If laughter is the indicator of a good comedy, then The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is a gem. While normally I am the sad man laughing at the references that the kids don’t get, this time around, I was glad to be able to take the my nephew to see one of his favourite cartoons. The manic enjoyment my nephew showed as he screamed while the movie was starting was well worth the admission. Indeed, there was a lot of good to shriek about in The SpongeBob Movie.
We all know about the Krusty Krab’s Krabby Patty, don’t we? Well, let’s assume we do. So you know Plankton is up to his nefarious plans of stealing the secret recipe again. SpongeBob, Patrick and Mr. Krabs have been doing a great job keeping him at bay until the recipe mysteriously vanishes. Bikini Bottom descends into post-apocalyptic chaos as the denizens can no longer fulfil their Krabby Patty addictions. Spongebob and friends need to find the recipe to save Bikini Bottom, and they take us through psychedelic ride of time travel, superpowers, hyper intelligent dolphins, a swashbuckling Antonio Banderas, and a trip to the funky real world up above.
SpongeBob is the Monty Python of the 21st Century: no one does surreal comedy like the team at Nickelodeon. Actually to me, it’s better than Monty Python; the sheer shambolic exuberance can’t be matched by anything else on screen. It’s a love-hate-it thing… Some people just don’t like the jokes, but I have loved it for years. Whenever it is on Nick, I have to watch it.
It’s not just the surrealism that is so funny; one liners, word play, and slapstick sight gags are peppered throughout the film. It’s also a spoof movie, taking the mick out of many genres: post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quest movies, and superhero films being the most apparent. The jokes are even better here than in the TV series, and the hour and a half, which can normally feel like a drag compared to the 20 min TV programmes, seemed to zip by. The funniest aspect of the film to me personally is the satire; it sends up consumerist culture and our modern need for must-have items. The film even made me laugh when it was over, as my nephew said he wanted to eat a Krabby Patty.
“Excuse me, sir, but you’re sitting on my body, which is also my face.” – SpongeBob
But most lovable of all is the character of SpongeBob. He is a thoroughly happy, sunny person whose joyfulness is a challenge to our cynical, ironic age. While the filmmakers poke fun at him relentlessly, one can’t help but feel that they also love and admire their character. As do I… I think it would be a great way to live if we could all have a little bit of Spongebob in each us!