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The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie /

Rated: PG

Starring: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Alec Baldwin, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence

Directed by: Stephen Hillenburg, Sherm Cohen

Produced by: Stephen Hillenburg, Albie Hecht, Julia Pistor
Written by:
Derek Drymon, Tim Hill, Stephen Hillenburg, Kent Osbourne, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbett
Paramount Pictures


An excited SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny ) in Paramount Pictures' The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
King Neptune (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor ) and SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny ) in Paramount Pictures' The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
Mindy (voiced by Scarlett Johansson ), SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny ) and Patrick (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke ) in Paramount Pictures' The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

     Deep inside of me, there is something that would really like to kill SpongeBob SquarePants. Make no mistake, I don’t think he’s a bad guy…err, sponge. But, between his “I love life even though I’m just a super-absorbent piece of matter in the sea!” attitude and his proud little walk, I think that I would be better off never seeing or hearing of him again. In fact, there is a scene in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in which he and his friend, a starfish by the name of Patrick, nearly burn to death. I must say, I enjoyed watching it. However, in an attempt to receive minimal hate-mail from fans of the show, I don’t think I’ll wish any particular ill on SpongeBob, in this review.

     Even with my hatred for SpongeBob, though, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t occasionally enjoy his Nickelodeon-broadcast television show. I have never been a regular viewer of “SpongeBob Squarepants”, but it does make for quite ballsy programming, referencing pop-culture with the utmost amount of wit and satirizing just about everything else under the sun. Unsurprisingly, such sizzle has provided it with a huge fan-base, landing the title character’s line of merchandise with a profit of 1.5 billion dollars, last year. Even if SpongeBob could very well be the antichrist, that isn’t to say that the undersea world he lives in is not a colorfully enjoyable one.

     The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has come to capitalize on the success of the TV show, and, unfortunately, was sloppily put together, in almost every aspect. There is not a brain in the motion picture’s body; the only real allusions it ever comically makes are, peculiarly, to Greek Mythology. Not to mention, most all of its humor is borrowed from other sources; I was constantly reminded of the much funnier Ben Stiller satire Zoolander while watching The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. This adventure of SpongeBob’s could barely pass on television, let alone at the cinema.

     The basic plot of the motion picture is very similar to countless episodes of the show. Plankton (voiced by Doug “Mr.” Lawrence), leader of the Chum Bucket Restaurant, which has never served a single customer, wants to find the Secret Formula of the Krabby Patty, the token hamburger of the rivaling fast food joint where SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) works at, called the Krusty Krab. Instituting “Plan Z”, he steals the crown of King Neptune (Jeffrey Tambor), framing the owner of the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), for its burglary and sale to a citizen of a dangerous, faraway land. Mr. Krabs will be executed unless his favorite fry-cook SpongeBob, with the help of Patrick (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke), can retrieve the crown in six days. Meanwhile, Plankton capitalizes on the turmoil that this causes the business, steals the Secret Formula, and directs Krusty Krab customers over to the Chum Bucket and brainwashes them.

     The movie never comes to a point in which it becomes painful to endure, but it certainly isn’t entertaining, either. My viewing experience of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was similar to that of DreamWorks’ recent underwater adventure, Shark Tale; while sometimes mildly amusing, I never became so immersed in it that I forgot that I was watching a movie. I have a hard time believing that any adult will have a fun time enjoying it with their child, and they need not try to. Not only is it lacking in quality, but is also inappropriate for younger viewers. I found much of its content to rather perverse, especially a scene in which Patrick dresses in fishnet stockings and stiletto heels. But, fans will be fans, and there’ll be no stopping them from flocking to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie from now until January. As for me, I’ll be waiting for the day that Plankton actually succeeds in a plot to rip everyone’s favorite little sponge into pieces and light him on fire, in the name of smart humor. Now that would make for a worthy movie.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (11.20.2004)

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