The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)

Rated PG Our rating: V-3; L-1; S/N-1

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

This simply drawn but highly colorful animated film, based on the Nickelodeon series set far beneath the ocean waves, probably should be rated K for Kiddies. There are numerous jokes aimed at adults—I loved the Alexander Clam Bell item in the undersea gift shop! —but most of the humor is definitely for younger children. The plot involves our hero, the teenaged SpongeBob (voice by Tom Kenny), eagerly arising on the morning when he expects to be named manager of Krusty Krab II. However, his boss Eugene H. Krabs (Clancy Brown) appoints Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass, telling SpongeBob that he is too young for the job, even though the latter has fresh ideas and great rapport with customers, especially when compared to the anti-social Squidward. Meanwhile the evil Plankton, the owner of the rival seafood restaurant across the street, plots to steal Eugene’s famous recipe for Krabby Patties by arranging for King Neptune’s crown to be stolen and Eugene accused of its theft. SpongeBob and his starfish friend Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) must set forth to retrieve the crown, save his boss from execution by the enraged King, and thus win the job promotion due him. Thus the plot involves a quest filled with dangers and obstacles that will test the mettle of our pair of heroes. For me the 90-minute running time seemed far longer, but the kids certainly will not think so.