Tuesday, 17 November 2015



I'm glad I'm not a kid these days. Apart from the obvious reasons (school, bullying, not having any friends) I don't know that I'd want to watch much in the way of modern movies for kids. As an adult I can, and generally do, pass on films made specifically for children, with the occasional exception for the slightly spikier digimations (generally anything with a PG is okay but I rarely look at U films). So when I do dip my toe in the footbath of kids' movies it's usually because I've been told that it's actually worth the effort. Shaun The Sheep definitely was, and I would most likely have loved that when I was nine.

I don't know what the nine-year-old me would have made of The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, though. Obviously I've never watched the TV cartoons but I can't even work out whether that's a disadvantage for a 50+ grown adult. Near as I can make out: the underwater townsfolk of Bikini Bottom thrive on Krabby Patties, the secret ingredient of which is known only to Spongebob Squarepants and Mr Crabs, and which is desperately needed by rival restauranteur Plankton. So far so five minutes on CeeBeebies. But then the formula (misspelled throughout on the DVD subtitles as "formuler" for no good reason) disappears because live-action pirate Antonio Banderas has stolen a magic book that allows him to rewrite reality so he can acquire the formula and become a disgustingly rich burger salesman. As Bikini Bottom descends into post-apocalyptic chaos, Spongebob and Plankton team up to build a time machine and get the secret recipe back....

Their journey takes them, for some reason, into outer space where a dolphin (voiced by Matt Berry, channelling Patrick Stewart) is making sure the planets don't crash into each other, before they get thrown into the real world and end up chasing Banderas and his galleon down the street. It's very fast, anarchic, and all over the place as far as any kind of coherent plot is concerned (but hey, it's about a talking sponge). I didn't understand a lot of it but surprisingly, and perhaps worryingly, I sort of enjoyed it. Dedicated to Ernest Borgnine, who did voice work on the TV show.


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