'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'
U; Animation/Comedy
Director: Paul Tibbitt
Cast: Tom Kenny, Antonio Banderas, Bill Fagerbakke
Rating: Four stars

'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water' achieves something remarkable – not only is it a fun sequel to a fun movie, but it's also a film that can be seen by both kids and adults, and even by adults who have not seen the first movie or any of the cartoons. It feels more like a reboot of some kind, and a damn good one at that. This time, the action takes place outside the confines of the ocean.


A pirate named Burger Beard (played by a hilarious Antonio Banderas) robs a book where rewritten pages change the reality of the real world (it's more interesting to find out what this means in the movie). His plan is to a steal a secret recipe and spell doom for everyone who loves Krabby Patties. There is another villain as well, called Plankton, who also wants his hands on the recipe, to spell another kind of doom.


It's tongue in cheek alright, and it's hilarious for kids and somehow works as an odd otherworldly surreal jaunt for adults. What works best are the side splitting lines, full of puns and self aware, self satirizing gags that lampoons the animation genre as a whole. Fans of the cartoon who were used to seeing the show set totally underwater are going to love it when the characters cross over to the land. The sequence where they shift from sea to the land is almost psychedelic stuff, totally strange and utterly funny.


What also works is that all the familiar elements from the TV show are given extreme fan service by 'Kung Fu Panda' writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. They know that it's the familiar stuff that makes kids tick, and they've struck a fine balance between delivering all that we love and adore about SpongeBob, and the 'newness' that he suddenly finds himself in. As always the voice work is adorable, as is the soundtrack. There's really nothing much to complain about, aside from the fact that this film will probably go under the radar. So take your kids to the theatre, and have fun.


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