Hello, Spongey here.
It’s no secret that I’ve had an interesting relation with Spongebob. I mean, he’s kind of in my name. On at least two huge occasions, I’ve told you that this show pretty much represents my childhood. It’s also no secret that Spongebob hit a rough spot after the creator left after the movie.
Most people agree that Seasons 4 and 5 are alright, since they have great episodes to counteract the crappy ones. Then came Season 6 where…yeah you know by now. In about two posts I’ve been kind of defending this era, mostly due to my connection with the show.
You may recall my Worst Episode where I seemed like I was trying to fit rather than share bad episodes.
Pet or Pests still sucks though.
I haven’t really admitted this yet but…my feelings have changed. No, my mind has not been brainwashed by the internet or people like Mr Enter or anything like that. I just reached the point where I started finding more episodes I disliked, and now I consider myself kind of on the side of people saying the show is not exactly the best now.
I am not a hater by any means. Despite the bad stuff, I still do like it overall due to the good episodes we get. For every One Coarse Meal there’s a Hello Bikini Bottom. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
No, we’re here to talk about movies. As you know, I reviewed the 2004 film which is near and dear to my heart. The show has trucked on afterwards creating some rather mixed episodes.
Then a couple years ago, Nick finally announced they were make another movie. A lot of people were cautiously optimistic. It could bring new life to the Sponge or kill him again.
When they heard it would feature live action and the character would be CGI while on land….yeah the reaction was mixed. It doesn’t help the live action segments are directed by the brilliant man who brought us Chipwrecked.
..And also wrote two episodes of Spongebob…including Friend or Foe. Whatever, at least the director of the first Alvin movie wasn’t a writer on SB since literately the pilot.
…What was I talking about?
As more info came out, people got more interested. And now the movie is out, with a lot of people saying they were pleasant surprised. Most critics liked it, as it has a 71 or so on RT, PieguyRulz liked it, and Ani-Mat actually gave it an 8.
Naturally, I’ve been excited for another Spongebob movie, regardless of how good or bad it is. The trailers impressed me and the reviews are helping as well.
Oh, and a little guy named Steven Hillbenburg is working on the story. That’s cool.
Will the movie be as good as it looks and bring life back to the Sponge, or is he finally washed up?
Let’s find out!
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
STORY: When the Krabby Patty formula vanishes during yet another attempt to take it on Plankton’s part, he is blamed and Bikini Bottom faces an apocalypse. Now it’s up to Spongebob and Plankton to find out what happened to it, and little do they know that an evil pirate is up to all, and they’ll need all they got to stop him…
So allow me to get one thing straight: The live part you see all over the trailers? It’s the 3rd act. We spend a good amount of time, but it’s at least only the last 20 minutes or so. About 70, or 80 percent the movie takes place down in Bikini Bottom.
It makes sense that they advertised that part more, but it did stop some people from seeing it.
Anyway, how is the story? Well, it’s about the same as the first: Nothing groundbreaking, but very serviceable.
The difference between the first movie and this one is that the first one had more an epic story, while this is more along of the ones of something you would see in the show.
However, that is a plus in this film’s favor as it has some of the minor stuff the first film was missing: Use of the supporting characters, and most importantly: THE MY LEG GAG.
Yes, it’s back after it’s long absence since Season 6! 10/10, best movie ever!
Now, they add enough elements to make it worthy of a feature but you do need to know what you’re getting into with this. As for the story itself, it’s okay.
It’s nothing really complex and there aren’t a ton of twists and turns. That’s fine, since Spongebob was never really made for a complex story, and it’s mostly there to give us a simple moral I’ll get into, and some gags.
And the gags work! It’s no Chocolate with Nuts, but it’s a funny movie with plenty of solid gags. Both segments have their share of gags, but the funniest is….well I won’t spoil it but I’ll save it involves Spongebob’s brain. Yeah.
I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard at Spongebob in quite a while. The story does have its share of issues. It’s probably just a personal thing, but I did want a few more subplots.
They pad the film out finebut the first film had a few more minor things, and it cut between the gang and Bikni Bottom to even things out. They do stuff like that, but some parts can feel padded out and they could have fixed out by including just little subplots here and there and perhaps a few more characters, but I’ll get into that later.
Speaking of padding, that’s only a minor issue here. It does feel a bit padded out sometimes to meet the 90 minute mark. But like I said, it’s only minor, and unlike the show’s infamous TV Movies, every single scenes adds to the plot and has something interesting or amusing.
I was a bit worried that this movie wouldn’t have an emotional backbone like the first one, but thankfully it does. See, it’s mostly a buddy movie with Plankton and Spongebob as Plankton learns about teamwork.
