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Parents' Guide to

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Silly quest has scary villains, message about courage.

Movie PG 2021 91 minutes
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 5+

Great for the whole family!

This movie is a great one to watch with your kids! There is a portion in the movie where the gamble. So if you don’t want to expose your children to gambling, I suggest not watching this movie.
2 people found this helpful.
age 8+

Spunchbob and Pickle Rick

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (33 ):

As he finds the courage to save his pet, SpongeBob is a scaredy-cat no more -- but his humor isn't quite as sharp as it used to be, either. Our sponge-y innocent still sees the world with wonder, but the movie's nonsensical storyline and pointless musical numbers may make adults wonder whether this now-decades-old cartoon character is ready for retirement. Kids, on the other hand, are much more likely to eat it up. For elementary-age kids especially, spending a couple of hours with SpongeBob and Patrick is entertaining enough. And while "the courage is inside you" message may not make a lasting impact on young viewers, there's another message that will. As part of the movie, the members of the Bikini Bottom gang reflect on specific moments of how SpongeBob's thoughtfulness and kindness have impacted their lives. Hearing how others see and value them is something kids crave. With Sponge on the Run, SpongeBob's positive example may resonate into showing kids how to be a good friend.

SpongeBob and Patrick are truly on a quest of mythical proportions as they take their trip to the underworld (actually, in this case, it's the above world) to free the undead. They lose track of time during a wild night at a casino, gambling the hours away. Likely inspired by the Lotus Eaters section of Homer's The Odyssey, the casino scene also feels like it was lifted almost directly from Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Regardless of origin, it begs the question: Why would you choose to place a children's character in a casino where he parties until he passes out? Or face a kill-or-be-killed scenario with a demonic vaquero? Or have children's heroes face the guillotine in a modern-day world? The story makes as much sense as Reeves' disembodied head rolling around uttering wisdom, or Snoop Dogg appearing out of nowhere in a zombie saloon. Bottom line? Kids will like it, but as much as the film may try, it's not epic in any sense of the word.

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