Taking even a cursory glance at the title Spy Kids likely elicits the image of a campy, goofy children’s movie filled with toy-like gadgetry and light-hearted adventures. The Guardian once described the movie as “Willy Wonka-meets-James Bond.” While that perception is absolutely true, audiences shouldn’t let that encapsulate everything about writer/director Robert Rodriguez’s spy movie franchise. His action-comedy series follows a pair of children who follow in their parent’s footsteps to become secret agents, becoming heroes to their family and the world. However, even though these movies were based on a playful conceit, their lasting legacy is far more important than their initial reputation. The Spy Kids franchise was massively important for their well-executed representation and diversity that Rodriguez made a central theme of the series, making the films far more meaningful and significant than initial perceptions may portray.
Sure, they’re silly kids’ movies, but the Spy Kids franchise made huge steps in terms of diversity and representation.