SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass

Directors: Stephen Hillenburg, Sherm Cohen, Mark Osborne

This is a delightfully quirky, marine adventure set in the undersea world of Bikini Bottom and stars a yellow sponge as the hero who wears square pants. The antics of SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by TV series regular Tom Kenny) that have blazed a trail of success for Nickelodeon on TV make a daring expansion onto the big screen with creator/producer/director Stephen Hillenburg at the helm.

After a novel opening sequence with a shipful of pirates the movie unfolds to reveal a marine setting that is anything but calm under the surface. Young SpongeBob SquarePants finds himself passed over for promotion at Mr Krab’s very popular ‘in’ restaurant, the Krusty Krab, in favour of that resentful octopus Squidward Tentacles (Roger Bumpass). Somewhat down heartened by this experience his day goes from bad to worse when King Neptune (Jeffrey Tambor) arrives on Krusty Krab’s doorstep threatening Mr Krab (Clancy Brown) and naming him as the perpetrator behind his crown’s disappearance. With Neptune’s daughter Mindy (Scarlett Johansson) trying to calm the situation, SpongeBob SquarePants comes to Krab’s rescue and volunteers to search for the lost crown in Shell City the most likely place it’ll resurface in, but not before Krab has been incarcerated in a block of ice with a time limit set on his life!

However a dangerous current is rippling through Bikini Bottom spearheaded by Plankton (Doug Lawrence aka Mr Lawrence), a jealous, evil, neighbouring restaurateur. Consumed by greed and loathing of Mr Krab’s successful business he can’t wait to grab all his customers. To ensure it stays this way he hires Dennis (Alec Baldwin) a hit man to stir the sea bed even more as SpongeBob SquarePants and his dim-witted friend Patrick Starfish (Bill Fagerbakke) set off on their quest for the crown.

Highly innovative and amusing throughout this is a very entertaining animated feature. All the characters are voiced exceptionally well and the storyline keeps the momentum flowing and the movie is well paced. With all this action and fun backed up by a diverse soundtrack featuring artists from Avril Lavigne to Motorhead you’re in for a treat.

Lastly there’s an excellent human addition towards the end of the movie in the form of David Hasselhoff who superbly plays himself. Very tongue-in-cheek, in the lifesaving role he played in the BAYWATCH TV series that made him world famous, he comes to SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick’s rescue in some very choppy and perilous waters as a human surfboard! Well this should keep the mum’s transfixed while the kids are watching SpongeBob Squarepants in a climatic battle to save the day!

5 out of 6 stars