Shorts (2009 film)
|Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Rodriguez|
|Written by||Robert Rodriguez|
|Narrated by||Jimmy Bennett|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
United Arab Emirates
|Box office||$29 million|
Shorts (also known as Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock and released internationally as The Wishing Rock) is a 2009 Emirati-American comic fantasy family film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film stars Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, James Spader, Jimmy Bennett and Kat Dennings.
Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock made its world premiere screening on August 15, 2009 at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Shortly after that, the movie was theatrically released in the United States on August 21, 2009 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film grossed $29 million on a $20 million budget. It received a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film. Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2009 by Warner Home Video. An Xbox video game of the same name was announced on 23 June 2009 with a prospective July release date in advance of the film's release, but was canceled.
The film starts with a very busy suburban town called Black Falls Community, where every adult always works and citizens and children use the companies famous product "The Black Box" a technological device that can turn into almost any gadget imaginable. (Some of the events will be considered as "episodes" and will be randomized.)
Episode One A rainbow colored Wishing Rock appears at the home of Loogie (Trevor Gagnon), Laser (Leo Howard), and Lug (Rebel Rodriguez) Short, and they eventually wish that one of them was very smart. However, the power is given to their infant sister (portrayed by Bianca Rodriguez and voiced by Elizabeth Avellan). She convinces the boys to dispose of the rock, which Cole finds the next day to throw at Toe.
Episode Two Toby "Toe" Thompson (Jimmy Bennett) is bullied by Helvetica "Hel" Black (Jolie Vanier) and her brother Cole (Devon Gearhart) on the way to school. Toe speculates that Hel loves him, infuriating Hel and leading Cole and his gang to start throwing rocks at Toe. One of the rocks they throw is the wishing rock, which Toe uses to wish for friends, which come in the form of small aliens. Toe takes the aliens to school, but their presence causes Toe and Hel to fall from the school's roof. This results in both Toe and Hel having casts put on both arms. The aliens leave, but Toe keeps the rock.
Episode Three Toe's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomson (Leslie Mann and Jon Cryer), like all adults in the town, work for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, which manufactures the "Black Box" universal gadget. They are assigned by Mr. Carbon Black (James Spader), owner of Black Box, to compete to create a new marketing strategy. Toe's mother finds the rock in Toe's room and takes it. She and Mr. Thompson go to a Black Box costume party. Since they were having trouble with their relationship, she wishes that she and her husband were closer. They become merged into a two-headed person, but Mr. Black thinks that they're wearing a costume.
Meanwhile, Toe realizes that his mother took the rock and rushes to the costume party, but runs into Hel and Cole, who take the rock and dump him in the garbage. Hel wishes that Cole would turn into a dung beetle and then loses the rock. The rock is found by Mr. Black who, unaware of its power, accidentally wishes for all of the employees to go for each other's throats. In the chaos, Toe retrieves the rock and wishes everyone back to normal. Hel takes the rock, wishes off her casts, and escapes before Toe throws the rock as far as he can, where it lands at the Noseworthy's house.
Episode Four Toe's older sister Stacey (Kat Dennings) arrives to tutor "Nose" Noseworthy (Jake Short), Toe's old, germaphobic friend. Nose picks his nose against his father's wishes and accidentally flicks the booger into his father's radioactive work study. Toe and Loogie, now friends, arrive at Nose's house in time to see Nose's booger mutate into a giant monster. After helping Nose's father (William H. Macy) capture the monster outside, Toe and Loogie take the rock and leave.
Episode Five As Toe and Loogie contemplate what to do with the rock, they are ambushed by the rest of the kids and fight until the rock winds up in the hands of Mr. Black. Mr. Black wishes that he was the most powerful thing in the world and turns into a giant Black Box robot. The infant tells them that the rock is starting to feel misused, as shown by the fact that the rock starts undoing all of their wishes. She also tells them the rock could destroy the Earth because of all of the petty wishes they make. Together they get rid of the rock and all of its effects are undone. Toe's parents decide to work on the marketing plan together and Mr. Black agrees. Mr. Black changes the Black Box into the more environmentally friendly Green Box. The Noseworthys lose their germaphobia, Toe's parents become closer, and it is suggested that Hel and Toe will marry in the future. All the children become friends and wished that their story would become a Hollywood movie, breaking the 4th wall.
- Jimmy Bennett as Toby "Toe" Thompson, a boy who was the second to find the wishing rock.
- Jolie Vanier as Helvetica Black, Mr. Black’s daughter and a classmate of Toby’s. She picks on Toby, but secretly has a crush on him.
