by Simon on April 2, 2015 · 0 comments

Was there a time when our grandparents watched The Flintstones and gasped aloud at how adult it was? I remember my mother being appalled as I laughed at the antics of Ren and Stimpy. My son has an almost symbiotic relationship with the SpongeBob Squarepants , and rather than be appalled, I can often be found in the background, laughing into my fist and answering “Nothing, darling” when he asks me what I’m laughing at.

SPONGEBOB-screenwizeThat show is adult, man, written way over the heads of its target audience. That writers’ room must have a blast. This is SpongeBob’s second outing on the big screen, and this time the filmmakers employ some glorious new 3D animation to give the sponge a little twist.

The film starts off as most episodes of the TV series does, in the underwater town of Bikini Bottom, where SpongeBob Squarepants (voiced by Tom Kenny) has a job at the Krabby Shack working with cashier Squidward (Roger Bumpass) selling the prized and patented burger, the Krabby Patty, a much obsessed over culinary delight.

Rival restaurant owner Plankton (Mr Lawrence – that’s not lazy research, this is actually how this voice actor asks to be monikered) goes through all kinds of Machiavellian drama to get his hands on the recipe.

His evil actions somehow lands SpongeBob and pals Patrick Starfish (Bill Fagerbakke) out of water.

The screenplay comes from Glen Berger and Jonathan Aibel, the writing team behind the Kung-Fu Panda movies, and I’d say there’s about two really great SpongeBob episodes of material here, spread out along the length of a feature film, which may be about director Paul Tibbit needing to tighten the reigns.

The standout of the film is the 3D work from Australian animation Iloura, the company responsible for outstanding CGI in Aussie films like The Great Gatsby and Wolverine. They don’t just produce that ‘it looks like the sword is coming right out of the screen’ 3D, they reconceptualise what SpongeBob and his friends might look like if they existed in our three dimensional world. Well done.

For me, this film is somehow less for being without David Hasselhoff who absolutely made the first feature film.

Rating: ★★★☆☆  CK

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