SpongebobDirector: Paul Tibbitt.

Cast: Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Mr. Lawrence, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence.

Certificate: U

Running Time: 92 minutes

Synopsis: Spongebob (Kenny) must work along side his enemy, Plankyon (Mr. Lawrence), to discover the whereabouts of the missing formula for Krabby Patties.

I’ve never liked Spongebob Squarepants. I’ve only ever found it irritating, with the surreal humour paling in comparison to other such bizarre shows. It almost seems as though it’s trying too hard. That being said, I laughed quite a lot at the trailer for THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER, so I went in fully expecting to enjoy the film. I certainly did enjoy it, but the trailer gave us all the best bits.

Taking the trailer and title into consideration, the film is somewhat deceptive. The out of water segments make up around 10 minutes of the actual film, and it just the climax to the story. It seems as though Nickelodeon movies have tried very hard to trick people into the audience, which is somewhat disheartening. It does mean you get a big midsection part of continuous surprises, but throughout you’ll be awaiting the very creative and funny realisation of characters in the real world. It is a fun climax, but it would have worked so much better as the surprise at the end, rather than the carrot leading us throughout the rest of the plot.

The majority of the film is actually a time-travelling adventure between Spongebob and his enemy Plankton. It’s a strange mix of back and forth, but the two gradually begin to work together, and Plankton is offered a lot of development in how he sees others. The rest of the cast all have their moments to shine, but ironically it is ANtonio Banderas who is most cartoony and enjoyable, as a live-action parrot constantly harangued by a gang of seagulls. Banderas just loves being on screen and his charisma works wonders as his appearances punctuate the episodic nature of the underwater animated tale.

The animation is far from spectacular, but it stays true to the original format of the show. The later CG creations look great, and there is also an ingenious turn from Matt Berry as a stop-motion dolphin who controls time and space, called Bubbles. It’s only when the script pushes the humour to the extreme, that big laughs can be found. Nodding off at any point for any amount of time will result in a seriously weird trip. Extra credit for a brilliant opening very reliant on puns. The jokes come so fast at the beginning that you start laughing at their consistency, no matter whether they’re funny or not.

Fans will delight in a continuation of the series, even if the film has been mismarketed. All your favourite characters return, the humour is anarchic, and there’s also a lot of new stuff going on too. It is annoying that the UK version has succombed to that hideous fad of dubbing over parts with UK exclusive talent, which means the fabulous finale rap is given to us via not Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter of Epic Rap Battles Of History fame, but instead Alan Carr. Bright and colourful, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER is definitely a joyful attack on the senses derived from a colossal overdose on E numbers.

[usr=3]THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER is released in cinemas from 27th March.