‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ Review

By Andrew Haas

I have been a fan of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants since childhood. This animated series has aired for more than fifteen years, though many fans claim the show’s quality peaked with The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie in 2004. With the announcement of a second theatrical film and series creator Stephen Hillenburg returning to work on the story, I became curious. I personally found it very entertaining.

     The good-natured SpongeBob, voiced by Tom Kenny, lives in the undersea town, Bikini Bottom, where everyone loves to eat Krabby Patties. But when the patty’s secret formula goes missing, the town turns apocalyptic from a lack of its favorite dish. SpongeBob gathers his friends to search for the missing formula. This leads them to the live-action surface world to face the pirate, Burger Beard, played by Antonio Banderas.

The series’ well-known surreal and nonsensical sense of humor is at full force in this movie. The film is energetic and the plot goes in many different directions. While it isn’t the most original SpongeBob story, as it borrows from many previous episodes, I still had a fun time thanks to the entertaining jokes and overall goofiness that I’ve come to expect from the show. I also liked the characters’ roles. For instance, SpongeBob has to work with Plankton to try to solve Bikini Bottom’s problem. With that said, the silly chaotic tone and unorganized film structure will alienate those who aren’t fans of the show.

From the title and advertisements, one would expect this film to be another live-action/CGI hybrid in the vein of Alvin and the Chipmunks or The Smurfs. However, the aspect of the film doesn’t come into play until the third act. The rest of the film is in the hand-drawn style of the show, which is colorful, fast, and creative in silly ways. The above-water portion is still funny, but it doesn’t feel as epic as audiences have been led to believe.

Overall, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water is a fun addition to the franchise that doesn’t fully live up to its subtitle, but makes up for it with good humor, likable characters, and extreme nautical nonsense. I’d recommend seeing this film in 3D, which is used quite well for a mostly 2D-animated film. Kids will have a blast and adults will enjoy it if they are fans of random humor. For fans who believe the show will never be as good as it used to be, I still say give it a watch. You might be surprised.

Verdict

Good

Sponge Out Of Water is a bizarre, yet fun trip back to Bikini Bottom.
Picture

Positives

  • Colorful & goofy animation
  • Good use of characters
  • Funny jokes
  • Nice use of 3D
  • Hyper, random, and surreal tone

Negatives

  • Somewhat unoriginal
  • Not much “out of water”