(out of 5)
Come on, who doesn’t love a fry cook who lives at the bottom of the ocean, wears a funky pair of cardboard pants and gets hammered on ice cream sundaes? It’s the kind of cinematic hero I’ve dreamt of for years! SpongeBob, that delightful cartoon character who has been charming children and adults on television, gets his own feature film and it’s a winner. Our rectangular hero is mortified when he finds out that the managerial promotion he’d been dying to get at the restaurant where he works actually goes to someone else, so he and best pal Patrick the Starfish go on a bender at Goofy Goober’s ice cream parlour. The next day, King Neptune shows up and accuses SpongeBob’s boss Mr. Krab of stealing his crown, the one that hides his bald spot, freezing Mr. Krab and shutting down his business for good. What nobody knows is that the evil, jealous Plankton has framed Mr. Krab in order to steal his business for his own restaurant, The Chum Bucket. SpongeBob and Patrick decide to prove to their peers that they are not the incompetent children that everyone thinks them to be, and set out for the forbidden “Shell City” to recover the king’s crown and save Mr. Krab from execution. Delightful voice work by Tom Kenny as the ever likeable SpongeBob, Alec Baldwin as the evil villain, Scarlett Johansson as the wise Princess Mindy and a hilarious Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune add much to the fun, but it is the screenplay’s loopy humour that is most memorable (and the film’s short running time that is most appreciable—you can only handle the sugary animation for so long). As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a cameo by David Hasselhoff in the live-action sections that proves once and for all his cult status as King of Saturday afternoon television. Watch it with the whole family, or watch it alone, it’s a great time.
Cinematography by Jerzy Zielinski
Costume Design by Terri Valazza
Film Editing by Lynn Hobson