The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie based on the TV character SpongeBob has cartoon violence with some mature elements -- including drunken knife fights -- that some parents may not feel comfortable with. Also, expect crude humor, name-calling, and many commercial tie-ins. Bikini Bottom seems to have an economy that is entirely fast-food-driven, which may pose a problem for families trying to teach children to eat sensibly.
What's the story?
Having conquered television, SpongeBob and the rest of the gang are taking on the big screen with their first feature-length film. When King Neptune's crown is stolen and Mr. Krabs is the main suspect, SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick the starfish, leave the safety of Bikini Bottom and embark on an epic journey to Shell City on a mission to prove that Krabs is innocent.
Is it any good?
The challenge of making a feature length film of the television series is creating a story that preserves the essentially silly nature of the stories while having enough narrative heft to sustain a paying audience's attention for an hour and a half. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: THE MOVIE gets pretty close. They glitz up the highly distinctive, but near-anonymous voice talent of the television series by adding some new characters voiced by Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Tambor, and Scarlett Johansson, plus a guest live-action appearance by Baywatch icon David Hasselhoff.
The film has wedgie jokes for the kids, snarky humor, and music by the Flaming Lips, Wilco, The Shins, and Avril Lavigne, and some gentle lessons about compassion, loyalty, being yourself, and believing in yourself for parents. What they don't do is find a way to benefit from the big screen. SpongeBob is as trippily goofy as ever, but it's still pretty much just a longer version of the television show.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about what makes SpongeBob and his friends funny? Is the silliness all harmless fun, or are there some negative messages here?
Parents: Do your kids reenact some of the antics they see in this movie? What is your reaction to this?
Is it important that kids TV teach lessons, or is it OK to just entertain?
|Theatrical release date:||November 19, 2004|
|DVD release date:||March 1, 2005|
|Cast:||Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Tambor, Scarlett Johansson|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Topics:||Friendship, Ocean creatures|
|Run time:||90 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some mild crude humor|