After Burger Beard the Pirate (Antonio Banderas) steals a magical book in which he can rewrite the story of Bikini Bottom and steal the Krabby Patty formula for himself, Spongebob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) teams up with archenemy Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) and friends Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence), and Squidward (Rodger Bumpass) to recover the formula and save Bikini Bottom from the apocalypse.
I’ve enjoyed Spongebob Squarepants since it first aired in 1999 (I was ten, by the way). As an adult, I find the show almost funnier than I did when I was a kid because I’m actually able to understand ALL of its jokes. The TV show has held up fairly well over the years, too, even though its demographic skews younger (despite adult weirdos like me who still watch the cartoon). That’s why Paramount greenlit a second animated feature film. If you remember, the first featured Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Tambor, and David Hasslehoff, and it was adorable and funny. Well, Sponge Out of Water is no different.
Now, I’ve never done drugs, but after watching Sponge Out of Water, I imagine it’s what an acid trip feels like. This is especially true of the scenes with Spongebob and Plankton time-traveling in a photo booth, featuring N.E.R.D’s trippy “Squeeze Me” song. Did I mention they encounter a space dolphin with a speech impediment whose job is to make sure Jupiter and Saturn don’t collide (What in the actual f***?) It’s completely insane, yet it gave me kid giggles.
And, of course, one of the things the Spongebob creators do well is insert adult references for the audience, which makes it funnier. Like this one—after the Krusty Krab runs out of Krabby Patties, the food that seemingly holds Bikini Bottom society together, the whole town goes crazy. Enter several Mad Max apocalypse jokes.
And there’s a reference to The Shining when Plankton crawls into Spongebob’s brain, discovering a creepy, happy, sunshineland.
One of my personal favorites (that I didn’t notice at first) was that the characters with their superpowers resembled the Avengers team. Spongebob is Captain America because he’s the noble team leader in red, white, and blue. Patrick was surrounded by thunder and had the ability to summon ice cream cones, a.k.a. Thor. Mr. Krabs was an obvious Iron Man, as was Plankton’s Incredible Hulk. Sandy is definitely Black Widow because she’s the only female. And Squidward, with his dorky music power, was totally Hawkeye. See it?
Yeah, this is one of those movies that’s so ridiculously weird that it’s fun. If you love Spongebob Squarepants, you’ll love this movie.
Overall, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water works for me. It’s stupid, it’s wacky, it’s weird, and watching it made me feel like I lost my goddamn mind. But it’s also funny and adorable. In other words, it perfectly captured the appeal of Spongebob Squarepants. Now, here’s a GIF of the exact face I made while watching this movie.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water: A-
For my radio review of The Spongebob Movie on “Pat & JT in the Morning,” visit this link (starts around the 24:24 mark).