Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
What’s wrong with greed, cheating and stealing to get ahead in business?
|Featuring:||Antonio Banderas … Burger-Beard
Seth Green … Police Officer Robert
Clancy Brown … Mr. Krabs (voice)
Tom Kenny … SpongeBob SquarePants / Gary the Snail (voice)
Thomas F. Wilson … Ben Tweedy
Jesica Ahlberg … Tanning Woman
Bill Fagerbakke … Patrick Star (voice)
Slash … Jerry Vandergeld
Christopher Backus … Captain Burger-Beard Sr.
United Plankton Pictures
Prequel: “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” (2004)
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! It’s a typical day at the Krusty Krab in Bikini Bottom for SpongeBob and his friends. Squiward works the cash register, Mr. Krabs runs the management, and SpongeBob happily works behind the grill. Even Plankton attempts to, once again, steal the Krabby Patty formula! During his failed attempt, as he and SpongeBob are wrestling over the formula, the formula vanishes into thin air!
As it turns out a pirate/fast-food owner named Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) is the culprit. It’s up to SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Squidward, and, yes, even Plankton, to team up to recover the Krabby Patty before life in Bikini Bottom ceases to exist as we know it.
Over 15 years ago, the first episode of “SpongeBob Squareparnts” aired on television. The concept might have seemed a very silly at the time, but it grew and withstood the test of time. It gathered a huge following, tuning in to watch the latest episode, glued to the adventures of SpongeBob and his pals.
But time wasn’t always beneficial for SpongeBob. In fact, “SpongeBob SquarePants” became “less-than-kid-friendly” for some parents. Some felt that SpongeBob presented themes that parents didn’t want their children exposed to: themes of homosexuality, greed, etc.
What really hurt the franchise’s public image though, and to some extent crossed a fine line, was the first “SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” back in 2004. Without going into much detail, the questionable content the SpongeBob series had become known for in the later years had gone too far. Was this the end of SpongeBob? It would seem so.
HOWEVER, with this recent installment in the SpongeBob franchise, I am happy to report that Stephen Hillenburg (the creator), Nickelodeon and the crew have learned from the past and have presented a much cleaner (but not PERFECT) movie than its prequel. Having seen both movies, I was able to note the difference within the first 30 minutes of the sequel. Yes, there is some potty humor that parents may have to deal with and discuss. But considering how problematic the first movie was, I was actually impressed by what I saw in this sequel. I saw a sense of redemption for a franchise that had seemed to end when it aired its final episode a year or two ago.
Content for Concern
While “…Sponge out of Water” is cleaner than it’s predecessor, as I said, it’s not perfect.
Mr Krabs, in order to get Plankton to talk, tortures him by making SpongeBob laugh (for those who are unfamiliar with the show, it’s a shrill annoying laugh). SpongeBob and his friends, as they arrive at the surface, are shot into the air and are seen bouncing around off of people, umbrellas, and other beach items. There are some action sequences, some involving cannons, including a long, but cartoonish, battle sequence with Burger Beard. Patrick has a cannon ball land on his face. A character is kicked in the buttocks hard at the end (sending him flying through the air).
Most of the language is in the form of name calling (“Oh, shrimp!”, “Aw, nuts!”, “idiot,” “jerk,” “moronic”). What more offensive, though I understood WHY they did it, was a scene where Sandy (usually the rational character) goes crazy during the Patty apocalypse and shouts, “We must appease the Sandwich gods. We must offer a sacrifice!” Squidward also states, “I’m a god.” (It’s just goofy cartoon humor, not meant to be taken seriously.)
In a couple instances, we see Patrick’s bottom. Women are seen in bikinis and swimsuits (some are revealing), and SpongeBob asks Plankton about why he’s naked.
Other Content: When the patty formula goes missing, we see Bikini Bottom turning into an apocalyptic setting, with buildings burning and characters wearing some… interesting… apocalyptic outfits. Squidward also “inks,” and as I stated, there is some potty humor.
Positive elements contained in this sequel are themes of friendship, sacrifice, and teamwork. SpongeBob stands by Plankton when he is wrongly accused, even if it might cost him his life. I was reminded of how the Bible speaks of the reward, not Earthly, that waits for us when we stand for Christ in the face of adversity. When we stand for Him, even if the world hates us. Jesus said,
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” —Matthew 5:11-12 (ESV)
Before I went in, I got into a conversation with a concession stand employee. He saw my clipboard and wished me good luck for what I was about to endure. At first, I laughed, thinking the same thing. It’s rare when a movie surprises me, and I have to say I did not expect to actually enjoy “…Sponge out of Water” as much as I did (even parents were laughing at the corny humor, at times). “…Sponge out of Water” is somewhat cleaner than the series and DEFINITELY an improvement from the first movie, but it still has its moments of caution (potty humor and some language issues to deal with). As for a recommendation, it gets a thumbs up from me and the PG rating is correct. Parents, should read the comments and reviews, first, before taking kids. In my opinion, it is okay for most children 8 and up. Well done, Nickelodeon. This is a step in the right direction.
Violence: Moderate / Language: Mild (no profanity) / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.