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Movie Review

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild crude humor.

Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens
Genre:
Animation Action Adventure Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
November 19, 2004 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Family Answers HOME page
Parenting and Family Q&As

Kid Explorers™
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Tom Kenny … SpongeBob / Narrator / Gary / Clay / Tough Fish #2 / … (voice)  More
Clancy BrownMr. Krabs (voice)
Rodger Bumpass … Squidward / Fish #4 (voice)
Bill Fagerbakke … Patrick Star / Fish #2 / Chum Customer / Local Fish (voice)
Mr. Lawrence … Plankton / Fish #7 / Attendant #2, Lloyd (voice)
Jill Talley … Karen, The Computer Wife / Old Lady (voice)
Carolyn Lawrence … Sandy (voice)
Mary Jo Catlett … Mrs. Poppy Puff (voice)
Jeffrey TamborKing Neptune (voice)
Scarlett JohanssonMindy (voice)
Alec BaldwinDennis (voice)
David Hasselhoff … David Hasselhoff
more »
Director: Stephen Hillenburg
Mark Osborne
Producer: United Plankton Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Pictures
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Sequel: “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” (2015)

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

If the answer to this question automatically rings in your head, you or your child must be a fan of Nickelodeon’s million dollar man, SpongeBob SquarePants.

This “super-absorbent” star headlines a quirky, off the wall cartoon comedy which has acquired a cult following among teenagers and children in America, and fans of the thirty minute cable show will no doubt be eager to attend SpongeBob’s big screen debut.

As the story begins, SpongeBob is excited as his boss, Mr. Krabs, owner of The Krusty Krab restaurant, is choosing a new manager for the place which specializes in burgers called Krabby Patties.

The Krabby Patty recipe is a closely guarded secret, much to the chagrin of Plankton, owner of The Chum Bucket, a competing restaurant which is failing without the benefit of a top-selling sandwich.

While Plankton masterminds his latest plan in a seemingly endless series of foiled schemes to steal the Krabby Patty recipe, SpongeBob prepares for the promotion he feels certain to receive from Mr. Krabs.

Unfortunately, SpongeBob’s hopes are dashed when the title is given to Squidward, his melancholy co-worker. When SpongeBob confronts Mr. Krabs about why he was not the one chosen, Krabs informs his crestfallen employee that he needed a man to handle the task, and SpongeBob is too childish. Insulted, SpongeBob is determined to prove to his boss that he is every bit a man.

The opportunity comes swiftly, as Plankton hits the scene. He has stolen cantankerous King Neptune’s precious crown and framed Mr. Krabs in the heist. Outraged, the king uses his scepter to freeze Krabs into an ice sculpture, promising to roast him to death unless proof is shown that Krabbs was not the real culprit.

Seizing this moment to show his boss how capable he really is, SpongeBob bravely announces that he will travel to the infamously dangerous Shell City to find the crown and return it within six days and save his employer’s life.

With his lovably oafish starfish pal, Patrick in tow and King Neptune’s mermaid daughter, Mindy pleading their case before her father, SpongeBob is about to begin the biggest adventure of his life.

Parental warnings are nearly inexhaustible in considering this film. Please do not be deceived by the light-hearted, cute trailers for this cartoon and take your kids to see it assuming it will be clean, innocent fun. Many parents would not find this material suitable viewing for children.

There is animated nudity throughout the movie. We view Patrick’s bare buttocks during three scenes, and SpongeBob’s once. At one point, Patrick surprises SpongeBob at a community gathering by swinging over the crowd, naked, holding a sign between his buttocks which bears a message to his friend. SpongeBob and Patrick are also shown in their underwear a few times. The underwear is drawn to look like men’s fitted briefs.

These characters are not real, and are not even human, so many may choose to gloss over the animated nude scenes, though it sends a wrong message to children that it’s okay to pull down one’s pants for a laugh.

If the writers of this production are so lacking in talent that this base attempt at humor was the best they could come up with, one might suggest that they give up trying.

