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SPY KIDS

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Full Name: Carmen and Juni Cortez
Nationality: American
Organization: OSS
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Rodriguez
Time Span: 2001 - 2018

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Carmen and Juni Cortez are spies with the OSS.
       When we first meet them, Carmen is a 12 years old girl and Juni is a 9 year old boy.
       Both are the children of Ingrid and Gregorio Cortez, long-time operatives for rival organizations who met while on the job, fell in love, and decided they would prefer to start a family rather than remain out in the field. Since the work they did was so dangerous and their desire to protect their offspring so strong, they chose to not tell the kids anything about what they once did.
       Which is why when the two disappear suddenly while on the first mission in nearly a decade (let's face it, they were both itching to get back out there!), Carmen and Juni were stunned when bad guys started flying through the windows and smashing the doors and otherwise find something hidden in their house.
       It will not take too long for them to get into the spirit of the rescue and boldly head out to find their captive parents and save the day, not only rescuing Mom and Dad but also preventing a whole lot of young kids from being replaced by evil robots replicas.
       From that exciting adventure, the two became members of OSS, the organization that was running their parents (okay, at the beginning we are told Indrid and Gregorio worked for separate agencies, now, not so much).
       Note also that while the explanation of the meaning of 'OSS' is not given in the movies, in one of the books it is said to be the "Organization of Super Spies". Apparently it is based in the United States but is an international spy organization dedicated to countering the evil enemies around the globe. Eventually the OSS and its junior program, using kids as the go-to operatives, will be run by Carmen and Juni.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:13
First Appearance:2001
Last Appearance:2004

1 Spy Kids: Junior Novel Spy Kids: Junior Novel
Written by Megan Stine
Copyright: 2001

"Yesterday, Carmen and Juni Cortez were two ordinary kids. Today, they're international spies–on the greatest mission of their lives.
Carmen and Juni's parents were kidnapped by the evil techno-wizard, Floop. Armed with talking watches and flying backpacks, Carmen and Juni blast off for adventure. But what they don't know is that they must battle bizarre mutants and scary robots to save their parents… and the entire world! But, hey, it sure beats doing homework!"

2 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Junior Novel Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Junior Novel
Written by Kiki Thorpe
Copyright: 2002

"Top Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez are on a new hot assignment from the OSS. Someone has stolen the government's secret Transmooker device, and the Cortezes are off to a deserted island to get it back. Their spy gadgets don't work on the mysterious island, and the Cortez kids have to deal with their rival OSS Spy Kid agents, sneaky Gary and Gerti Giggles. They need their spy brainpower more than ever. And fast! They have to stop the device from being activated or the world as we know it will end. Carmen and Juni have no time to lose, and they're not about to let the Giggleses get in their way!"

3 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Junior Novel Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Junior Novel
Written by Kitty Richards
Copyright: 2003

"Juni Cortez's retirement from the OSS force is cut short when he receives an urgent message from the President of the United States. His sister, Carmen, is trapped inside a virtual-reality video game by the notorious Toymaker. Now, in order to stop the Toymakers evil game plan, the SPY Kids must go on one of their most dangerous missions yet. In a game where things are never what they seem, the SPY Kids must rely on their grandfather and a crazy group of video gamers. It's the SPY Kids against the Toymaker in the ultimate game of power...and survival."

4 Spy Kids Adventures: One Agent Too Many Spy Kids Adventures: One Agent Too Many
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

"When young British agent Maya Sinclair shows up at just the right time to help Carmen and Juni Cortez on an assignment, Juni is suspicious that Maya may be just a little too perfect to be true."

5 Spy Kids Adventures: A New Kind Of Super Spy Spy Kids Adventures: A New Kind Of Super Spy
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

When their parents are sent on a mission to Brazil, Carmen and Juni Cortez get a pair of OSS babysitters, one of whom has claws and whiskers, while the other has tentacles, and the kids realize the agency had been infiltrated by part-animal agents."

6 Spy Kids Adventures: Mucho Madness Spy Kids Adventures: Mucho Madness
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

"The Cortez family is off to Spain for a family reunion with Nana. But just as they arrive, the OSS Agency pages them with another mission. A crazed Spanish architect is constructing buildings all over Madrid with a chemical that makes everyone extra sleepy. He's bent on creating a sinister siesta! Carmen and Juni will have to stop the evil plot or else say adios to more than just the Spanish capital!"

