Second on the Skandies roundup, this was the first kids movie I actually attended with a kid since I myself was a kid. Believe me this feels much less creepy than sitting there by yourself in the middle of packs of kids and their beleagured parents. Even if your kid is really way too young to actually watch the movie. I have not seen the SpongeBob TV show, though I’m very curious about it due to the almost unanimous praise heaped on it by critics reviewing this movie. I certainly would have enjoyed the movie more if it were 10 minutes long like the TV episodes. Instead, we get the old standby: Our misfit heroes embark on a quest, things look bad, the day is saved, lessons are learned, the learning of lessons is ridiculed. It’s quite funny, though, with an appealingly obnoxious childishness, and it deserves a passing grade just for dispensing with most of the sub-Robin Williams pop-cultural riffing of something like Shrek. And I agree with Greg: the voice of Plankton would be funny reading the phone book. Demerits for featuring [kitschy TV star], who isn’t even up to a [kitschy TV star] cameo.
THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE runs 1:28, and is rated PG. It contains several animated sponge and starfish butts, lots of underwear, and live-action inflatable male breasts. It would be fine for older children, or children too young to really understand.
My daughter Dulcie, age 17 months, seemed to like the movie, though she often seemed more interested in running up and down the aisles. I would estimate from her responses that she would give the movie a 57. Her favorite part seemed to be the live-action “cyclops” sequence–she waved and said “bye!” to the cyclops as he carried SpongeBob and the Starfish off. I say 64.