Sexual innuendo is present, as Patrick is enamored with Mindy and flirts with her constantly, telling her she’s “hot” and asking her at one point if she wants to see his underwear. Will there be little boys on school playgrounds getting charged with sexual harassment after mimicking this sort of behavior coming from their lovable cartoon friend?

Patrick also displays sexual perversion in the final scene, when he attends a rock concert wearing fishnet stockings and women’s black leather boots.

David Hasselhoff makes an embarrassing cameo in swim trunks, during which his chest is computer-manipulated so that his pectoral muscles flex unnaturally, even forming a square shape, and then he places SpongeBob and Patrick on his chest and uses his muscles like a wedge to propel them back down into the sea. It is a grotesque scene.

Violence and frightening images are in no short supply. SpongeBob and Patrick are confronted by monsters and dark, scary places filled with piles of skeletons. They are chased by bizarre creatures trying to eat them. Small children could be terrified by these scenes.

There are many scenes of fighting, threatening, execution orders, and countless times characters are wounded.

Another disturbing event takes place when SpongeBob and Patrick are plucked from the sea by an ominous human diver hunting for treasures to sell in his gift shop on the shore. The two are placed under a heat lamp so that they will die and dry out. Eventually, they are moistened and revived, but a long scene ensues wherein the two are dying and writhing in pain. One of SpongeBob’s arms snaps off. Sensitive children would be horrified.

After losing his promotion, SpongeBob accompanies Patrick to an ice cream shop, where they sit in a secluded corner which is illustrated to look like a bar which would serve alcohol. However, rather than liquor, they consume endless quantities of ice cream sundaes. The two behave as though they are intoxicated, slurring, stumbling, singing and dancing. They wake up the next morning terribly hung-over.

The film concludes with a rock concert atmosphere, during which SpongeBob dons a wizard’s hat and cape and swoops over a crowd. Hard rock blares while Patrick (wearing the fishnets and boots) makes satanic symbols with his hands.

The script contains a plethora of name calling, one religious exclamation, and the phrase “jack ***” is said once, in a whisper.

The entertainment factor was very low. The primary humor is of the potty-ilk and received only a sprinkling of chuckles from the audience in a nearly full auditorium.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I think we all need to remember this is a CHILDREN’s movie. There were a lot of scenes of Patrick with his cartoon drawn butt and Spongebob running about in his undies. However, how is this any different than a Hane’s commercial on TV? I felt the movie could have been better in events that dealt with the storyline, but I was not offended by a starfish butt or the hard rock played at the end. In the end it comes down to like another reviewer stated: “know your child.” I am confident that my 6 year old knows right from wrong on most things and we left the “pull your pants stages” back at 3 years old.

Naturally having a child, you discipline and instill proper behavior and have structure… but don’t blame a simply cartoon movie for the lack of doing that!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Sherri, age 32
Positive—The movie is fun, if you want your kids to not do some of the things in the movie, then you encourage them not to. Almost nothing in the movie would turn normal children into misbehaved brats. Spongebob is pretty much aimed at late pre-teens and early teens anyway.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3½]
—Shaun, age 20
Positive—I think many of the reviewers here are too young to remeber what it was to be a child. Many of you don’t even get Spongebob and that’s the problem. Spongebob is drawn the way it is to be simple yet still good. All the adult metaphors are meant so that it watchable by you, the parents and by older viewers. This however is not a problem! Kids don’t know what they mean and drawn on buttocks is not that big of a deal. If you kids are pulling down their pants then that is your problem, kids learn most from their parents, not a hilarious, harmless, well animated TV show.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Jim, age 18
Positive—I am a Spongebob fan. I was also forewarned by the critics that this was not a child movie. It clearly said “Adult themes.” All the sexual hidden messages are in the cartoon episodes, too. I don’t think this movie was made especially for children only. It had to cover the vast fan audience which includes adults. Children love this cartoon, as it is a cute cartoon, but they don’t understand yet what those hidden messages are. Maybe teenagers.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—CB, age 35
Positive—I took my two kids to c this movie they are 11 and 7. I loved the movie. It did show a bit of nudity. I do not think it will encourage kids though…
My Ratings: [Good/3]
—Hannah, age 28
Positive—…I am a christian, and I believe I have good values. I am also a 27 year old married man with 2 children, one is 4 and the other is 1. My wife teaches Sunday school, and we attend church regularly, and we both believe very much in God… It is far worse to shelter your children to the point of obsession than to allow them the understanding of the ways things are. They will learn over time anyway, will you shelter them forever? And this constant constraint only leads to a child wanting to be more rebellious.