7 Spy Kids Adventures: OSS Wilderness Spy Kids Adventures: OSS Wilderness
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

"Carmen and Juni are spending the summer at an OSS sleep-away camp. The camp director is a retired spy-turned-environmentalist named Oscar Zohn. But it turns out that O. Zohn thinks environmentalism means using nature for his own devices. He plans on using the unknowing help of the Spy Kid campers. Only Carmen and Juni are in the know…which means only they can save the world!"

8 Spy Kids Adventures: Mall of the Universe Spy Kids Adventures: Mall of the Universe
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

"An evil villain has taken over the world's largest mall and turned it into one giant virtual reality. Now it's up to Carmen and Juni to take on this madman, no matter what the cost."

9 Spy Kids Adventures: Spy TV Spy Kids Adventures: Spy TV
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2003

"The Cortez family is about to get a big dose of reality -- reality television, that is. When Juni hears about a television show that has families competing against one another, he is sure his family is perfect for the role. And it seems the OSS agrees! It turns out that there is one evil family out there that plans on using the show as a weapon to destroy the world."

10 Spy Kids Adventures: Superstar Spies Spy Kids Adventures: Superstar Spies
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2004

"Carmen and Juni are seeing stars -- literally. The Spy Kids have landed a dream job when they are assigned guard duty to a famous rock star. But when the stars clear from their eyes, they discover things aren’t exactly as they appear. It seems the singer's talents are the result of a gem that gives the owner power beyond imagination. When the gem falls into the wrong hands, it is up to the Spy Kids to use their real talents to stop an evil villainess before it is too late."

11 Spy Kids Adventures: Freeze Frame Spy Kids Adventures: Freeze Frame
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2004

"Carmen and Juni are bored and suffering from some major cabin fever. So, when the OSS informs them that a mysterious snowboarder is practicing some slippery moves, the Spy Kids are more than willing to strap on their skis and boards and head to the mountains. Soon they are off on an adventure that will pit them against a villain set on some ice-cold revenge. Will they be able to stop this madman before things get completely out of control?"

12 Spy Kids Adventures: Spring Fever Spy Kids Adventures: Spring Fever
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2004

"The Cortez family is ready to enjoy the warm weather and fresh air -- all of them except Juni. It seems this Spy Kid is having a major attack of allergies. While he tries to avoid sneezing, his family seems happy to avoid doing anything -- including spying! After Juni discovers the reason behind his family's laziness, it is up to him and his sister to stop a man intent on taking over the world, one sneeze at a time."

13 Spy Kids Adventures: Off Sides Spy Kids Adventures: Off Sides
Written by Elizabeth Lenhard
Copyright: 2004

"The Spy Kids' latest mission will take them across the ocean and into the middle of a soccer game. A big match between the Scottish and American all-star teams is in danger of being canceled because of some mysterious and dangerous happenings inside the stadium. Now Carmen and Juni must put their spy skills to the test and track down a villain that isn’t always visible."

MOVIES

Number of Movies:4
First Appearance:2001
Last Appearance:2011

       It is not unusual for a successful movie to get a sequel or two - heck, it's a smart rule to follow. Spy Kids did it twice and then years later, when the actors were too old to do it again, the producers brought in new characters and had the genius to have the now-aged previous actors to play adult roles.

Note: A minor but important character in the first adventure, Machete, uncle to the Spy Kids, plays a bigger role in the three adventures. Later came the interesting case of the Spy Kids writer/director/producer, Robert Rodriguez, deciding to create a movie about a man with the same rather unique name of Machete, played by the same actor, Danny Trejo. This would be followed by its own sequel. Both these movies are absolutely NOT in the same vein as the Spy Kids films; they are rated R for violence and nudity and so one.
       But is the Machete in these two movies the same Machete in the early 4 kids movies? According to the creator, they are in an alternate universe. According to the actor, they are the same dude.
       It is not my place to state an opinion. I do not include the two Machete movies in this listing because this list is about the Spy Kids. However, I do provide this link to Machete page.

