Plot: The Krusty Krab has expanded and a second franchise is soon to open, one built right next to the original, a genius plan by Mr. Krabs himself. As smart, or more to the point, cheap as he is, he still has to hire someone to run the second store. SpongeBob, winner of Employee of the Month over three hundred straight months, is certain he will be selected as the manager. But when Squidward is chosen instead, thanks to his more mature attitude, the little yellow sponge is sent into a tailspin. He and Patrick gorge themselves on ice cream, then SpongeBob gets ready to confront Mr. Krabs. At the same time, Plankton has hatched an evil plot to control the Krabby Patty field, which involves stealing King Neptune’s crown and framing Mr. Krabs for the crime. The plan works and soon, the miser is frozen by Neptune, only to be thawed if the crown is returned. The crown is in Shell City however, a place that no one has ever returned from. Even so, a revived SpongeBob and Patrick set off to save Mr. Krabs and prove that they’re not as childish as people think. The road is long and dangerous, but can these two friends, stupid friends at that, complete this treacherous journey?
Entertainment Value: I should open this review with a disclaimer, as I am a massive fan of Spongebob Squarepants and as such, I am more than little biased when it comes to this outlandish move to the big screen. I love the offbeat sense of humor the show is built on and in this movie, that is amplified to insane levels. This is great for a fan like myself, as it is a dialed up version of the show’s chaos, but if you’re on the fence about the show, this might be Spongebob overload. The content is family friendly and bound to entertain younger viewers, but also has that subversive undercurrent and surreal texture, to appeal to everyone else. The series has that same style, but here it can be taken to new levels and the end result is a more consistent, off the wall kind of humor, which I think is hilarious. Spongebob’s bender after losing the promotion is a highlight for me, but the movie is loaded with quotable lines and just plain bizarre moments, a true Spongebob adventure. If you’re even a casual Spongebob fan, you’ll have a blast here, as this take the show’s humor to cinematic heights.
I also love how the show’s visual design is retained, but pushed far beyond what the series has ever been able to showcase. This means so much more scope and detail, with greater depth in even the most familiar of locales. Even simple shots of The Krusty Krab interior feel different here, so I applaud the animators for ramping up the visual presence, while keeping the overall design elements faithful. Bikini Bottom had simply never looked better. The movie brings the original voice cast in their beloved roles, of course, with Tom Kenny, Mr. Lawrence, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence, and Rodger Bumpass all on deck, as well as numerous other talents from the television series. But this is a big screen adventure, so some great guest stars are brought in as well, such as Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Tambor, and of course, David Hasselhoff as himself.