- Trevor Gagnon as Loogie Short, a boy who found the wishing rock. When he had the wishing rock he wished for unreasonable stuff. He flirted with Toby's older sister throughout the movie.
- Jake Short as "Nose" Noseworthy, a germophobe scientist like his father and Toby's old friend.
- Rebel Rodriguez as Lug Short, Loogie's older brother. He is the most video game obsessed and easily angered of the three Short brothers.
- Leo Howard as Laser Short, Loogie's older brother. He seems to be the smartest of the three Short brothers.
- Bianca Rodriguez as the Short brothers' infant sister, simply referred to as "(the) Baby". She is voiced by Elizabeth Avellan.
- Devon Gearhart as Colbert "Cole" Black, Carbon's son and captain of the football team. He's Helvetica's brother who cares deeply for her and is the leader of his own gang which Helvetica sometimes leads.
- Racer Rodriguez as Bully #1, a football player who is a member of Cole's gang.
- Rocket Rodriguez as Bully #2, also a football player who is a member of Cole's gang.
- Cambell Westmoreland as Blinker #1
- Zoe Webb as Blinker #2
- Jon Cryer as Mr. Bill Thompson, Toby's father who works at Black Box, Inc.
- Leslie Mann as Mrs. Jane Thompson, Toby's mother who also works at Black Box, Inc.
- James Spader as Mr. Carbon Black, Helvetica and Cole’s father and the founder of the Black Box Community.
- William H. Macy as Dr. Noseworthy, A germophobe scientist who doesn't like Contamination.
- Kat Dennings as Stacey Thompson, Toby's 20 years old older sister.
- Alejandro Rose-Garcia as John, Stacey's boyfriend.
On 11 January 2009, it was announced that Robert Rodriguez would direct, produce and write a 2009 American and Emirati live action and animated family science fiction fantasy adventure comedy movie which features live action and CGI animation titled Shorts also known as Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock, Shorts: A Not-So Tall Tale only on the trailer and released internationally as The Wishing Rock which would be released in cinemas on 21 August 2009 in the USA and Elizabeth Avellán would also produce the film with the budget of $20 million.
On 16 July 2009, it was announced that Jimmy Bennett would play the lead role in the film, while Jon Cryer, Leslie Mann and Kat Dennings were in early talks to join the cast. On 17 July 2009, William H. Macy, Jolie Vanier, Devon Gearhart, James Spader and Trevor Gagnon were also in final talks to join the film, Rebel Rodriguez, Leo Howard, Bianca Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan, Jake Short, Racer Rodriguez, Rocket Rodriguez, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Cambell Westmoreland and Zoe Webb were added to the cast.
Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock was filmed in Austin, Texas on 28 July 2009. The special effects were done by KNB EFX Group, Troublemaker Digital Studios and Hybride Technologies for the animation.
George Oldziey, Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel scored the music for the film on its soundtrack and the film's soundtrack contains "Spy Ballet" performed by Robert Rodriguez and "Summer Never Ends" performed by Jimmy Bennett. Warner Bros. Pictures distributed the film to 2,160 screens in the United States.
Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock was released in cinemas on 21 August 2009 in the USA by Warner Bros. Pictures, and on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2009 by Warner Home Video.
The film holds a 45% approval rating on critical response aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 100 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Shorts has imagination and energy, but most viewers beyond elementary school will likely tire of the kiddie humor and sensory overload." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 53 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
For its opening weekend, the film made $6.4 million, an average of $2,065 per each of 3,105 theaters. It opened at #6, being overshadowed by Inglourious Basterds, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Julie & Julia. Overall, the grossed about $20.9 million in the United States and Canada, and about $29 million worldwide.
|Young Artist Awards 2010||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast||Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short, Devon Gearhart, Leo Howard, Jolie Vanier, Trevor Gagnon||Won|
|Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress||Jolie Vanier||Nominated|
|Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock|
|Soundtrack album / Film score by |
George Oldziey, Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel
|Genre||Movie Soundtrack, Film Score|
|Label||Warner Bros. Records|
|Singles from Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
George Oldziey, Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel scored the music for the film on its soundtrack and the film's soundtrack contains "Spy Ballet" performed by Robert Rodriguez and "Summer Never Ends" performed by Jimmy Bennett. The soundtrack was released in 2009 by Warner Bros. Records.
- Songs and music
- Spy Ballet – Robert Rodriguez
- Summer Never Ends – Jimmy Bennett
- All Music – Composed by George Oldziey, Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel
- "Detail view of Movies Page". afi.com. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Shorts (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "Majesco Entertainment Announces 'Shorts' for Nintendo DS". Majesco Entertainment. PR Newsire. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- "Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "Shorts". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 September 2015.