ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  stephen hilleburg

RATED  -  pg

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  90 minutes

RELEASED  -  19 november 2004

DISTRIBUTOR  -  paramount pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  more absorbent

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $30,000,000
the spongebob squarepants movie - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from sky captain at

buy the dvd from the spongebob squarepants movie at

spongebob squarepants takes leave from the town of bikini bottom in order to track down king neptune's stolen crown.


poster from the spongebob squarepants movie
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the theatrical trailer uses footage from three submarine films: das boot, the hunt for red october, and u-571.


picture from the spongebob squarepants movie

picture from the spongebob squarepants movie

picture from the spongebob squarepants movie

picture from the spongebob squarepants movie


three out of four possible stars

SpongeBob Squarepants is the most adorable sponge in the sea. And his group of aquatic friends constitutes what is probably one of the funniest cartoon ensembles on the television today. Whenever a half-hour cartoon series is brought to the screen and inflated to a feature film length, the immediate concern is whether the cartoon can sustain one story over a running time that's three times the length of its usual presentation. Viewers of The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie will not suffer from this potential problem. Because each of the ninety minutes in this movie is filled with delicious insanity and hilarious interaction between SpongeBob and his stalwart starfish friend, "Patrick."

A variety of fishy creatures join SpongeBob and Patrick on their journey to find King Neptune's stolen crown and it's difficult to believe the success rate of the jokes in this film. Although in spirit it's a film that was made for children, the comedy should rate well with any viewer or fan of SpongeBob. It's not a hastily constructed piece of celluloid rushed to the screen to capitalize on the series' success. (well, perhaps it is, but it's certainly a very well constructed job). Even if a joke isn't roll-around-on-the-floor funny, there is always the genius animation regarding the facial expressions of the characters that should have most audience members in stitches.

The plot of the film is a very basic and familiar one, but it doesn't really seem to matter, since the presentation of the film is handled so successfully. When the evil, miniature restaurateur, Sheldon J. Plankton (voiced by Doug Lawrence), frames his rival in the burger business, Mr. Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown) for the theft of the crown of the slightly insane undersea tyrant, King Neptune (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor), SpongeBob and Patrick undertake the task of retrieving the crown from the dangerous Shell City. It some respects the film is a coming of age story, but it also exists as a road-trip film and a buddy flick.

But this film's best features are not its story or plot. It's the genuine humor and friendship that exists between the characters. The talented voice artists and the fantastic character animators combine together to bring to life a much better than average set of characters. While it's true that the animation is not the most advanced or even as beautiful as some of its competitors, the value in SpongeBob comes from its genuine characters and the affability of SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick.

"SpongeBob Squarepants" is one of the more memorable Nickelodeon cartoons and like the channel's other successful series (like "Ren and Stimpy" and "Rugrats"), the main attraction for audience members is the group of main characters that, despite their strange humor, capture the emotion and interest of viewers. Even though these cartoons feature a multitude of simple plots and slightly strange stories, no matter how strange the story is, the characters are the interesting part and the redeeming feature of this movie.

It's difficult to say whether this film would play well to absolutely all audiences. Children in the audience would certainly find themselves entertained by the insanity of it all, but some adults heretofore unfamiliar with the series might find themselves surprised by how easily enjoyable this film is. It's probably not a film that serious "dramaphiles" will find great value in and nobody will be calling SpongeBob's name from the awards stage (well, one can hope for an animation nomination from the Academy folks), but the value of this film shouldn't be discounted simply because it's not a serious historical document or has some grown man crying over something horribly dramatic.

Elements of this film such as cinematography, music, and design are all handled well and the running time of ninety minutes is entirely appropriate for the genre. The plot also jumps along at a sprightly pace, giving the audience little time to recover from each joke that's thrown their way. The movie is an expression of a talented group of filmmakers who put professional filmmaking on the same level as creativity and story creativity.

SpongeBob is pure, honest fun and if you're in the mood to laugh, it doesn't matter what your age, this film should fit the bill. In fact, this film might surprise viewers in the amount of truly hilarious jokes that populate it. The artistry put into the variable look of SpongeBob's eyeballs alone should entertain a sizeable portion of the audience. Genuine enthusiasm for friendship, laughter, and life from the filmmakers shines bright and clear through these characters and it's difficult not to fall in love with SpongeBob and his kooky friends.

I love being purple!

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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