The music is not the only connection to the original Spy Kids that Robert Rodriguez brought back into the fold of Spy Kids: Armageddon. Netflix’s reboot does try some different things, but it can not escape the history and shadow that come from the movies that came before. While there are alterations made, Spy Kids: Armageddon seems to embrace connections and Easter eggs that long-time Spy Kids fans would catch, such as bringing back an army of skeletons to fight or using The OSS as the central spy agency. Spy Kids: Armageddon follows a similar formula to the original film, but, throughout its run, holds connections to more than the first Spy Kids movie.
While Carmen, Juni, and the rest of the original main characters never appear in the film, they are remembered in small moments of the movie, such as Tony exclaiming that his parents are cool, which is an opposite reaction to Carmen’s “They’re not cool enough!” Going inside a video game is also a shared plot point, as is bringing back “How to be a Spy” written by Author Unknown. As much as Spy Kids: Armageddon wanted to be its own movie, it could not avoid references and connections to the original trilogy.
“Our Parents Are Cool” Vs. “They’re Not Cool Enough”
Carmen’s exclamation that Ingrid and Georgio are not cool enough to be spies is the perfect mix of shock and relatability for a character of her age. As children grow older, parents become anything but cool, and Carmen captures that reality perfectly. It does not matter that their house is on the precipice of being invaded, or that Carmen and Juni are being directed toward a secret submarine under their house to escape and have just been told their parents are spies.
Tony recreates the moment to a certain degree, but it takes on a different approach. Rather than declaring that Terrence and Nora are not cool enough to be spies, watching them beat up the bad guys is enough to get him to excitedly shout that they are. Such a moment, while the dialogue takes on a different meaning, is a very similar concept, and feels like a throwback line.
Small Robot Friend
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams introduces RALPH, Juni’s small robot friend who helps out on missions and sneaking information. While his role does not go beyond the second film, it is a way of showing that Carmen and Juni have grown more comfortable in their roles as young spies. Patty gains a similar robot friend, Bronson, in Spy Kids: Armageddon. The robot’s role is small but similar, with it helping Patty and Tony on their mission without pulling focus from the kids.
In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Juni and Carmen must face off against a skeleton army after Juni steals a necklace. The battle continually asks questions about the mysteries of the island, which include how Carmen and Juni can only hear each other’s thoughts, and not speak out loud, in a cave. In Spy Kids: Armageddon, the real-life skeletons are actually robots. However, the battle against the fictional skeletons as villains of Hyskor, is a callback to Carmen and Juni’s adventure.
Going Inside a Video Game
Most of Spy Kids 3: Game Over takes place within a video game, as Juni and Carmen enter a virtual world to take down the Toy Maker and save the world. The film follows Juni meet beta testers and experiences the game’s different levels and obstacles. In the reboot, most of the film takes place in the real world, with the video game becoming an obstacle to use technology. However, in the film’s final act, the Torrez family realizes the only way they can beat The King is to beat him at his own game and use the virtual reality chairs to enter the video game.
“Full Name Please”
When arriving at the safe house, in both films, the children are asked by an AI voice to give their names for entrance. After giving their first and last names, they are told to use their full names. In both cases, Carmen and Patty state that they never use their full names because they are too long. However, in both cases, each goes on to use their full names, which opens the door. In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Carmen and Juni also use their full names to enter their secret lair in their tree house.
The OSS was the main spy agency in the original films, and it made a return in the Netflix reboot. However, while The OSS does not play a massive role throughout the original first film, only acting as a background catalyst, it becomes much more important in the 2023 film. The OSS actually speaks with the kids directly and tries to be more useful. In the original Spy Kids, many OSS agents have been taken hostage, which brings Ingrid and Gregorio back into their roles as spies.
Transparent Fake-Out Floor
As Ingrid and Gregorio make their way through Floop’s castle, they are met with various traps. At one point, the floor falls out from underneath them, leaving them separated on opposite sides, with a massive hole in between them. Refusing to allow them to be separated, Gregorio takes the chance and jumps over the hole, only to land directly on it, unharmed. The floor had never been gone at all, and a similar trick plays out in Spy Kids: Armageddon. Terrence and Nora attempt to fight The King, only to realize the danger of the floor falling out from underneath them. Except, the floor was never gone at all.
The Parents First Meeting with the Villain
In both iterations, the parents are taken hostage by the villain, and get to sit in with him first. However, there is a slight difference in how this meeting proceeds. In Spy Kids, Ingrid and Georgio are tied back-to-back to chairs, trapped, and Ingrid releases them with her laser ring. They attempt to escape out of the building, only to eventually land directly in front of Floop, who had timed their escape and planned it, greeting them happily.
Nora and Terrence are placed in a cell. But, the door unlocks itself, and while the duo knows they are walking into a trap, they do so knowing they want to meet the person responsible for this. The King gives himself a more grand entrance, and this iteration has slightly more action, given the fight that follows the initial conversation.
Escaping to a Safe House
When their homes are attacked, the kids are sent away to wait for their parents in the secret safe house. Carmen and Juni’s time there grows more complicated as they are eventually met by some of the film’s antagonists and are forced to leave the safe house behind and try to save their parents. Forcing the duo out of the safe house allows them to meet their robot duplicates and come to realize the dangers of Floop’s plans.
Patty and Tony have a similar experience when it comes to being at the safe house. However, they are met by friends, rather than foes. Since they are at The OSS building, Tony and Patty race off to save their parents because they believe they have to, not because the movie has not given them anyone to help them out.
How to be a Spy: Author Unknown
The Cortez and Torrez kids each come across a copy of the book “How to be a Spy” written by Author Unknown. Each of the kids goes through the book, trying to understand what makes a good spy and why. However, the findings in the book are different. In Spy Kids, the movie highlights Juni’s fears by discussing how a good spy must have no fear, while also highlighting a good spy has intelligence. In Spy Kids: Armageddon, the book is meant to target Patty’s belief in truth and honesty when the novel states that a good spy always lies.