The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
|This article is about the movie. You may be looking for the video game with the same name.|
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is a 2004 American animated movie based on the popular TV series SpongeBob SquarePants. The movie is written and directed by Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the show, and stars the regular voice actors from the TV series along several guest stars. Despite being an animated movie, the movie also features live-action scenes, both standalone and blended with the animated sequences.
In this lively animated adventure, undersea oddball SpongeBob SquarePants and his starfish friend, Patrick, embark on a quest to clear the name of Mr. Krabs, the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant, who has been framed for stealing the crown of ocean deity King Neptune. Leaving the familiar confines of Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob and Patrick venture out towards Shell City, where they hope to find Neptune's crown, but numerous obstacles stand (or float) in their way.
Why It Rocks
- The film is very welcoming to those unfamiliar with SpongeBob SquarePants, both the series and the character himself, as it sets up the series' signature tone, presents who some of the characters are, and explains all that is happening in Bikini Bottom.
- Well done animation that tops that of the series.
- It plays more with the characters' facial expressions, often for comedic effect.
- It takes advantage of the lighting and colors to set up a strong mood, especially whenever there is a presence of danger.
- The backgrounds also function in a way that it visually explains the scenario that is going on.
- Action-packed adventure scenes.
- Talented voice acting both from the same voice actors of the cartoon and from guest stars, most notably Alec Baldwin and David Hasslehoff (the former portraying a convincing villain and the latter as himself).
- Mindy is such a charming female character, whom Patrick develops a crush on.
- Amazing cinematography.
- Soundtracks from the show returns in the film, like Pua Puaokalani (b), Marching to Honolulu, Drowsy Reef, SpongeBob Theme I, Steel Sting, Airs and Graces (a), among others. Even the songs are incredibly amazing, like "Goofy Goober Rock", and "Ocean Man" (which would later go on to become a meme).
- The scene where Spongebob and Patrick get captured by The Cyclops is one of the darkest and edgiest moments in the movie.
- There are funny and hilarious moments and jokes that don't contain gross-out humor.
- An epic climax where SpongeBob frees the people of Bikini Bottom from Plankton’s control via the power of rock.
- Excellent writing with an engaging plot that fits well with the series' standard humor while providing extra material for a movie.
- It hands you a great message, saying that "it doesn't matter if you are a kid".
- Pleasant soundtrack by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
- The Nick Movies intro in this installment is probably the best intro, as many of the frames are very interesting and fit Nickelodeon's picture of being rather quirky, but somewhat cool.
- This could've been an excellent way to end the series (As Originally Intended) with SpongeBob finally becoming the manager, which shows the hard work he has done to earn it.
- There is plenty of gross-out humor, including one shot showing a nude Patrick's rear end with a flag showing SpongeBob’s name wedged between his buttocks, which is kinda gross.
- The movie overuses deus ex machinas in order to progress the plot.
- SpongeBob and Patrick dying on screen is a bit dark and depressing for young and even adult fans of the show.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie earned $9,559,752 on its opening day in the United States, second behind National Treasure (2004) (which earned $11 million). It grossed a combined total of $32,018,216 during its opening weekend, on 4,300 screens at 3,212 theaters, averaging $9,968 per venue (or $7,446 per screen, again second to National Treasure). The film dropped an unexpected 44 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend, and 57 percent the weekend after that. The opening weekend earned 37.48 percent of the film's final gross. It closed on March 24, 2005, failing to out-gross holiday animated competitors The Incredibles (2004) ($261,441,092) and The Polar Express (2004) ($183,373,735). It was still profitable for distributor Paramount Pictures and producer Nickelodeon Movies, earning $85,417,988 in the United States and $140,161,792 worldwide on a budget of $30 million.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie received mixed to positive reviews from critics and received a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.28/10, based on 129 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Surreally goofy and entertaining for both children and their parents." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 66 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, calling it "the 'Good Burger' of animation plopping us down inside a fast-food war being fought by sponges, starfish, crabs, tiny plankton and mighty King Neptune." Ed Park of The Village Voice wrote, "No Pixar? No problem! An unstoppable good-mood generator, the resolutely 2-D [The] SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has more yuks than Shark Tale (2004) and enough soul to swallow The Polar Express whole." Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, calling it "an animated adventure that's funnier than Shark Tale and more charming than The Polar Express." Randy Cordova of The Arizona Republic said, "Like the TV show it's based on, it's a daffy, enjoyable creation." Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News gave the feature a score of three out of four: "It's not The Incredibles, or one of those animated features that spent zillions on character design, pedigree and verisimilitude. But SpongeBob is a sweet, silly thing with a child-friendly esthetic all its own."
The Film was highly acclaimed by fans with considering it part of the Golden Age of the first 3 Seasons of the Show.
- This film was originally rated G by MPAA, but it received a PG rating as a result the film containing a scene where SpongeBob appears to get drunk over ice cream.
- All of the main characters have speaking roles in the movie, including Pearl and Gary, both of whom only had one real line each.
- After its completion, the movie was intended to be the series finale, as Stephen Hillenburg didn't want the series to "jump the shark"; when Nickelodeon ordered more episodes of the series, Hillenburg resigned as the series' showrunner and appointed Paul Tibbitt, a longtime friend of his and a writer on many of the show's most well-known classic episodes ("Chocolate with Nuts", "Frankendoodle", "Ripped Pants", "The Secret Box", and "No Weenies Allowed") to replace him as showrunner. Tibbitt was the showrunner until the second half of the ninth season, when Vincent Waller and Marc Ceccarelli (crew members on Ren & Stimpy and Uncle Grandpa) became the new showrunners. Because of this, many fans and critics feel that the show's quality dropped between the first and second movie, especially during the sixth, seventh and eighth seasons when the quality hit an all-time low. The fourth and fifth season and the first half of the ninth season, however, were pretty well received.
- The design on King Neptune looks incredibly different from the one on the show.
- This was due to a firewall between Nickelodeon and Paramount content at the time. This resulted in other elements (apart from Goofy Goober's) created for the first movie not being allowed to be used in the series from 2005 to 2014.
- "Goofy Goober Rock" is a parody of the Twisted Sister song "I Wanna Rock".
- It was rumored to be canonically the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants timeline, but Vincent Waller debunked this and it was actually a false fan theory that this movie is set after every episode. Said theory was based on a misunderstanding: fans incorrectly thought that "Hillenburg wanted to end the show after the first movie" meant "the in-universe fictional timeline ends with the first movie" (not true and never said).