The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Review
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
"The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie", Nickelodeon Movies, 2004
This Nickelodeon movie has no business being THIS good. Nearly 20 years later, everything still manages to land, with its cute self-awareness and snappy humour that manages to translate across the spectrum. Hillenburg's 'The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie' is a charming homage to the world of cartoons whilst showing a surprising amount of restraint.
This movie, much like, Disney's 'Shrek', speaks to us as millennials more than anyone else: It's sense of randomness and how the story goes about tackling maturity is something that has silently shaped us and what we find funny. With that being said, there is always something brilliantly ironic in sitting down and watching something like Shrek or 2005's 'Robots'. The ways in which these films have managed to cement themselves into meme culture, more often than not, comes down to how they've become understood over time to represent the expectations-vs-reality symbolic emptiness of the early 2000s, which makes sense considering both films have been considered 'parody'. SpongeBob, however, remains (relatively) unscathed from that particular area of pop culture, and I think that's due to the innocent charm it so effortlessly plays off of. With its timeless animation style - colourful but not garishly so - continues to prove how much of a good time it is. The whimsical road-trip-ness of the duo's journey is realised with a surprising amount of detail in order to touch on the spectrum of life: From youthful exuberance to laughably relatable adult stuff, taking the edge of its dumber scenes and rounding the curves of its more insightful scenes. SpongeBob and the gang hold everything together brilliantly, enabling the writing to pull off its grounded goofiness - a fine line that is towed consistently well with the friend's quirky dynamic rather than becoming lost in its goofiness that the TV show has since fallen in to. Underneath everything, there is a line of maturity which understands the need to make its quirks digestible; The quest for King Neptune's crown is not even that far fetched. There is a sense of humanity to it all in a similar way to other cartoons coming out around the same time, although It's instead used to celebrate something that everyone can get behind in some way or another: kids rule.
In conclusion, whilst the story fails to make full use of the iconic ensemble nature of the characters, and although there isn't much weight behind the actual adventure, I'm unironically in awe of how much fun I had with this. It's appeal is instantaneously catchy, and there's something to be said about how it makes the conscious effort to not pander to its younger audiences. With plenty of meat on the bone, there really isn't much to not take a liking to, at the very least.