The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
He may look like any other bristle-faced freebooter, hacking his way through a tropical island jungle in search of a chest full of doubloons, but Burger Beard is far more than he looks. And the bounty he seeks is much more as well.
He searches for the legendary book, you see. And if you spy the library check-out card in the front you'll see that even Davy Jones himself checked out this particular treasure. What makes the tome so valuable? Why, it tells the tale of one SpongeBob SquarePants, the yellowest, quadrilateralest seagoing scallywag you're bound to meet.
The sponge and his hearties live in an undersea town they call Bikini Bottom. There live Patrick the starfish, the miser Mr. Krabs, the villainous barnacle Plankton and a sea-dwelling squirrel named Sandy Cheeks. And what Burger Beard seeks most amidst this group of bilge rats is a secret. A secret recipe to the highest of culinary delights, the most savory of morsels … the Krabby Patty.
With the definition of that delicious delicacy in his mitt, the pirate could remake himself into a man of wealth and importance. He could weigh anchor and take his ship right up to the shore of a nearby beach—turning the seagoing craft into what landlubbers call a … lunch wagon. And before you know it, he'll be swimming in pieces of eight.
All it'll take is a little bitty adjustment to that SpongeBob's story. And that's exactly what magical books are good for, you know. With a quill and a splash of ink he'll change everything. He'll scuttle a place called Krusty Krab, magically make off with the booty and be about starting a new life.
Unless, of course, a certain SquarePants and his Bikini Bottom buddies can figure out a way to save the sea as they know it.
Once Mr. Krab's secret recipe disappears, Bikini Bottom instantly descends into Mad Max-like anarchy. And so it falls on the ever-hopeful SpongeBob to team up with the normally malevolent Plankton and fight back. It's not so easy for the deception-minded Plankton to adjust to being a good guy, though. In fact, when the diminutive sidekick sneaks into SpongeBob's brain to find a hidden-away secret, he quickly retreats upon seeing how sunshine-y, colorful and sweet-gumdrop good all of SpongeBob's thoughts really are. But with SpongeBob's help he eventually comes to understand that working with others as a team can help make difficult problems easier. In the end, Plankton says with wonder, "I realize now that keeping something to myself is … selfish."
SpongeBob has to eventually pull all of his pals up out of the dregs of their Krabby Patty-less misery. He rallies them together, and even though they're mostly just inclined to blame him for their problems and throw him to the angry Bikini Bottom mobs, he encourages them to use the strength of their friendship to beat Burger Beard together. And he volunteers to sacrifice himself if it's necessary to save his pals.
When the Krabby Patty recipe first disappears, a slightly crazed Sandy believes that the "sandwich gods" stole it away because they are angry with the residents of Bikini Bottom. She believes they need to make a sacrifice to appease them.
After devising a time machine, SpongeBob and Plankton stumble upon a talking dolphin named Bubbles who's been cosmically "watching" out over mankind for 10,000 years. As mentioned, the legendary book magically alters reality when people write in its pages. SpongeBob, for instance, uses it to turn himself and his friends into superheroes, each with his own superpower. One of those newly ripped roustabouts flexes his muscles and crows, "I'm a god!"
When the tiny sea creature friends make their way up to dry land, they encounter a beach full of real-world (live-action instead of animated) humans lounging about in bathing suits. Some of the women wear rather revealing bikinis. Patrick partially bares his pink backside.
A steady stream of cartoony slapstick pows, whams and thumps hit animated and live-action characters alike. Bikini Bottom is destroyed by angry mobs with torches. After a couple of planets accidentally collide, Bubbles, the watcher dolphin, begins shooting lasers from his blowhole (at SpongeBob!). Giant pelicans try to gobble up SpongeBob and his friends. A seagull is hit with a laser and turned into a fried chicken. SpongeBob and Patrick face off with Plankton in a huge food fight that involves a mustard- and ketchup-splurting machine gun, an explosive pickle-lobbing tank and a rampaging king-sized robot.
Live-action humans smash face-first into poles and tumble over benches. Street-side scenery is destroyed as Burger Beard battles SpongeBob and crew. Oversized cannons blast away, sending cannonballs at our heroes. A powered-up Sandy fills her squirrel cheeks with nuts and shoots them like a machine gun. Burger Beard is pummeled and slashed at, he barely dodges spike traps, and he fights an animated skeleton. His ship is smashed to kindling by a hulk-like incarnation of Plankton. And twice the pirate is thumped with a powerful kick that sends him flying miles into the air.
Crude or Profane Language
Pirate-y cuss-word stand-ins show up in the form of "oh barnacles!" "oh my Neptune," "what the corndog?!" and "oh shrimp!" Name-calling includes the likes of "jerk" and "twit." At one point when SpongeBob has used Burger Beard's magic book to turn himself and his friends into those super-built superheroes, he intones a winking, "Time for some serious abs kicking!"
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
There are a few fart, poop, body odor and ink-squirt gags. Burger Beard threatens to scrub his armpits with SpongeBob. At one point, angry Bikini Bottom residents all start wearing leather and spikes as they begin to riot. After consuming a huge amount of cotton candy, SpongeBob and Patrick fly into a glazed sugar high.
After 15 years and almost 200 Nickelodeon episodes packed with saltwater anarchy and crazy deep-ocean disasters, it would be fair to think that a porous pardner named SpongeBob might just be a little long in the loofah by now—making him a dried up peevish parazoan ready to yell at any snail or sea slug that might slither into his end of the ocean. But, nope, Sir SquarePants is just as guileless and smilingly hopeful as ever, even in the face of a patty-pilfering pirate and an ensuing aquatic apocalypse.
OK. Maybe guileless isn't exactly the right word. This big screen sequel, after all, does suffer from its share of typical kids' movie lowbrow bird poop gags and eye-rolling squid squirts. "What the corndog?!" and "oh shrimp!" tend to be the kind of winking exclamations that splash around in the script. And as it zips pell-mell with a sugar frenzy from one thump-a-thon to another, this pic sometimes feels like a nonstop barrage of blow-me-down sight gags and freewheeling goofiness.
Which is, of course, exactly the kind of silly stuff that keeps the SpongeBob SquarePants kiddie demographic anchored firmly in their theater seats. So I'm glad that by the time the eventual closing chantey of "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?" is bellowed, there have also been some pretty solid songs and lessons shared about teamwork, friendship, loyalty and even self-sacrifice.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Antonio Banderas as Burger-Beard; voices of Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants/Gary the Snail; Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs; Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star; Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles; Mr. Lawrence as Plankton; Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks
Paul Tibbitt ( )
February 6, 2015
June 2, 2015