Isn’t it a better idea to let them see and experience things and then explain why something was inappropriate or why it was humorous? …Does anyone remember Bugs Bunny? He would dress up like a girl bunny, slap Elmer Fudd in the face, drop an anvil on his head and then kiss him on the mouth. Do you really think that cartoons have evolved so much? Was Bugs Bunny funny to you as a child? Did it ruin you in some way? I say let your children be young and find humor
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Dan Broughton, age 27
Positive—I believe that this movie wasn’t good (theatrically), but it was nothing we hadn’t seen before with cartoon hits trying to hit it bigger with a movie. There should be no surprise here. Parents who are trying to shelter there kids directly, will just fuel the fire for them to find out at school or somewhere else. Also, this is a movie about a sponge and a star… explain to me what the expectation of a good movie is?
My Ratings: [Excellent!/3]
—Danny Brylow, age 33
Positive—I was crying in this movie it was so funny—it was reminiscent of Monty Python at times. It wasn’t as bad as this review makes it, only adult minds would understand any of the “offensiveness,” the kids would only see silliness that makes no sense.
My Ratings: [Average/5]
—Gerrard Pedersen, age 19
Positive—This movie was the best of all time. I took my 4 year old daughter and my 8 year old son, and we all enjoyed every part of the movie. We loved it, and we recommend it to every family out there. Especially 13 year olds.
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Nancy, age 43
Neutral
Neutral—I took my 8 year old son and 12 year old cousin to this movie. We actually got the last 3 tickets for the show we seen, and the lady said the show after ours was half sold out already! The theater was packed with families with small children as would be expected. The beginning of the film was okay. But then, in a scene with Mr. Krabs and Spongebob on the stage, Mr.Krabs muttered a name at Spongebob. And what was that name? It was Jack***!!!… The theater became a buzz with gasp from adults and giggles from kids. I was shocked! I mean, come on, did they think because he muttered it that no one would care?

Then in the next scene, Patrick comes floating over the crowd, and it focuses on his backside which is made to look big and round and naked! And in the “folds” there is a sign with SPONGEBOB on it! My friend sitting next to me, and I were appalled! This clearly did not need to be in a movie aimed at kids!

There were other scenes with questionable subject in it, too. Yes, some of the things go over kids heads, however, they did NOT need to be in there. I was offended by this movie and very disappointed. It was made more for teenagers than little kids!

So please use caution with lil guys! The story line was nice in the fact that it proved that people of any age could do anything they put their mind to. Spongebob and Patrick finished the mission they had by never giving up.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Michelle Sechrist, age 30
Neutral—The movie is great, but I wouldn’t recommend it for children under the age of 13… I personally enjoyed the SpongeBob Movie.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Kaida Dahs, age 32
Neutral—I am very disappointed at this film specially when Spongebob and Patrick were at the ice cream place or should I say bar. The next day Spongebob was talking like if he was drunk. Nudity was shown. I like to watch the show, but after this movie I think that Spongebob will have one viewer less.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Sonia Duarte, age 19
Neutral—I took my four kids to this movie, ages 13, 11, 9, and 6 years. The three oldest kids loved it, but my 6 yr old was scared in several places. The skeletons scared her, and the scenes with the hitman, Dennis. The scene where Spongebob and Patrick dry out was pretty disturbing to her too. We have watched and liked the TV cartoon for a long time, but this movie seemed to focus too much on pulling down pants, and showing off bottoms. Kids already spend too much time doing that sort of thing, and it doesn’t need to be encouraged. This movie was overkill on that stuff.

