can help solve problems and create new opportunities. The theme also presents the potential ethical dilemmas arising from the use of technology and the responsibility that comes with its development and use.

Screenwriting Resources on Themes


Site Description
Studio Binder Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
Coverfly Improving your Screenplay's theme
John August Writing from Theme

YouTube Videos

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Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics Screenwriting basics - beginner video
What is theme Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.
Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts