The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount Pictures, PG)

Sponge Out_Of_Water_75The action/adventure elements of the story are fun for kids, but for adults it just seems to drag on. We know where the story is going and spend the majority of the film waiting for it to get there rather than enjoying the ride.

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I’ve never been a huge fan of SpongeBob. I have seen more episodes than I care to admit, but I always saw it as a mediocre show, something I would watch when nothing else was on, and it would hold my attention. That being said, I was disappointed in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The film isn’t terrible, but it’s sub-par. It is not particularly memorable and doesn’t go far enough beyond a typical episode to warrant being in theaters.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water follows SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) and friends as they search for the Krabby Patty Secret Formula. SpongeBob tries to stop Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) from stealing the formula, and it disappears into thin air. Unable to make Krabby Patties without the formula, the citizens of Bikini Bottom go crazy and become savage, destroying the town. SpongeBob and Plankton team up to find the formula, which involves time travel and a magical dolphin. They also come to land, along with Mr. Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown), Patrick (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke), and Squidward (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) to fight the formula thief, a pirate called Burger-Beard (Antonia Banderas).

Plankton trying to steal the formula is a typical storyline for SpongeBob SquarePants the TV series. This is disappointing because I was looking for something new, so I did like the twist of Burger-Beard stealing the formula to use it for his own burgers on land, and then Plankton joining the team to retrieve it. I just wanted to see more expansion, for example, when Lizzie McGuire was made into a feature film, the characters were put in completely new circumstances they had never encountered before on the show. The SpongeBob Movie does incorporate magic, which is not in any episodes of the show that I have seen, but time travel has been explored before along with stealing the formula, and venturing on land. The magic allows the characters to breathe on land and therefore spend more time out of the water, but it still didn’t feel greater than a typical episode like I hoped.

The film switches back and forth between the animated world under the sea and the live action world on land, which graphically offers some good visuals.

There is an obvious attempt to cater to both children and adults, but this film failed at that attempt. There are various puns used that kids will not get, but they aren’t funny enough for parents. The action/adventure elements of the story are fun for kids, but for adults it just seems to drag on. We know where the story is going and spend the majority of the film waiting for it to get there rather than enjoying the ride.

For parents who want to make sure their kids watch movies with moral lessons, this film beats you over the head with the theme: teamwork. While the delivery is annoying, I appreciate the inclusion of the teamwork theme, but unfortunately there is no follow through. Plankton, the character who learns to set aside his selfish tendencies and become part of a team to reach his goals, reverts right back to his selfish, formula-thieving ways at the end of the film. | Samantha LaBat

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