We laughed quite a lot, but I’d have to say, I was disappointed at the seedy humor that was used excessively. And I would certainly not take a child under age 9. It wouldn’t have hurt us any not to have seen this movie.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Heather S., age 39
Neutral—This is a PG-rated movie. If your child is sensitive to semi-crude humor, then stick to the Disney/Pixar stuff. Honestly, people who watch the TV show understand that there are undertones of adult comedy/themes present. There really should be no surprise about this.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—Alain Niala, age 28
Neutral—This movie felt NOTHING like Spongebob right from the beginning. I own Season 1 on DVD and my husband and I love to watch it… but this was not Spongebob! They must have had a different director, or they were trying too hard or something.

My complaints also have more to do with magic. We are suppose to stay away from magic/witches… right? I did not agree with the whole “Mermaid” theme. Just like faeries and witches, wizards… we need to stay away from all of that. Sadly, you can’t see a movie these days without seeing one of those in it. I also did not like the rock and roll ending… it did not fit in, that wasn’t Spongebob either. If they (directors) had thought a little longer, they could have come up with a better ending.
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Francis, age 22
Negative
Negative—I took my 6-year-old and 14-year-old brothers to see the Spongebob movie, and it wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. The storyline was okay (basically what you would expect from the cartoon), and there were a couple of good morals of the story. Being persistent, never giving up, and believing in yourself seemed to be the predominant messages. However, there were way too many scenes involving Patrick Star’s rear end (him pulling his pants down, etc.), and several of the comments made in the movie are inappropriate for children.

It seemed like anything that was inappropriate went over my younger brother’s head, but my 14-year-old brother and I agreed that the Spongebob movie wasn’t that great. He even pointed out that there seemed to be too much violence for a kid movie (people getting beat up, skulls lining the road on the way to Shell City, etc). If you do see this movie, I would recommend waiting until it comes out on VHS or DVD. But definitely beware if you take small children with you to this film.
My Ratings: [Average/2]
—Nicole, age 19
Negative—I was completely appalled when I saw the violence and sexual connotations that were exhibited with this film. Don’t see it. I wish I could have gotten my money back. My girls barely laughed at all. It has changed my mind about watching this cartoon.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Rhonda Marsh, age 38
Negative—It is very bad what they call a kids movie these days! You don’t want your little kids seeing this. Trust me!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—AW, age 40
Comments from young people
Positive—I think that some people take things way to seriously. I personally thought this was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. You have to really understand SpongeBob to understand this movie’s stupid humour. I thought it was just as good, if not funnier, than the television show. Spongebob is a show for older children and teenagers, I thought people would realise that when they saw the PG rating.

So if Spongebob has a bad effect on a young child, that’s no surprise, Spongebob’s humour is for mature children and teenagers. This movie was not offensive one bit to me. If you don’t like dumb humour, than you probably don’t like Spongebob Squarepants, and therefore should not see the movie. But for people like me who like Spongebob humour, go see the movie. You will love it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Adam, age 14
Positive—It was pretty funny but there were some bad parts, like when you saw Spongebobs’ butt and Patrick’s… and could hear Mr. Krabs say jacka**. But it was pretty funny, it was more for teenagers though.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Michelle Reimnitz, age 14
Positive—Silly, light movie. Follows its genre. If you are afraid your child will pull his pants down because of this movie, reconsider your parenting skills. And know that your child has probably already heard the word jack*ss, and it has most probably not affected him in any way. There is a point in the protection of your children where we must draw a line.
My Ratings: [Good/3]
—William Hayes, age 17
Positive—A very Comedy movie. It was very funny!!! Although some crude humor.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Kimi, age 10
Neutral—I am a really big fan of Spongebob an I’ve looked at his episodes on television, and I think that this movie was just put there to make Spongebob look big because they have nothing else to show on tv, because they are repeating the episodes. I think this movie was not suitable for children because it was WAY TOO SCARY.

I could have imagined how kids ran out the theatres in the dark, and they are probably seeing this monster coming to grab them into his hands! As big as I am, I had to sleep with my sister even though we looked at it with the lights on, it was still scary. anyway, I’m a bit to upset to talk more about this movie, bye.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1½]
—Sherma Mahabirsingh, age 15
Negative—I used to be a huge Spongebob fan, and I used to watch the shows all the time. But after this movie, I’m starting to rethink my liking to Spongebob. I had seen this movie with my boyfriend, and we both thought it was a very offensive movie and It just seemed like they were just trying to sell-out Spongebob.

