Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
If you know the answer to that question, then you know a lot more about
Spongebob Squarepants than the Masked Reviewer did going into this film.
It turns out that Spongebob Squarepants is an animated character on a
highly successful Nickelodeon show. You've probably seen his big,
square, yellow visage in your local toy repository. Even though
Spongebob has long, luxurious eyelashes, he's a man, a manly man, and in
this movie he goes on a manly adventure.
The style of the film is a
bit reminiscent of "Ren and Stimpy" although not nearly as gross.
There are the occasional flashes of starfish butt cheek, but it's mostly
a silly undersea romp that's fun for everyone.
Everyone? That's right. Everyone. As far as an
animated adventure goes, The Spongebob Squarepants Movie has
something for everyone. Maybe you won't sit on the edge of your
seat for the whole thing, but there are moments that are guaranteed (not
an actual guarantee) to make you laugh. And, unlike most animated
features these days, it doesn't try to hammer the viewer over the head
with a moral...there is one, but it doesn't become the be-all and
end-all of the film.
The main focus of the movie is fun. And, in that end it
succeeds. The Masked Reviewer knows several grown-ups who have
gone on and on about the greatness of Spongebob. The Masked
Reviewer is wary of those people...until now. It's a pretty great
show. It's silly, but refreshing. The characters are all
well-developed and original. Spongebob is hard to put in a box
(even though he is square). He's part Stimpy and part Smurf.
He's somewhat evocative of "Sesame Street"'s Ernie. Then there's
Patrick the starfish. He's dimwitted but loveable. The two
make a good team, supported by excellent performances by Mr. Krabs,
Squidward Tentacles, and the evil one-eyed Plankton, bent on ruling the
All these characters should be familiar to fans of the show.
There are a couple of new faces (with more famous voices) but the Masked
Reviewer doesn't want to ruin the fun for you.
Speaking of which, the big special guest surprise star in the movie
has unfortunately been ruined by each and every preview and ad for the
movie. That's too bad. It would've been a great joke if they
hadn't spoiled it. As a result, the whole section with the special
guest surprise star falls kind of flat; you know it's coming, and all
the impact of this person appearing out of nowhere is lost. See
how the Masked Reviewer can talk about this without mentioning who this
person is? Perhaps the studios should try it. It would've
been a great moment in cinematic history, but instead, it's just another
The Masked Reviewer could bring up a few minor criticisms. For
example, there's a fire in one scene. But, they're underwater.
How did they light the fire? Sure, they could have used those
high-tech underwater torches for building oil rigs...but they didn't.
They also have buckets full of water underwater. How does that
work? Okay, perhaps that's putting too much of a critical eye on a
goofy underwater cartoon. But Jabberjaw never made those kind of
Another scene features Spongebob and Patrick appearing to be drunk.
They don't have any alcohol, but they certainly act drunk. If you
don't think your children should see someone acting drunk, you might
want to know about it; on the other hand, you might want to lighten up.
Have a drink. Relax. Kids won't know. They're kids.
They'll be drinking in junior high anyway.
Compared to some other animated features (like Shark Tale),
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie is vastly superior. It's
funny, it's cute, and it's even enjoyable for grown-ups. You don't
have to like or even know anything about the show to enjoy it.
There are good laughs and it's not preachy, stupid, or annoying.
Strangely, the Spongebob movie didn't seem to get a particularly huge
reaction from the kids (there wasn't a lot of laughing and screaming)
but after the movie, more kids reported loving Spongebob and having a
great time than they did at Shark Tale. This is even better
-- imagine going to a kid's movie where the kids aren't screaming and
distracted all the way through! More movies should be like
this. It's not like "Bullwinkle", which appeals to kids and
adults on two different levels; Spongebob finds a way to charm everyone.
Expectation from the Title: The long awaited adaptation of the
novel of the life of Robert, who lived off of his roommate for twelve
years and always wore bell-bottom trousers.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
There's no two ways about it...Spongebob is a cutie.
The Pros: Silly, funny, cute, and it kept a theater full of
kids quiet for over an hour.
The Cons: Fire underwater and a great moment spoiled by
overzealous advertising people.