What do you feel when you hear the familiar lines of “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” Is it annoyance, or is it a sense of joy at singing the happy go lucky tune? Do you cringe from the gruffness of the sailor’s voice, or do you turn up the volume to the theme song you know and love? No matter what your reaction, you can expect it to get stuck in your head if you go to see the latest movie about the yellow sponge. That’s right, the next SpongeBob movie has landed in theaters and here is …
What you might expect: Childish Humor, A basic SpongeBob plot, interesting animation choices, and Antonio Banderas making a fool of himself.
What you get:
- Childish humor is the staple of the Nickelodeon series, and this movie is no exception to the rule. Little kids will enjoy the familiar bouts of our yellow hero, as Tom Kenny brings his energetic, ADHD mannerisms to the silver screen. SpongeBob doesn’t pull any punches in this film, starting over the top with a war against plankton using condiments and spanning across familiar plot elements like time traveling and super powers. Like most episodes he still is a gullible, optimistic boob, who seems to be naïve to all the bad things in life. His ear splitting laugh comes at you in full surround sound and his repetitive jokes will crash in an epic tidal wave of either enjoyment or annoyance. Helping tow the line of jokes is the chubby pink starfish Patrick, whose idiotic tendencies are stronger than ever. Like his yellow chum, the pink buffoon acts as the medium for stereotypical fat jokes that revolve around starving to death, licking pictures of food, and controlling ice cream cones to battle evil. He has a few idiotic quirks, but there isn’t anything special in this movie. Despite all the familiar antics though, the humor will entertain your young ones, my theater in particular filling with the gleeful squeals of the numerous kids. I myself laughed at a few of the well timed puns, enjoying references to some of the earlier episodes and the clever jokes hidden within. If you’re not a fan of this humor though, then sorry parents, but this movie doesn’t have as much hidden adult humor as you might like. You might find watching your kids laugh, enough of a reward to go see the movie in the film.
- As for the plot of the movie, no surprise here that it is the same simplistic tale that we have seen in the hundreds of SpongeBob episodes, just extended. Again the tale is centered on the golden sandwich of artery clogging goodness the Krabby Patty. We’ve seen the countless renditions of its theft, but this time we surprisingly get a new twist on its disappearance, which is poorly explained in the tale perhaps to keep the “mystery” going. Regardless in the effort to find the delightful treat, we learn just how much the denizens of Bikini Bottom depend on the burger, with the whole town evolving into anarchy due to its absence. Along the way we get SpongeBob teaming, or TE-AMing, up with an unlikely ally and leading to random story points aiding their journey. A running gag with a dolphin got a little weird for me, and his “porpoise” to the plot was a bit of a stretch for me. In a movie like this though, I don’t think a conducive story is what you are going for, but just be ready from some pretty trippy stuff to happen.
- Animation wise the movie is solid. Though not as fluid as the animation in the earlier season, SpongeBob’s team has done their work once more. A little over half the film is in 2-D cartoon format, with brighter colors and some computer assistance to bring the more exciting scenes to life. However, the one area that most of you are wondering about is the computer generated 3-D effects that the trailer promises. Ignoring the die-hard cartoon purists rants; the CGI work is impressive and fun as the team transverses from sea to land. For me the animation was even better, and was the more “unique” aspect of the movie as the team moves about the real life environment. In addition this scene quickly put the petal to the metal, and quickly jumps into the action frame as they don their super powers. The superhero scenes are still funny and simplistic, but fans again will like the antics to be had as they fight against the evil burger beard.
- Speaking of burger beard, poor Antonio has stepped into one of his more ridiculous roles. The once suave swordfighter is reduced to a rather lame pirate who spends his days talking to animated seagulls, finding an all powerful book, and luring the masses to his burger stand. Banderas is simply silly in this tale, and does over the top gestures and screaming to make everyone laugh. I myself didn’t laugh much at the lines, but I give him props for entertaining the kiddies. Not much more to say about this one, so let’s wrap things up.
This movie was fun and a great choice for taking your kids to the movies. While I like the first movie much better, Sponge Out of Water has a plenty of silly fun to enjoy. With decent animation and voice work to support our merry band of heroes, one will feel they have landed in an extra long episode of the show. Worth a trip to the theater? Not really, but if your kids are dying to go to the movies then by all means give it a shot. Again be ready for anything to happen, even a rap battle between dolphin and seagulls.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0