Spongebob Squarepants The Movie

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Spongebob Squarepants The Movie
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Mary Jo Catlett, Bill Fagerbakke
Studio: Paramount
Rating: 6.5/10

CORPORATE LINE: There’s trouble brewing in Bikini Bottom! Someone has stolen King Neptune’s crown and it looks like Mr. Krabs is the culprit! Though he’s just been passed over for the promotion of his dreams, Spongebob stands by his boss and along with his best pal Patrick sets out on a treacherous mission to Shell City to reclaim the crown and save Mr. Krab’s life.

The journey takes Spongebob and Patrick through some of the darker recesses of the ocean floor, including the Thug Tug, a rough and tough establishment where few fish dare to vivist, and a freakishly massive monster-filled trench! And all the while the loyal pair are pursued by a relentless hitman named Dennis. Meanwhile, back in Bikini Bottom, Plankton carries out evil “Plan Z.”

THE GOOD: The story might be little more than a half-hour show stretched into ninety minutes. It is fun and the necessary lessons are learned. What lessons? You can be an adult and a kid. Is that good? It can be—and being that we are sticking with the juvenile behavior we don’t need to tell you why it is good. So, na-na-na-na-na.

The interaction of the real world and the spongy-cartoon-life-under-the-sea world intermingles with hilarity and goofiness. There are some laugh-out scenes that render complete insanity. That is what the sponge is all about. But it could have been better.

THE BAD: The story is a half-hour show stretched into ninety minutes. It is both good and bad. We have Spongebob for an hour and a half to laugh at however there are some stretches that get drawn out solely to make the scenes longer. One scene is Spongebob and Patrick getting wasted on ice cream. A scene that could have lasted a minute on TV goes forever in the film.

It lacks that quick paced snap that the regular cartoons contain. The premise itself isn’t exactly off the beaten path. We have Plankton trying to rule the world and Spongebob saving the day. Maybe an introduction of something new would have spiced this madness up.

What is a bigger disappointment is how the creators ignored many of the characters that make the show great. This is a movie about Spongebob and Patrick and centers completely on them. It’s a shame that they went after introducing new characters with celebrity voices and abandoned the great regulars that we love.

FRANKLY: Spongebob has a following that ranges from young children to adults which is a great range for the big cash in. Even the simpleton in me wonders what was missing because The Spongebob Squarepants Movie is far from perfect. Kids don’t need it to be perfect—just throw in a few jokes, songs, and wacky antics and the pre-teens will giggle without fail. The trouble is teenagers are smarter and want more than their usual half hour. After our screening it was the tots who clapped and laughed but I saw teenagers giving the thumbs down. It seems the older you are the less, and less you liked the film. Not because we don’t like or understand Spongebob but we expected more and were delivered less. Watch it for free on TV.

+ Charlie Craine