What is the whole phenomenon of SpongeBob? Why are kids electrified with a yellow sponge who wears cardboard pants? Well last weekend, I took a journey to find out.
In the feature film version of the widely-popular cartoon series, SpongeBob and his friend Patrick have to embark on a long journey to Shell City where they must retrieve King Neptune's crown and save their friend Mr. Krabs, who has been accused of stealing the crown.
Basically, SpongeBob's first feature film is a road movie, as SpongeBob and his friend Patrick must overcome all sorts of obstacles to save their friend. It is as basic a premise as the cartoon series itself. But that is all you need to capture the warmth and innocence of the series.
There are some really clever scenes and some really disturbing ones. My favorite scene involved SpongeBob and Patrick's stop at a biker bar where the bikers beat up anyone who will sing-a-long to a popular kids' song. SpongeBob and Patrick love the song and it symbolizes who they are, so they must resist. It is hilarious when all of a sudden a biker screams and starts singing. It is juvenile, but it shows the growth of these characters, as they must do a very adult thing like saving their friend.
One of the more disturbing scenes is when SpongeBob and Patrick have to surf David Hasselhoff back to their town of Bikini Bottom. It is actually David Hasselhoff playing himself as the surfboard. There is a confrontation on the back of Hasselhoff between SpongeBob, Patrick, and the evil bounty hunter Dennis (voiced by Alec Baldwin). It is way over the top, extremely odd, and entirely goofy. I can't say I have seen that one before.
If there is a message in SpongeBob, it is that kids shouldn't want to grow up so quick but to enjoy who and where they are now. It isn't often in a cartoon of this kind that you can actually see such growth in the characters and such a positive message hidden within all the goofy, juvenile humor. (3.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.