Antonio Banderas and voices of original TV and movie cast.
New adventures and dangers await SpongeBob SquarePants in this 2015 3-D version, the first being in 2004. It hinges on a magical book that a scallywag pirate Burger-Beard (Banderas) steals to rewrite stories with new endings that he devises. Meanwhile, back at Krabby Patty, covetous Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) is trying desperately to steal the secret formula for the patties, and when he finds it and he and SpongeBob are having a tug of war with it, it suddenly disappears into thin air. Of course, Burger-Beard is behind this with an evil plan to open his own restaurant in our land, serving the patties to get rich. Without its beloved Krabby Patties, the town of Bikini Bottom is in dire economic straits.
This prompts SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and his close friends, Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Squidward (Rodger Bumpass), and Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown)—with Plankton sneaking in—to go after the precious recipe so their city will be saved. It will actually require their surfacing into our world, where Burger-Beard has fled. At crucial moments, it will also require their transformation into super-heroes, and involve torture, chases in the streets and air, explosions, water guns, and cannonballs.
The situation is dire for Bikini Bottom because it is the Krabby Patties that tie everyone together; so in order to retrieve it, they must all work together, and that is the primary theme of this production. Even the self-serving Plankton may get converted in the end.
Directed and co-produced by one of the writers, Paul Tibbett, along with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Bleger, it’s based on the Nickelodeon TV series created by Stephen Hillenberg, who was apparently also involved in this latest production. The filming is visually rich and colorful, and clearly engaged the children in the audience when I attended a screening.
I was put off by the constant barrage of references to poop, farts, and behinds, and once again wonder why filmmakers insist on putting these in. It seems to me only a few kids still think these are funny. I also object to the implication that torture is effective in getting information. This has been scientifically proven not to be true.
But for those who loved the Nickelodean series and the 2004 movie production, this will be enjoyable, particularly with the updated technologies in the story and in the film processing.
Go if you liked the earlier SpongeBob productions.
Grade: C By Donna R. Copeland