SpongeBob soaks up 90 minutes, giving little in return
by Bob Brown
Posted 2/14/15, 10:00 am
SpongeBob SquarePants is the ninth longest-running cartoon series in television history. It first aired on Nickelodeon in 1999 and has been a staple of cable offerings ever since. In 2004, the first SBSP movie was released, and its sea-quel, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (rated PG for rude humor and mild action) serves up an hour-and-a-half of the same fare SBSP fans are accustomed to. But newcomers to the franchise might not be persuaded to plunge into further viewing.
SpongeBob flips burgers at the Krusty Krab, a fast-food joint in a community called Bikini Bottom located on the sea floor. Someone steals the secret formula for the Krabby Patty, the most popular burger sold at the Krusty Krab, and an apocalyptic famine ensues. Suspicion falls on SpongeBob’s nemesis, Plankton, but SpongeBob knows Plankton is innocent and stands up for him against an angry and hungry mob. SpongeBob and Plankton overcome their mutual enmity and learn how to work together. They embark on different adventures, involving time travel four days into the future, searching for the real thief.
In the latter half of the movie, they exit the cartoon environs of the ocean and emerge on dry ground in a live action/computer graphics mélange. There they chase Burger Beard the Pirate, played by Antonio Banderas, who also narrates the entire story. The cartoonish action is for kids, but the humor—and, presumably, the several lingering close-ups of (real, not animated) bikini-clad women—is for grown-ups.
After SpongeBob sings what amounts to a public service announcement for teamwork, Plankton laments, “That’s one minute of my life that I’ll never get back.” SBSP moviegoers likely will lament the 90 they can never get back.
Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.