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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Weekend TV Movie Review: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie - ITV2 (2004)

The Spongebob SquarePants Movie 
Cast: Jeffery Tambor, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Clancy Brown, Tom Kenny, Alec Baldwin, Scarlet Johannson 
Studio: Nickelodeon Movies 
Estimated Worldwide Gross: $142,051,255

Plot: In this lively animated adventure, undersea oddball Spongebob SquarePants & his starfish friend, Patrick, embark on a quest to clear the name of Mr. Krabs, the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant, who has been framed for stealing the crown of ocean deity, King Neptune. Leaving the familiar confines of Bikini Bottom, Spongebob & Patrick venture out towards shell city, where they hope to find Neptune's crown, but numerous obstacles stand (or float) their way.

*This review may contain spoilers* 


'Solid Theatrical Debut From The Pineapple/Sponge Of The Sea'

The Spongebob Squarepants movie is more of a 90 min film or an extended version of an episode.

For those who haven't see the cartoon before, Spongebob, Patrick, Sandy, Mr Krabs and everyone else are residents of Bikini Bottom. Oddly, there has been talk of Spongebob's sexuality, but that is neither here or there. Spongebob resides in a pineapple under the sea with his best buddy, Patrick Star, who is a starfish and fellow co-worker, Squidward. Both him and Spongebob work for Mr. Krab at a fast food restaurant called Krusty Krab, famous for its Krusty Krab burger (and not to be confused with the Krusty Burger from The Simpsons). 

The film has so many great goofy and witty gags which are funny as heck and zany slapstick humour one would expect from Spongebob. Some of these are courtesy of Patrick Star, who is one of the best animated sidekicks ever created IMO. But some fans will probably feel that some of the scenes did run a little too longer just to justify the fact that this was an animated movie. In addition, the film features special guest voice-overs in Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin: Johansson as the be-speckled Mindy was not bad, whilst Alec's role was as hit-man Dennis. 

In stark contrast to say Rugrats, Spongebob Squarepants's humour and style of storytelling and narrative, not to mention its crossover appeal caters more-so to adults, as well as children and teenagers. Regarding the animation, it is what one would expect from Nickelodeon - high quality colourful 2D art-style. It combines 2D animation with some live- action segments. 

One of the themes in this film is about being young and being a kid is nothing to be ashamed of, and this is emphasised throughout the movie. Whilst some will find this a tad repetitious, it is a good positive image to have.   

A highlight from this feature is of Spongebob and Patrick riding on David Hassellhoff as if he was a boat/surfboard on their way to Bikini Bottom. Which was somewhat amusing. Though some of the latter scenes with Hassellhoff were a little too over-the-top. 

The movie isn't too different from the series; I've only seen a couple of episodes of Spongebob on-line, as I don't have digital satellite TV, but from what I have seen, Spongebob Squarepants is an amusing animated show. 

Final Verdict:

If you are a huge fan of the series, you will enjoy this film a lot more, and for those likewise who don't follow Spongebob as much, sometimes one can easily switch off and lose concentration. But the theatrical version of Spongebob Squarepants is still relatively good and at 90 mins, some will find it is just a tad too short - sure enough there could have been more exciting scenes and moments, and some of the scenes did feel a little overdrawn. 

Is it better than the series? At times, no, it isn't. And yet, it still provides plenty of good humour and entertainment. 

Essentially, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie is a good, solid animated romp. 


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