It’s a basic moral but it actually got more emotional than I expected. No, it doesn’t too far without it, so you won’t cry, but there are some moments I did D’aww at.
Plankton got the most development he’s had since Plankton’s Pet…which wasn’t that long ago, so why did I point that out. There’s one bit I did not expect, and it’s with Plankton and a different character. No spoilers though.
Now, my only other issue is that the ending is a bit abrupt. Yeah yeah I know, but it didn’t quite give you the feeling of accomplishment like the first one did. Okay, I swear that’s my last comparison to the first movie. The ending still worked, and I did like how they handled the status qou without being too insulting.
It could have been bigger, you know? Oh, and as some have pointed out, there are plot lines that are similar to episodes of the show. Most specifically they took inspiration from F.U.N, Mermaid and BarnacleBoy 5 and oddly enough, Sponge-Cano.
The first two seem obvious but you’ll only get the last one if you’ve seen the movie. Despite my bitching, the story works. It’s there to give us that moral and a lot of funny gags. Spongebob is always more about jokes than story and this one balanced out that decently.
Also, the way Burger Beard works into this is odd but eh, I can deal. As for how they become heroes…it’s amazing, but no spoilers.
Overall, the story may recycle plot lines, and have other minor issues, but it works due to giving us a wonderful character dynamic, and some very funny gags. Could it have been a bit meatier?
Sure, but Spongebob is supposed to be funny, and this film very much is.
Before I address the big thing, let’s go over something else. Yes, this is a mostly 2D animated movie, that’s in theaters. That’s…pretty amazing.
How is the 2D animation? It’s pretty good! Much like the first movie, they just gave the show a theatrical boost, and in some ways it’s weaker and better. Weaker in that they don’t as many crazy things with it, but better in that it looks just a bit better.
The colors are a lot brighter and the characters are designed better and just move better. It is mostly just a modified version of the show’s animation, but it works, giving us some really nice looking movements.
They do some cool things in the Mad Max Bikini Bottom Section and stuff like that. Every character looks good and all that good stuff. One weird choice that did is with the backgrounds.
Stuff like the front of the Krsuty Krab, look like paintings. It’s quite lovely but it does look out of place, especially when compared to the first movie. However, it’s not an actual problem.
The visuals highlights are the brain part I mentioned, and one part that…well I’ll just say it involves a machine they use. They use some other animation styles, including stop motion!
And that brings me to the CGI. It was…really good! A lot of CGI in movies like this looks way too realistic and unlike the original characters. But here, it’s very cartoon-y and everyone moves like they should. There some cool stuff here, especially in the big action scene.
So don’t worry, the CGI is quite nice. There really isn’t a whole to say, really. Its updated TV animation but it still looks very nice, and the CGI is done in the manner it should be done.
On a visual level, it’s a decent treat. As a side note, don’t expect a lot songs like the first movie. We have three…and one is theme song, and one is in the credits.
The only real song is a Teamwork song that’s kind of like the Fun song. It’s nice but not quite up to the quality we expect from Spongebob. And that credits song is very catchy.
Now for the other important element of this show. The main thing that makes it great. And I must say, it has its ups and downs here, but overall, these characters are great.
First up, we have Spongebob himself, voiced by Tom Kenny. He’s really likable here, with all the charm we know him for. He’s childlike but also quite mature compared to the first movie. People have complained they use the child version of him way too much in modern episode, and not his more mature side.
Well, don’t worry cuz it’s in here and its good. He’s so darn lovable here as he tries to get Plankton to help, and how he sees the good in everyone. He doesn’t learn a huge lesson but he works very well and he’s very likable. Not much to say, he’s just very good.
Then we have Patrick, voiced by Bill Faggerbake. He’s…interesting here cuz he’s kind of like his modern version. He’s kind of a prick here. Now, don’t worry it’s not as bad as it can be in some episodes, but he’s not hugely likable.
In the first half, he has justification and it’s kept funny but at some points they push it. He’s not in the movie as much compared to Plankton actually, at least until the live action part.
Then he gets more prominent and aside from one…bad moment, he’s fine. However, he could have been a lot better, and he is the weakest character.
The next few characters are on the same level of importance so I’ll group them all here. We have Squidward, voiced by Rodger Bumpass, Mr. Krabs, voiced by Clancy Brown, and Sandy, voiced by Carolyn Lawrence.
Squidward could have a bit more to do outside of the live action stuff, but that may just be my inner Squidward fan talking. He has enough amusing moments, and there’s one final bit at the end with him that I loved. His presence was felt more in the first one, but he still worked here.
