It’s time I try to be a bit charitable, methinks. I didn’t hate “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 3D”…it’s just that I was done after about 40 minutes. Of course, it stretched beyond double that running time. But it was my ten-year-old’s birthday, and he got pretty much whatever he wanted for his decade milestone. Last year for his 9th, he tortured dear old Dad with “The Nut Job”. 2015’s celebration wasn’t exactly a water-boarding, but when the SpongeBob cartoons have run on a constant loop in your home daily, it’s easy to eventually get distracted. At least, there was Banderas.
There’s a battle for the Krabby Patty secret formula, that takes our gang on a manic adventure to recover it, and try to save the Krusty Krab restaurant. There’s a mixture of cartoon and live-action throughout, with all your favorite animated characters along for the ride. So, SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny), Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke), Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass), Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) and Sandy Cheeks (Carolyn Lawrence) all lend a helping hand in stopping the malevolent, non-animated pirate, Burger-Beard (a fun, and game, Antonio Banderas). Ready, set, aaaarghhh!
Hey, there’s breakneck pace direction from Paul Tibbitt and Mike Mitchell, and the screenplay from Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel is better-than-average, as these kinds of things go. The 3D effects are often pretty darn cool, and the mixture with live action mostly works–and to a much higher level than on the television version. It’s not always fluid, but there are decent enough jokes, hijinks and chases to keep us grumpy “mature” people semi-alert. My boys seemed happy throughout, so the citizens of Bikini Bottom accomplished their most important mission. If only they had done it in a more compact time frame, I would’ve rated this even higher. Go easy on me though…next year at this time sees the release of “The Nut Job 2”.