Annette and Will and I (and a friend of Will’s, along with his mom) all went to see the new Spongebob Squarepants Movie late this afternoon, and all I can say was that it was indeed excellent. Of course, I’ve been a fan for a long time. Spongebob is a cartoon in the tradition of Ren and Stimpy, and I suppose of Rocky and Bullwinkle, too: cartoons made for kids that are subversive enough to be interesting to adults. NPR has been all over this thing this week, with an interview of the guy who is the voice of Spongebob on the Terri Gross show Fresh Air, and a positive review of the movie this morning on Morning Edition. Of course, there is actually a NPR joke in the movie….
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it was pretty darn funny in a lot of different places. It was interesting (especially given Annette’s research as of late) that a lot of the plot involves Spongebob and Patrick being interested in not being “kids” but being “men” and there is a lot of play with the concept of masculinity here. There is a whole lot about the mysterious appeal of the Krabby Patty, and David Hasslehoff makes a key appearance toward the end of the movie. Funny funny stuff.
If you’re not a fan, you could probably wait to see it until it comes out on DVD. But if you are even an occasional watcher of the Nickelodeon show, it is well worth seeing on the big screen. I would recommend going to a show that is less likely to be populated with the target audience of little kids. Right behind us in this screening there was some little kid compulsively rattling around a candy wrapper or potato chip bag. Sounded a bit like a forest fire throughout the movie.