Shorts is a cute and mildly clever fantasy about a nerdy suburban tween named “Toe” (Jimmy Bennett), who finds a rainbow-colored stone with wish-fulfillment powers. The simplistic plot’s limitless possibilities are digitally and unsubtly rendered. (Calling all dung beetles, upright crocodiles, man-sized frankfurters, and booger monsters!) Structured episodically, but cheekily out of order, the film introduces Toe’s friends, family, schoolyard enemies, and broadly eccentric neighbors — including germaphobic scientist William H. Macy and dictatorial CEO James Spader — as each comes into perilous contact with the magical rock. Be careful what you wish for, though I’d score points for Jon Cryer’s and Leslie Mann’s slapstick as Toe’s accidentally conjoined folks.

Categories: Movies