The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Very similar to the edgy animated TV show.
  • PG
  • 2004
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 55 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 167 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Some messages about compassion, loyalty, and being yourself tucked inside a whole bunch of silly behavior.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mindy, King Neptune's daughter, is compassionate and smart. She doesn't want to see anyone get hurt, and uses her skills to help save the kingdom. Sponge Bob and Patrick are are the last guys you'd want saving the world. They are reckless, feckless and obnoxious -- but that's kind of the point.

Violence & Scariness

Gets more violent and perilous as the movie progresses. From shoving, smacking, and stepping-on, to drunken knife fights and dagger-soled boots, there is a creative array of brutal stuff. Bullies act ruthlessly, threatening that "all bubble blowing babies will be beaten senseless." They follow up with punches a-plenty.

Sexy Stuff

Characters shown in their underpants, use of body parts for gags. A female character is ogled, and Patrick dresses in stripper boots.

Language

Name-calling: "twit," "stupid," "dork," "ding-a-ling," "damning piece of evidence," and "Sponge Boob."

Consumerism

Commercial tie-ins with junk food and many other products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Aped drunken behavior after SpongeBob and Patrick binge on ice cream. Real drunken behavior among tough guys in a bar. Beer, cigarettes, bottles of alcohol are consumed by bar patrons. Drunken brawls ensue.

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycandaceandjadesmom09 April 9, 2008

it's not bad, its just silly stuff!

Spongebob is completely appropriate in my house. It really isn't bad, it's just plain silly! Silly stuff never hurt kids at all. It broke my daughter... Continue reading
Parent of a 7-year-old Written bypachyquin December 31, 2015

Very cute and funny

This is a movie for all ages. SpongeBob is so adorable and funny! There is no cursing or anything so everyone can watch it. It is good for adults too, because t... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 5, 2015

Awesome. Just plain awesome

This is one of the best movies I've ever seen, but there are bad parts to (here comes some spoilers!) Patrick is at one point, shown in his underwear, and... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBanzaiwashout March 15, 2016

This is the cartoon that has made me laugh harder than any other,

I'm 15 and still laugh at this film like crazy, it's crude but absolutely hilarious. Call me immature or call me crazy. But this film is one of my fav... Continue reading

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 film has wedgie jokes for the kids, snarky humor, music by the Flaming Lips, Wilco, The Shins, and Avril Lavigne, and some gentle lessons about compassion, loyalty, and being yourself. 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.

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.

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?

  • 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?

Movie details

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