I especially didn’t like the part when Spongebob was hungover and near the near, when they’re playing that song. It just really didn’t seem like a happy, carefree movie like the episodes are. I’m not exactly sure what David Hasselhoff was doing in this movie either. What exactly was his purpose?

My boyfriend and I just found this a very dumb, pointless movie and we both thought that this is just a sell-out and we both now look at Spongebob differently. I do NOT recommend this movie for anyone, it’s just a waste of your money.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1½]
—Patricia, age 14
Negative—I feel that this movie was geared to teenagers and not to young children. It is not a movie I would recommend. This movie is degrading. I have a 4 year old brother who is in love with Sponge Bob and acts just like him. After watching the show my family was at a small restaurant having a good time when my little brother pulled down his pants howling with laughter. My parents were so appalled that Sponge Bob is no longer allowed.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Amie Hatter, age 17
Negative—I did not like the sponge bob movie! I went with my friends and was appalled. It had nudity, violence, and language. jack *** and Patrick’s buttocks were frequent. There is even a scene where Patrick asks the mermaid if she wants to see HIS underwear. society should not tolerate these sexual innuendos from a movie projected towards our small children. I barely laughed even once. Squidword was the only character free from any guilt. I didn’t not like this movie, and I hope no one has to spend $8.25 again.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1]
—Melesia, age 17
Positive—This movie was so extremely funny. I probably laughed more in this movie than any other movie I have seen in my life. For all you parents out there who ridiculed the movie for it being “inappropriate for younger children,” maybe you should be a responsible parent and see what the movie is rated! It’s not rated G, its rated PG, so if you don’t want your child seeing a PG-rated movie, don’t take them!…
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Stephanie, age 15
Positive—This movie was very good. I thought it as funny and exciting. The one thing I thought was kinda weird was Patrick flying in with his pants down, and his butt shown in fine detail. And when Spongebob’s pants fall down and show his butt. I mean what is so funny about butts any way! When they are in the patty wagon and crossing the skulls it is not that scary, but you might jump when the monster comes out. Little kids might be scared when that happens.

So this move is a good one so take your kids, if they are over 7. If they’re under 6, know them, if you think that they will run around with their pants down, I think you should reconsider taking them. All in all this is a great movie if you like the Spongebob T.V…
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Ricky S, age 11
Positive—Spongebob is good, and it has a lot of good morals, but there is a scene where Patrick is seen in the nude with a flag with the word “Spongebob” between his two butt cheeks and in the scene before then Mr. Krabs is mumbling “Spongebob you’re being a jack*ss,” but there are some good scenes in the movie… friendship is one of the most powerful, love, and that its good to forgive. I don’t think this is appropriate for kids under 8.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Matthew Kalinowski, age 13
Positive—This movie is HILARIOUS! I was surprised at how older kids/adults laughed more in this movie than the kids. This movie actually had a nice theme: Age doesn’t determine how strong or brave you are, and you can accomplish your goals if you don’t give up. Of course, there are a ton of jokes in the movie that seem to be aimed towards a more mature audience: hence the lack of laughter from young children. more »
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Wafflecat, age 14
Positive—Sponge Bob was not offensive! It was very funny, too. I laughed so hard. It was one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. I loved it so much. Every one should see this movie. It has a Motor Head song and a sponge in a sugar crazed stuper. What’s not to like?
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Cody, age 15
Movie Critics
…Too dark and edgy…
—Dr. Tom Snyder, Movieguide
…SpongeBob isn’t so severe that it can be callously lumped in with all those slimy “adult animations” seen on Comedy Central. But it does borrow some of their ideals… It revels in adult-minded asides that fly right over kids’ heads and straight into the disbelieving stares of parents…
—Marcus Yoars, Focus on the Family
…a cute little adventure involving friendship and courage…
—Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic
…ambles from adventure to adventure, taking nothing seriously, not even itself…
—Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO