A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie is 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: THE MOVIE, 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?
- In theaters: November 19, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: March 1, 2005
- Cast: Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Tambor, Scarlett Johansson
- Director: Stephen Hillenburg
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Ocean Creatures
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild crude humor
- Last updated: February 17, 2021
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