Directed by: Stephen Hillenburg and Mark Osborne
Running time: 87 minutes
Theatrical Release Date: November 19, 2004
"I'm ready! I'm ready!" SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny), sings for joy as he thinks he's going to be promoted to manager of the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob is the Krusty Krab's most loyal employee so it's natural to believe he is next in line to be bestowed with the honor. But when his plans are thwarted and his dreams shattered, the following series of events allows him to find a new lease on life and respectability.
After losing his coveted managerial job of the Krusty Krab to Squidward (Rodger Bumpass), SpongeBob is found drowning his sorrows in Goofy Goober, an under sea combination of Fuddruckers and Chuck E. Cheese's (it even has its own theme song, which SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick Star find irrestible). SpongeBob drowns out his sorrows by bingeing on Triple Goober-Berry Sunrise ice cream sundaes. It's clear in the hungover aftermath that the waiter shoud have stuck to the two sundae max. Scenes such as this should appeal to parents who are good enough sport to watch with their children, and it's peppererd with such adult wittiness throughout.
While the residents of Bikini Bottom revel in the annointing of the new Krusty Krab manager, SpongeBob's nemesis Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) is successfully carrying out a plan to steal King Neptune's (Jeffrey Tambor) crown. Once Neptune discovers it's missing, he immediately sets out to find the crook.
Mr Krabs is set up by Plankton, who fools Neptune into thinking he is responsible for his lost crown and is prepared to completley destroy the Krusty Krab with Mr Krabs in it. The crown is coveted by the king since it symbolizes his authority, power and vanity (it covers his balding head).
SpongeBob and Patrick set out to retrieve the crown (driving The Sandwich, no less) from the ever dangerous Shell City, which is guarded by the lethal Cyclops. They are armed with nothing but extreme naivety and a magical bag of wind given to them by Mindy (Scarlett Johansson), Neptune's daughter and future heir.
The journey finds SpongeBob and Patrick having to bypass scary circumstances to get to Shell City, but the odds are that their determination and blissful ignorance - and a lot of luck will see them through to save the day.
SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has cameo appearances by Sandy Cheeks (Carolyn Lawrence), Mrs. Poppy Puff (Mary Jo Catlett) and David Hasselhoff as himself.
Most adults will appreciate the lessons of forgiveness, fearlessness, determination and true friendship relayed in the movie, some will be put off by the mean-spiritedness and sometimes lewd humor, but for the most part, Nickelodeon continues to win with the SpongeBob SquarePants formula and probably will for many more years.
*I viewed this film from my personal DVD collection.
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