Daily Egyptian

New SpongeBob film recaptures magic

By Jacob Pierce @JacobPierce1_DE, Daily Egyptian

“SpongeBob Squarepants” was once a phenomenon. The first episode of SpongeBob sent a wave through the pop culture stratosphere, allowing adults and children alike to enjoy an animated series without prejudice. Then, the film adaptation was released in 2005 and the creative praise disappeared.

Now, 10 years later the television show is a shell of its former self. A sequel to the movie was announced last year, hoping to regain some of the glory lost. “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” (Rated PG; 93 mins) reignites the dull creative flames of the franchise. 

In the children’s film–directed by Paul Tibbitt and starring Antonio Banderas, Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke and Clancy Brown–SpongeBob Squarepants, played by Kenny, still works at the Krusty Krab.

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He and the gang are dealing with Plankton, played by Douglas Lawrence Osowki also known as Mr. Lawrence, and his schemes once again. During his latest attempt to steal the Krabby Patty formula, the recipe disappears out of his and SponegeBob’s hands.

It was stolen by a pirate named Burger Beard, played by Banderas, who is set on using it to open his own restaurant above seas. Stealing the recipe throws Bikini Bottom into mass hysteria. The gang, accompanied with Plankton’s help, decides to take the fight on land and get the formula back, which would save Bikini Bottom’s economy.

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is a return to the show’s creative form. The original creative crew, even series creator Stephen Hillenburg, returned for what is probably their last hurrah with the intellectual property. 

SpongeBob was the start of a concept later perfected by shows like “Adventure Time” and “Regular Show.” It is known for jokes bordering adult humor, experimental and sometimes trippy animation and character development as good as a mature television show. The new film serves as both a return to this and a prize for fans of the original series. It does not dwell on old jokes, bringing originality with the older themes.

Along with the reappearance of the show’s traits is the original “SpongBob Squarepants” cast. While not really returning, as the show still airs today, it does seem like a reunion for those who forwent the series long ago. If any characters were missing, the good nature of the movie may have been decreased.

The role of a great voice actor is seriously underrated. Actors who come in for an “easy” paycheck—such as those from big name casts in “Madagascar” and “Megamind”—do not hold a candle to the likes of veterans such as Brown and Kenny. With their experience, the cast brings believability and sincerity to the characters once again.

Banderas is a man with a lengthy, but also a little rocky, career. Known for energetic and vibrant performances as Zorro and ElMariachi, he is equally known for being wasted in straight-to-DVD movies and awful “Shrek” sequels.

His role as the pirate Burger Beard is ridiculous.  No one, not even the filmmakers, are denying this. Banderas is the king of making ridiculous roles fun, without overacting. The actor always brings an authentic excitement to everything he does. Banderas takes the role seriously, giving it his all. The character goes from being a joke to an exciting new villain in the SpongeBob universe.

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is a nice surprise. The trailers made it seem like it was a terrible mess. Yet, with the return of the creative crew, the film becomes what is a fantastic last ride. 

Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

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