This movie tells the story of the journey of SpongeBob SquarePants and his best friend Patrick the Starfish. They set out on a quest to recover the crown of a hot-tempered king. The king has frozen Eugene, the founder of the Krusty Krab restaurant, home of the famous Krusty Krab Burger, because he believes that Eugene has stolen his crown. In reality, the crown was stolen by the evil genius Plankton, owner of a rival restaurant. Plankton hatched the plan to steal the crown and frame Eugene so that he could get hold of the secret recipe for the Krusty Krab burger. His plan is to enslave the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom and force them to obey his every command.
SpongeBob and Patrick blunder their way from obstacle to obstacle. They must outrun and outwit Dennis, the ‘hit fish’ that Plankton has paid to have them exterminated. They must also find the crown, save Eugene and rid the ocean world of Plankton and his evil schemes.
- The king is constantly ordering the execution of characters as well as inanimate objects (none are ever executed).
- Characters are repeatedly kicked or thrown out of buildings.
- The king shoots a fiery trident at Eugene, who promptly bursts into flames while running around screaming. Eugene then jumps into a pail of water. When the steam evaporates, there are singe marks all over his shell.
- Dennis grabs the lips of two fish and stretches them until they’re ripped off their faces.
- There are a couple of bar fights in which various characters are hit, kicked, punched, slapped, strangled, thrown or otherwise pummelled into the ground.
- Plankton cracks a whip over the citizens he has enslaved.
- Dennis tries to step on SpongeBob and Patrick with a large boot embedded with razor sharp spikes. He is crushed into the ground himself by what the characters believe to be a gigantic Cyclops.
- SpongeBob and Patrick are forced to dry out on a hot table before they are made into souvenirs. SpongeBob’s arm breaks off as he struggles to free himself.
- Dennis stabs David Hasslehoff in the bottom with a large knife.
- Dennis strangles Spongebob.
- Plankton is trampled in a stampede.
Content that may disturb children
- When Squidward, a manager at Krusty Krab Burgers, tries to stop Plankton, masses of faceless ‘slaves’ come at him while droning in a singular creepy voice. He becomes vastly outnumbered. The scene ends with Squidward cowering in a corner in terror while the slaves close in.
- SpongeBob and Patrick are chased by a gigantic, monstrous fish with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. A crazy old lady and her cat are stuck to the fish’s tongue and try to persuade the unwary travellers to eat ice-cream so that the fish can then eat them. Terrified, SpongeBob and Patrick desperately try to get away. They are saved only when an enormous serpent rises before them and eats the fish. Loud, suspenseful music is playing all the while.
- In Shell City, SpongeBob and Patrick are at the mercy of what they believe to be a legendary Cyclops. In reality, this is a deep sea diver, wearing ancient-looking diving gear, which he never takes off. He has a shop filled with dried sea creatures, which creates an eerie atmosphere. The diver’s face is never shown. Instead we see a creepy, green, glow from inside the suit, repeatedly accompanied by insane laughter.
Some children in this age group might also be frightened by the scenes described above.
Children over 13 are unlikely to be frightened by any scenes in this movie.
- Patrick says to Mindy (a mermaid), ‘You're hot!’, while looking completely lovestruck. Later he asks if she wants to see his underwear.
- While singing like a rock star, Spongebob grabs his crotch.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
- There is a seedy bar where half the patrons are passed out next to empty beer mugs. Other patrons are still drinking.
- Patrick helps SpongeBob drown his sorrows in ice-cream. It is used by the two ‘kids’ just as alcohol would be used by adults. The boys both look and act drunk while indulging themselves. They wake up the next morning looking dishevelled and hung-over after passing out on the floor.
Nudity and sexual activity
- SpongeBob’s cardboard clothes burst open at the back revealing his bottom. He is embarrassed and quickly scurries away.
- Patrick parachutes to the grand opening of the Krusty Krab Restaurant in the nude while clenching a banner with his bottom cheeks. He later asks if everyone had seen his butt. Patrick is shown in several scenes strutting about with abnormally long legs while wearing fish net stockings, sexy, tight, shorts and long high-heeled boots.
The product Elmer’s Glue-All is displayed in the diver’s shop. This is an incidental display.
While not directly promoting any particular product, the movie does suggest that junk food is highly desirable. Characters are constantly seeking out and consuming burgers and ice-cream. As much research now links junk food consumption with rising levels of obesity in children, these images might not be helpful if you are trying to teach your child healthy eating habits.
Although there is no coarse language, the movie contains many put-downs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
SpongeBob SquarePants is an average cable cartoon brought to the big screen. The plot is extremely predictable and the dialogue underdeveloped. Adults are unlikely to enjoy the movie. Younger viewers and teens who enjoy programs such as The Simpsons might very well find the story entertaining.
The movie’s message is that it doesn‘t matter if you’re young or small, you can still make a big difference in the world and in the lives of people around you. It also promotes the idea that junk food is fun to eat. You could talk with your child about your own family values, and about some other issues in the movie such as jealousy and greed. You could also talk about the positive values in this movie such as courage and determination.