Spongebob Squarepants Movie


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"...there are moments that are guaranteed (not an actual guarantee) to make you laugh. "










The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
The Masked Reviewer

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 world.

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 spoiled joke. 

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 science blunders.

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.


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