SpongeBob SquarePants may be spongy and yellow and porous, but you can’t squeeze enough substance from him to make a full-length movie. And here we’re talking about three movies.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is the sequel of the 2004 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and 2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. These movies will win kids’ hearts with their bizarrely adventurous stories along with colorful animation. SpongeBob, voiced by Tom Kenny, is enthusiastic in a delirious way about as much as everything around him. He is for sure a pleasant company – a bright spot in the dark and troubling times.
However, the SpongeBob SquarePants TV series have been enjoyable to fans for over 20 years mostly thanks to its liveliness. The series is a blast of entertainment gathering aberrant characters, bizarre energy and goofy wordplay. It is perfect in a small dose. However, when it comes to a 90-minute movie, Sponge on the Run in this case, it is a different situation. The pacing starts to lag, the zaniness doesn’t work and over time, you find out that the connection holding these antics is quite loose. The latest SpongeBob sequel, penned and directed by Tim Hill, gives an exceptionally narrow feeling, which is understandable taken the fact that it is a launching pad for Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years. In this animated series, a “Muppet Babies” of SpongeBob and his friends meet for the first time when they are young. The series begin to air on Paramount+ the same day as the movie.
The movie will be a perfect choice if you’re an agitated parent looking to put your mind away and enjoy some time with your children or seeking some “me” time while alone at home. I’m not the one to judge. I’m on board. The movie also features some celebrity cameos with a view to creating some adult’s entertainment. Don’t set your bar too high, it’s not a blockbuster. This is the first of the SpongeBob movies to be produced absolutely with CGI, though, so at least we can enjoy some cunning visuals.
SpongeBob, as always, is enjoying his happy life in Bikini Bottom, an underwater world. His day starts with his merrily greeting his friend, Patrick the starfish (Bill Fagerbakke), to the cranky and annoying Squidward (Rodger Bumpass). Big-eyed Gary the snail, also voiced by Kenny with lovely gurgles and groans, is SpongeBob’s adorable and loyal best friend. You will certainly go “Awww…” with every appearance of his.
One day, unfortunately, as he comes home from his work at the Krusty Krab fast-food joint, SpongeBob shockingly discovers that Gary has been kidnapped, or more accurately, “snail-napped”. The vain King Poseidon (Matt Berry) is out of face cream, and wants to maintain his spotless complexion with the mucus that snails, like Gary, can give out. And of course, Plankton the diminutive (Mr. Laurence), a villain who rivals Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) and his restaurant, is involved with Gary’s disappearance. And you will discover over time that Gary’s absence is absolutely upsetting as he is obviously the best part of the whole movie.
And so SpongeBob and Patrick begin their road trip to rescue Gary from the narcissistic king. They can’t drive, so they ask for help from Otto, a faulty robot (voiced by Awkwafina, recently taking a meatier role this week in Disney’s renowned Raya and the Last Dragon). They want to go to the royal palace in the fascinating and sparkling Lost City of Atlantic City. In the metropolis, Livin’ La Vida Loca is put on a loop as you allow yourself to enjoy every desire of yours. During the trip, the pair encounter many colorful figures as a result of the mixture between live-action and animation, as done in the second SpongeBob movie. The funniest figure is probably the appearance of Keanu Reeves’ head inside a tumbleweed, in his Zen persona which is a sage called Sage. The appearances of Danny Trejo, Snoop Dogg and Tiffany Haddish, on the contrary, aren’t much well-thought.
However, the ride is fueled by the long-lasting power of friendship. It is evident in how lengthy the summer-camp flashback is, as it acts as a “This Is Your Life” commemoration of SpongeBob’s kindness. Sweet and lovely as it is, it is a deflection. Still, this SpongeBob sequel is not too bad a choice to pass the time till schools reopen around the country and your children go back to their SpongeBob backpacks filled with supplies.
You can now watch The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run on Paramount+.