1 Spy Kids Spy Kids
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Actors: Alexa PenaVega as Carmen Cortez, Daryl Sabara as Juni Cortez, Antonio Banderas as Gregorio Cortez, Carla Gugino as Indrid Cortez, Danny Trejo as Machete
Released: 2001

Carmen and Juni Cortez are the children of two former, top-notch operatives. Their parents are pulled back into the business and land in trouble and Carmen and Juni, both pretty well trained themselves, must rescue them, aided by their very unusual Uncle Machete.

2 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Actors: Alexa PenaVega as Carmen Cortez, Daryl Sabara as Juni Cortez, Antonio Banderas as Gregorio Cortez, Carla Gugino as Indrid Cortez, Danny Trejo as Machete, Steve Buscemi as Romero
Released: 2002

Carmen and Juni Cortez are on the hunt for a stolen piece of very valuable technology. The trail leads them to the mysterious island of Leeke Leeke, home to an eccentric scientist who had an experiment go bad resulting in his island being filled with mutant monsters.

3 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Actors: Alexa PenaVega as Carmen Cortez, Daryl Sabara as Juni Cortez, Antonio Banderas as Gregorio Cortez, Carla Gugino as Indrid Cortez, Danny Trejo as Machete, Sylvester Stallone as Toymaker
Released: 2003

When Carmen Cortez is caught in a virtual reality game designed by their old nemesis, the Toymaker, it falls to Juni Cortez to save her and then the world.

4 Spy Kids 4-D: All The Time In The World Spy Kids 4-D: All The Time In The World
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Actors: Alexa PenaVega as Carmen Cortez, Daryl Sabara as Juni Cortez, Jessica Alba as Marissa Wilson, Joel McHale as Wilbur Wilson, Rowan Blanchard as Rebecca Wilson, Mason Cook as Cecil Wilson
Released: 2011

Marissa Wilson is a retired spy who is pulled back into service, along with her two stepchildren, Rebecca and Cecil, to fight the dangerous Timekeeper who wants to take over the world.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:20
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2018
Network:Netflix

REGULAR CAST
Ashley BornancinCarmen Cortez [ 1-2 ]
Carter HastingsJuni Cortez [ 1-2 ]

       In 1916, according to Wikipedia, Netflix announced that a new iteration of Spy Kids, in animated format, would be aired on its streaming service. This new series was created by Michael Hefferon and Sean Jara, "villains being described 'as colorful' as the protagonists, and the series is said to contain 'as much comedy as wish fulfillment'."
       The first ten episodes came out as season one in Spring of 2018. Season two with the other set of 10 episodes were released in that Fall.
       The original series creator, Robert Rodriguez, was one of the executive producers on the television show.


1 Mission Critical
Episode 1-01, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

After the OSS is compromised, Gregorio reboots the Spy Academy to train his kids and other junior spies to counter Golden Brain's heinous plans.

2 School Dazed
Episode 1-02, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Carmen and Juni must learn to manage the daily rigors of Spy Academy life ... or face the possibility of being expelled!

3 Songs in the Key of Pain
Episode 1-03, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

With S.W.A.M.P.'s diabolical plans thwarted, Golden Brain enlists musical mischief maker DJ Otto Tune to lure the spy kids out of the academy.

4 Desert-ed
Episode 1-04, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

After detecting S.W.A.M.P. activity, two rivals must put aside their differences to keep the rest of Mission Critical from walking into an evil trap.

5 Frenemies for Life
Episode 1-05, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

The Mission Critical kids must prove their worth when a rival group within the Academy threatens to take their place as the top team.

6 And Scene!
Episode 1-06, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

When the spy kids confront Spurious Visage, they discover that his former student has gone rogue and reappeared as a S.W.A.M.P. agent.

7 Inner-Childlike Behavior
Episode 1-07, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

An embarrassed Scorpion threatens to leave the Spy Academy when her TV star father, Fegan Floop, decides to join their faculty.

8 The Vinyl Countdown
Episode 1-08, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Mint Condition, PSI's favorite street artist, takes the inventor under his wind, asking him to help design a new industrial art installation.

9 Off the Grid
Episode 1-09, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Team leaders Carmen and Juni must pass a difficult midterm exam known as the Mind-Bender -- or once again face expulsion from the Spy Academy.