Mr. Krabs, like Patrick, is a bit jerky, but it works because he’s going crazy from withdrawal and he thinks his best worked turned on him. He could have learned the lesson too but he works better than I thought he would. Plus, he’s the first to suggest they get the “beached whale” to shore!
As for Sandy, I’m so glad they gave her a bigger role. She has a minor subplot in the animated parts that was really funny. She’s mostly there for fighting in the end but she’s still cool, and I love that her hero version is just a realistic squirrel. Sandy and Squiddy could have had more to do in terms of development but they are still quite good.
As far as minor characters, Mrs Puff has a (really funny) cameo, Larry is only in the credits and doesn’t speak, and Pearl only speaks in the credits. And as everyone expected, we have Flatts in the credits.
What, you all didn’t get hyped, hoping to see him?
They could have used minor characters, but the ones they used were good. We actually see more of the Bikni Bottomites here, and they are used very well. We even have a new character model, which was cool.
And as I said before, MY LEG IS BACK! To make that better, Mr Lawrence actually did a fresh recording of it, and he sounds EXACTLY like he did back in Boating School, the gag’s first appearance.
Also, Karen gets a bigger role than I expected, and she was great. So then we have Burger Beard, played by Atonio Bandereas.
He’s not that complex of a villain and the way he works into this is confusing, but he works. He’s a fun villain and Banderas is clearly having a lot of fun. Does he hold a candle to Plankton or Dennis? Lolno, but he’s still…okay, I suppose.
He has these seagulls with him that give us some dumb jokes, but also some funny jokes. And one of them is actually voiced by Barnacle Boy himself, Tim Conway. Granted, he only has one 1 line, but ah well.
Kevin Micheal Richardson voices one of them and he’s always awesome to hear. There’s one character that’s a spoiler, but I will say he was one of the best parts of the movie.
He also gets involved in one of the…weirdest things I’ve ever seen in Spongebob. It’s near the end, and if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean. It’s amazing but…wow.
That brings us to my favorite character in the movie, Plankton, voiced by Doug Lawrence. Plankton is great in this movie. Not only is he as funny and over the top as ever, but his arc was done very well.
We’ve seen this kind of thing before, but with this character, they took it up a few notches. He has some sweet moments, and like I said, there was more emotion than I thought there would be.
Plankton and Spongebob have excellent chemistry and they provide a lot of the best jokes as well as the heart. He does vanish when they get on the land, which sucks, but when he shows up, it’s amazing. And like I said, they did the obligatory status qou pretty well.
And that’s really it. Anyone else I missed is so minor they don’t matter, like Gary. There’s a gag about him being king of the snails that’s great (and hilarious when you remember he turned out to be the king of Bikini Bottom in Rule of Dumb).
Overall, the characters are good. Only like one gets huge development, but they are funny and likable enough to carry the movie. I wish Patrick was used better, and the characters had their own mini arc besides Sandy’s which really doesn’t amount to much.
And yeah, a better villain would have made it better, but almost all the characters are perfectly in character, and the main two we focus on are awesome enough to bump this grade a bit.
Is this a huge return to form for Spongebob? Maybe, we’ll have to see. Is it as good as the first movie? Not quite but I’d have to watch it a few more times.
Is it a fun movie that was please fans? Heck yes! Sponge out of Water is no masterpiece, with some underused characters, lack of subplots and other minor stuff, but it still has well executed live action scenes, good jokes, very likable characters, and a serviceable story.
It does feel like a longer episode of the show, but it has some epic stuff we rarely see, and it’s sadly better than most of the shows attempts at “specials”.
As a Spongeob movie, it works with every character (mostly) being great, and that classic feel we have come to expect. There were only a few groan worthy moments, and you saw them in the trailer already.
Any issues I have with it being a movie is made moot due to Hillbenburg’s involvement making it way more like the show we know love then some current episodes.
And trust me, I’m not being too mean since Season 9 is a vast improvement so far. I’m just saying it’s nice to see some Classic-ish Spongebob again. If you’re not into Spongebob, you may enjoy it but I’d say wait for DVD.
If you just plain haven’t seen the show, this could be an okay introduction but again, watch some episodes first if you don’t want this to taint the show.
It’s not perfect at all, but the good stuff is so awesome it makes up for the flaws. I’m sure my opinion will raise a bit when I watch it like 40 times on DVD.
So yeah, check it out if you haven’t already. It’s worthy of the hype, and I can’t wait for new episodes to start up!
It was hard to decide the grade, but that’s what I’ll give it for now. It could change later on. There you go, my opinion is out there.
There will be no Spoilers section cuz I will do a big review of it when it comes out on DVD, to go further into stuff I had to be vague on.