The most surprising thing about "Holes" is the non-linear narrative. Few movies, let alone kids movies, are brave enough to bounce through time as "Holes" did. Initially this was disorienting, but once the three storylines are introduced, one can follow the tales with ease. Seeing disparate stories resolve into one another is a very satisfying and enjoyable movie experience, and "Holes" hits the proverbial bulls eye as it pulls everything together. Nothing is "Sixth Sense"-shocking, as one can garner the necessary information to piece the puzzle together in advance. But there are quality 'Aha!' or head-nodding moments as the film winds down.
As for the stories themselves, I hesitate to say much because I don't want to reveal anything about the refreshing uniqueness of the plot lines. If you know nothing about the book, you might be bewildered during the opening minutes, but eventually that confusion will give way to a smiling enjoyment of the movie's peculiar humor.