- Directed by: Paul Tibbitt, Mike Mitchell
- With: Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown
- 93 Minutes
Whether you see it as a smart move by Nickelodeon to bring back the cheers of an audience that supported their first years of activities or as a forced comeback of a character who lived its best period a long time ago, there’s one thing one must agree: it’s funny and has the potential to please both children and grown-ups with a story filled with references and small details everyone loves to see. While I was watching it, I noticed that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was created mostly for the pleasure and entertainment of the fans of the show, because the story sometimes require a better knowledge/bigger affection regarding its characters. It’s true that with some cultural references and some funny jokes, I ended up enjoying the whole movie but for some brief moments, I felt a lack of interest in attracting a bigger audience.
While the trailer featured mostly scenes out of the water, these moments only fill the last half-hour of the movie and during the rest of the movie we are invited to see the tragedy that erupts in Bikini Bottom, after the disappearance of Krabby Patty’s secret recipe. The story is introduced by a pirate named Burger-Beard that travels to an island to obtain a magical book that allows him to make whatever he writes in it. During a celebration at the Krusty Krab, Plankton, the owner of the Chum Bucket, tries to steal the successful recipe but all of a sudden the paper disappears and since he and SpongeBob were the only ones who witnessed that, everyone starts suspecting on them. Together SpongeBob and Plankton travel back in time to avoid the disappearance of the recipe but when they sense the smell of Krusty Krab’s famous burgers, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Sandy and Squidward with the unlikely duo of heroes to get the secret recipe.
There are time travels, a funny and powerful dolphin that is in charge of controlling the balance of the entire universe, a group of funny seagulls and the unpredictability of the TV Show that was always able to conquer everyone thanks to its unique characters, references and good jokes… With all this things included in the package, there’s enough fun and excitement for all family, in a movie ultimately made for kids. Since most of the action happens in the ocean, there’s not too much to add in technical aspects (regarding these scenes) since there’s almost no improvement compared with the TV Show. In this crazy world where it’s possible to use fire under the sea and in which the lack of hamburgers is the main causes their version of the Apocalypse (with some references to Mad Max), there’s still a slight probability of getting mixed reactions since the movie focuses its target audience in the small group of people worldwide that enjoys creativity in a more silly and funny sense. The SpongeBob Movie sees most of its potential in the funny jokes and in the wired moments that made me genuinely laugh in the theater, while I noticed, at the same time, a lack of emotion in the adventure. It’s funny to see the group of characters attacking each other while they are trying to work as a team and the weird live-action sequences made the whole experience kind of memorable.
Even though it lacks the magic of the great animation hits, The SpongeBob Movie brings granted fun to a society that needs to laugh every now and then. One of the things I was more concerned about were the live-action sequences since they featured a mixture of animation with real people, a challenging task because usually people are a bit reluctant to this idea. Perhaps because the whole movie is filled with so many weird moments, when the characters leave their animated world to make a short tour to the surface, and we see them interact with real people, this abrupt transition ends up being quite surprising. Overall the animation was great, with an interesting interaction between live-action and animation, which surprised me a lot for how well it worked, the soundtrack was a bit energetic and reflected most of the character’s thoughts. With a funny villain (that looked a lot like a Latin version of Jack Sparrow) and a quest for the ultimate burger recipe, The SpongeBob Movie will entertain you and your kids for sure, ended up being a successful move by Nickelodeon that managed to bring back the wonders of Bikini Bottom in a great way.