10 The Cookie Crumbles
Episode 1-10, first aired 04/20/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Finally feeling like a real team, the Mission Critical kids face their toughest test as they set out to destroy Golden Brains's lair once and for all.

11 Secrets & Spies
Episode 2-01, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

With his mole in need of a diversion, Golden Brain turns his tech guy into a living computer virus to destroy the academy mainframe.

12 Heavy Meddle
Episode 2-02, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

A cash-strapped Golden Brain sends heavy metal rocker Death Meddle to break into the treasury with his destructive, high-frequency vocals.

13 Thumb Kind of Wonderful
Episode 2-03, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Carmen is so superstitious that she's convinced she's jinxed herself! Meanwhile, Golden Brain seeks a formula for his mole to complete a mission.

14 Ace Off
Episode 2-04, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Ace looks for plastic surgeon Dr. Jericho, fearing he'll lose his title as the face of a spy magazine. But Golden Brain has other plans for the doctor.

15 Stakeout Burrito
Episode 2-05, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

Carmen and Scorpion must learn to set aside their distrust for each other when a meeting between Golden Brain and the mole gets intercepted.

16 Pale Blue-Eyed Rider
Episode 2-06, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

After receiving an alleged message from her crush, Carmen heads to the desert, where a trap laid by S.W.A.M.P. awaits.

17 Home Sick
Episode 2-07, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

While Mission Critical screens the faculty using a high-tech lie detection system, Juni's sent to retrieve a secret file from the old O.S.S. HQ.

18 Flip-Flooped
Episode 2-08, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

The Mission Critical kids catch Floop under suspicious circumstances. Now, Juni and Scorpion have until morning to prove his innocence.

19 Family Unfriendly
Episode 2-09, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

The Cortezes come to the academy for the Battle of the Best Spy Family. But Juni's worried his father will reveal the creator of the Pinnoquinox serum!

20 Moled Over
Episode 2-10, first aired 11/30/2018
Director: -
Writer: -

With the Pinnoquinox in Golden Brain's hands, the brave kids of Mission Critical must storm S.W.A.M.P. HQ to retrieve the serum by force.

GAMES

Number of Games:1
First Appearance:2002
Last Appearance:2002

1 Spy Kids Mega Mission Zone Spy Kids Mega Mission Zone
Video Game
Disney Interactive Studios
Copyright: 2002

"Get your gadgets and decoders ready--it's time to train the next Spy Kid recruit--and that means you! Kids get mission briefings, and then join Carmen and Juni from Disney's Spy Kids movies for two mind-blowing Mega Missions. In Spy Kids: Mega Mission Zone, Mega Mission One requires recovery of the Third Brain and rescue of missing spies. For Mega Mission Two, Carmen and Juni need kids' help in finding and deactivating the Transmooker device before it's too late for Earth."

2 Spy Kids Challenger Spy Kids Challenger
Video Game
Disney Interactive Studios
Copyright: 2002

"Get your gadgets and decoders ready--it's time to train the next Spy Kid recruit--and that means you! Kids get mission briefings, and then join Carmen and Juni from Disney's Spy Kids movies for two mind-blowing Mega Missions. In Spy Kids: Mega Mission Zone, Mega Mission One requires recovery of the Third Brain and rescue of missing spies. For Mega Mission Two, Carmen and Juni need kids' help in finding and deactivating the Transmooker device before it's too late for Earth."

MY COMMENTS

       I was very lucky back in 2001 when the first movie came out because I had a 9-year-old daughter who gave me the excuse to head to the theater to watch this (any rumor that I might have had to bribe her to make me take her is, well, mean and likely true). The next year we also went to the second one. I missed the third in the theater but I'm pretty sure we watched it when it showed up at Blockbuster (remember them?). The fourth one was missed but I have it and want to watch it because it has Jessica Alba ('nuf said!).
       Until I started to write up this entry, though, I had not known of the Netflix animated series nor of the young adult books. I am impressed the franchise went so far and kudos to them for doing so.
       These are very cute and entertaining escapists fare that do not try to be something they are not and do not try to insult the intelligence of kids or adults viewing them.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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