FBMR - The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE (2004) ***1/2

Drugs have never been my thing. I donít need them to appreciate music, film, fireworks, or life in general. Iíve never had any desire to try drugs, either. But thatís just me. Iíve known people who have done drugs. Iíve heard that when you drop acid, you canít wipe the smile from your face. Yet who needs drugs when youíve got Spongebob Squarepants? This movie was acid enough for me to have a perma-grin the entire time.

To truly enjoy this movie, though, you have to appreciate the humour. Thereís nothing high-brow about it. It is not a tremendously intelligent movie, but itís not dumb or stupid either. The best word to describe this movie and everything that Spongebob is is ďsillyĒ. It is pure nonsense, and ďif nautical nonsense be something you wish, then drop on the deck and flop like a fish.Ē

After the opening pirate scene, the movie begins like it does in the television series. I was almost afraid that was all the movie would be: a glorified and larger TV episode. But as the story developed, you could tell it was written more like a film than a twelve minute segment of the show.

Itís a coming of age story. Spongebob, labelled just a boy, wants to prove himself as a man Ö a man who can handle responsibility, a man who is brave, a man who can overcome anything that gets in his way. When Plankton steals King Neptuneís crown and it ends up in the mysterious and dangerous Shell City, Spongebob decides that this is the perfect opportunity to show everyone who doubts him just what he can do. He takes his best friend, Patrick (a starfish) with him. And so their silly adventure/quest begins. Meanwhile, Plankton not only steals the secret formula to the Krabby Patty, but attempts to rule the world with mind controlling bucket-helmets.

I was initially worried about the new additions to the cast for the movie, which include King Neptune, Princess Mindy, and a hitman named Dennis. The King was very funny, Mindy wasnít anything special, and Dennis is one tough fish Ö tough enough to rip your mouth right off your face. What I did miss was more from the other regulars like Sandy, Mrs. Puff, and Squidward. David Hasselhoff also makes an appearance playing himself in Baywatch swimming trunks. His scene was funny at first, but then I found it got just plain weird, and almost creepy towards the end.

Recent animated films seem to always have some adult humour, for the parents, which generally goes over kidsí heads. I was hoping that Spongebob wouldnít include that kind of humour to try to compete with them (SHREK, especially). It just wouldnít have been right in the Spongebob world. There are a couple of lines and scenes, and some quasi-adult behaviour, but they are fairly innocent and silly, so it worked.

The animation isnít brilliant or break-through, nor is the story. It is not required big-screen viewing. But if youíre a fan or appreciate the ridiculous, you wonít be disappointed.