The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, by Cameron J. Czaja

“Are you ready kids?!” If the first words you think of after hearing that phrase are “Aye aye, captain!” then you may be a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants like myself. I was nine years old when the series premiered in the Summer of 1999 and it couldn’t have come out at a better time.  I was living in Hawaii and I went to the beach practically every day. For those who aren’t familiar with the series (and at this point how can you not as it’s been here for over twenty years), the show stars an anthropomorphic sea sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants along with other anthropomorphic sea creatures in an underwater setting with a quasi-Hawaiian aesthetic. When I first watched the show, I felt like it was made for me because of the show’s setting, music, and themes were tailored towards me and my surroundings. 

Recently I’ve been playing a SpongeBob game on the PlayStation 4, which is a remastered version of an older SpongeBob game that came out in the early 2000s.  Since then I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic for one of my favorite childhood shows, I decided to rewatch the first SpongeBob movie simply titled The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004). I was fourteen when the film deputed and back then I didn’t go to movies, wondering if it was going to be good or bad.  Eventually, I went purely due to my fandom. Was this as good as I remembered? As always let us find out.

In this film adaptation of the show SpongeBob SquarePants, we find our favorite undersea sponge SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny) eager to start his day. The reason for that is because his workplace, The Krusty Krab (home of the famous Krabby Patty), is opening up a second restaurant titled the Krusty Krab 2. Being the best employee at his workplace, SpongeBob presumes he’s going to get promoted to manager of the Krusty Krab 2 at the grand opening ceremony. However, things don’t go SpongeBob’s way when his boss, Mr. Eugene Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown) appoints SpongeBob’s coworker, Squidward (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) to manager. Mr. Krabs explains to SpongeBob that he didn’t give him the promotion because he thinks SpongeBob can’t handle the responsibility of being a manager due to his childlike nature. Later that evening, King Neptune (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor) discovers that his crown is missing and Mr. Krabs is to blame. This event was orchestrated by Mr. Krabs’ business rival Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) who has been trying to steal Mr. Krabs’ secret formula for the Krabby Patty.  Plankton’s plan (plan Z to be exact) is to not only steal the formula but to get rid of Mr. Krabs once and for all. The next day King Neptune confronts Mr. Krabs about his missing crown and later discover that his crown is in a remote area called Shell City, which causes King Neptune to panic. Just before he executes Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob (who stood up for his boss and offered to get the crown), his daughter Mindy (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) intervenes and begs her father to give SpongeBob a chance. Reluctantly King Neptune agrees to give SpongeBob a chance to get the crown, and from there SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) journey to Shell City to not only get the missing crown, but to save SpongeBob’s boss as well.

To me whenever I think of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, I get nostalgic. I can easily put this movie on at any time and just enjoy it for what it is. That said, the movie isn’t a cinematic classic whatsoever, and it’s definitely a film made for fans. 

To me, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is one I deeply enjoy but I am aware of the flaws it presents. If I had to do a Cinemasins (a popular YouTube channel where they point out everything wrong in a specific movie) video on it, I would find plenty of things wrong with this movie. So why did I enjoy it? As mentioned earlier, it reminded me of simpler times and I think it’s good to have a film like this one on standby even if it is not high quality.

I will say this though, the one message that The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has to offer is that no matter what happens, whether a challenging moment or a test of character, we have to stay true to ourselves. SpongeBob realizes this about his true self near the end of the film and I realized that, no matter what happens in my life, I have to stay true to myself and uphold a strong Christian mindset whenever I face challenges. It may be hard especially in this era that we live in today, but not impossible.

If you’re not a fan of SpongeBob, then I don’t think you’ll enjoy The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. It’s a film made for fans and those who are curious about the popularity of that character. To me, I simply enjoy it for nostalgia sake and it’s something I know I’m going to rewatch again. Again, not a cinematic classic but rather a fun trip down memory lane.

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