10 Things You Never Knew About "Spy Kids"

Spy Kids has gone down in history as one of the most treasured family film franchises of all time. Starring Alexa PenaVega, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Daryl Sabara, Jessica Alba, and Danny Trejo, the movies follow the Cortez family, an ordinary Latino familia who lead a double-life as secret agents. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the heartfelt, action-packed films will be watched and re-watched for years to come.

Obsessed with the movies? Check out these 10 things you never knew about the Spy Kids franchise: 

MORE: 10 things you never knew about Zorro.

1. Spy Kids Trivia: 2

Robert Rodriguez named the three main characters — Gregario (Banderas), Carmen (PenaVega), and Juni (Sabara) — after his own family members. Juni, in particular, owes his lengthy name to Rodriguez's own children. His full moniker — Juni Rocket Racer Rebel "Juni" Cortez — pays homage to the director's kids, Rocket, Racer, and Rebel.

2. Spy Kids Trivia: 1

The Thumb-Thumbs — Floop's robotic henchmen in the first Spy Kids film — owe their unique shape to director Robert Rodriguez's vivid, imagination. Rodriguez based them on a drawing he created as a child. 

3. Spy Kids Trivia: 4

Robert Rodriguez always names Danny Trejo's characters after a type of knife. In Spy Kids, Trejo plays Gregorio's estranged brother, a man who goes by the name "Machete." He reprised the character for his roles in Grindhouse, Machete and Machete Kills. 

4. Spy Kids Trivia: 3

When Robert Rodriguez asked George Clooney to appear in the first Spy Kids movie, the actor immediately agreed. Rodriguez showed up at Clooney's house as a one-man crew, and shot the scene with Clooney still wearing his pajama pants. Hence, Clooney only appears from the waist-up.

5. Spy Kids Trivia: 10

The song "Oye Como Spy" was adapted by Los Lobos from the famous Tito Puente song "Oye Como Va" for the Spy Kids franchise. The remake earned an ALMA Award nomination for Outstanding Song In A Motion Picture in 2002.

6. Spy Kids Trivia: 8

In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Carmen can be seen picking up an idol from a pile of gold. Film buffs may have noticed that the gold figurine is actually the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol from the Indiana Jones' flick Raiders of the Lost Ark.

7. Spy Kids Trivia: 9

The Spy Kids franchise also gave one actress her big break. A very young Selena Gomez made her first ever film appearance in the 2003 flick Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. 

8. Spy Kids Trivia: 7

Jessica Alba inadvertently inspired the fourth film when she arrived at the Machete set in full costume with her baby, Honor, on her hip. "She showed up to the set of Machete with her baby and the diaper exploded," Rodriguez explained. "She was all dressed up with the baby, and seeing the juxtaposition of the two, I could see it. She almost looked like a spy."

Hence, Rodriguez made the decision to introduce a new family in the final chapter of the Spy Kids series, and he cast Alba as the new mom.

9. Spy Kids Trivia: 5

The fourth installment of the Spy Kids franchise, Spy Kids: All The Time In The World In 4D, was one of the first films to successfully use an AROMASCOPE scratch card. AROMASCOPE allows users to smell odors and aromas throughout the film.

However, Rodriguez chose not to inform the actors that the film would be shot in 4-D. They had no idea why he kept instructing them to say, "What's that Smell?" 

10. Spy Kids Trivia: 6

Only three actors appeared in all four Spy Kids films: Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara, and Danny Trejo.