SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Patty Caper

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Patty Caper Movie Poster Image
Cartoon collection is as funny and absurd as always.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Except for teaching kids how to spell the words "brake" and "throttle," this SpongeBob DVD is for comedic entertainment, not educational purposes. But through the episodes, kids will learn about the role of humor in a story and about character development, irony, and even sarcasm.

Positive Messages

There are messages of friendship and capabilities, along with an emphasis on persistence and working hard, throughout the DVD. But these are mixed in with lots of silliness, some comic violence, and some put-downs and other behavior that adults won't want kids imitating.

Positive Role Models & Representations

SpongeBob and Patrick stick together no matter what, and SpongeBob is quite persistent. He's single-mindedly focused on retrieving the Krabby Patty formula, even if it puts him in harm's way. There are some put-downs and other iffy behavior mixed in with the positives.

Violence & Scariness

A fish turns into a werewolf. There are also some cartoonish pratfalls, like when Plankton tries to steal the Krabby Patty formula on a tiny missile, which crashes into the Chum Bucket. Plankton is run over, crushed, and otherwise troubled but is never actually hurt. In one gag, it looks like Patrick is going to torture Plankton, but he's using the ominous-looking tools for other reasons.

Sexy Stuff
Language

No profanity, but there are a couple of mild exclamations like "Geesh!," and "for Neptune's sake!" and "what the..." and insults like "nutheads" and "choo-choo heads."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this DVD is a compilation of a half-hour special called The Great Patty Caper and six 15-minute episodes of Nickelodeon's highest-rated show. For parents unfamiliar with the series, this isn't edutainment like Dora or Sesame Street; it's just all-out humor that occasionally borders on the absurd. A couple of characters, like Plankton, are perpetually in trouble or injured in silly ways -- but nothing can keep them down. SpongeBob's motto is "I'm ready!" and he's the most hardworking, generous, loving little yellow fella you'll see on television.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBetter choices August 30, 2013

There are Better choices out there.

Sassy, disrespectful language and attitude. Cigar smoking - not a good role model.
Teen, 17 years old Written byXemnasSuperior March 10, 2011

Crazy as always

SpongeBob is one the best shows ever made. Appropriate for all!!
Kid, 9 years old July 3, 2011

Great

I love this movie! Spongebob is a great role model, and a great friend. I wish I knew him in person! (or sponge)

What's the story?

SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and his burger-joint employer, Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), discover that they're out of preformed patties and get the secret formula out of its safe to make new ones. Plankton, as always, tries to grab the recipe, so Mr. Krabs has it taken far, far away to the bank's safety deposit box. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Krabs nor SpongeBob actually looks at the secret formula before it's sent away, so SpongeBob and his trusty sidekick, Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), set off with the bank key to recover the recipe -- with Plankton hot on their tail. On a climactic train ride, SpongeBob and Patrick must evade Plankton and a host of disguised criminals to get to the secret formula before the Krusty Krab is forced to close its doors. The additional episodes are varied, but they all center around food or the Krusty Krab.

Is it any good?

Fans will get their fill of SpongeBob mayhem and enjoy the underwater hijinks. This DVD is a good mix of episodes featuring some favorite food- and kitchen-related storylines. Whether it's Plankton chasing after the Krabby Patty formula, Mr. Krabs stealing food to feed his growing daughter Pearl (a sperm whale), or SpongeBob attempting a career as a kitchen-sponge model, this animated series is hilarious, with humor that ranges from preschool-friendly sight gags to grown-up-friendly references (like the Agatha Christie allusions in the Patty Caper special).

But if you think SpongeBob, Patrick, and company are everything that's wrong with children's entertainment, it's doubtful that this DVD will change your mind. There's still no hidden educational purpose to the series, but it does expose kids to plot structure, character development, predictability, and the various ways that humor is used in a story. Characters often speak sarcastically and act rudely to each other -- and, unlike in real life, no one seems bothered by the mean-spirited things that are said. What's more, situations are often resolved with violence, and the frequent songs sometimes touch on iffy subject matter like bombs and making fun of people. SpongeBob is a classic animated icon, and there's a reason for his cult-like following among everyone from toddlers to college students to adults who don't have kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes SpongeBob and his friends funny. Is the silliness all harmless fun, or are there some negative messages here?

  • How are SpongeBob and Patrick ageless? In what ways do they act like kids?

  • Patrick isn't the smartest starfish in the sea, but SpongeBob is always patient with and kind to him. What does that teach us about how to treat our friends?

  • Why is SpongeBob so popular with both adults and kids?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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