SpongeBob Squarepants is for kids, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. Yet, as it has helped raise a generation of millennials, it continues to be a staple for many kids today and the young adults who grew up with the yellow sponge and his pink starfish friend, Patrick.
The SpongeBob movies, especially, have taken on a life of their own as they’ve consistently tried new ways to tell a story and go the extra mile to cater to its adult audience, and not just kids. Sponge on the Run is no exception to this and it might be one of the best movies of the series after nearly twenty two years.
SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail, Gary, has gone missing and this leads him and Patrick on a journey to Atlantic City (stylized after Atlantic City, New Jersey) to get him back from King Poseidon, a tyrant who holds power over the city and its residents. But, it wouldn’t be SpongeBob without a series of antics, misadventures, and an air of childlike innocence as the pair of best friend inexplicably stumble their way to success (they always succeed in the end).
Especially satisfying are some of the cameos in this movie. Keanu Reeves as a wise tumbleweed named Sage. Snoop Dogg, rapping for the duo in a saloon full of flesh-eating zombie pirates. Danny Trejo as El Diablo. And all these characters are revealed within just minutes before the sea creatures carry on with their adventure. It’s as if SpongeBob is America’s Paddington, capable of pulling in some notable faces and names to join in on the fun.
Sponge On the Run also utilizes some updated 3D animation, instead of the property’s typical 2D approach, and this works quite well and gives the characters, through this film, a little bit of life. It will be interesting to see if we see this used more in the future as a new generation of youth come to appreciate the show’s zaniness.
Gather the kids, make some popcorn, and find your spot on the couch to enjoy The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run together. Or, if you’re like me at the age of twenty-seven, have a good time watching it by yourself. Now streaming on Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) and available to rent digitally elsewhere.