A few weeks ago the first trailer for the new SpongeBob Movie, Sponge Out of Water was released to the public. And since I plan on writing a full review when it comes out on February 6th, 2015, I thought that I should write about my first impressions. So keep in mind that everything in this article consists of first opinions and speculations from the trailer and are subject to change.
The plot, in a nutshell, involves a pirate captain who steals the final page of a book, which gives anyone the power to change the world from the Krusty Krab. So our heroes must journey beyond Bikini Bottom and cross over into the real world to get the book back.
At first, I was skeptical of the whole concept of the crew coming out into the real world, even though it’s been teased through various episodes and was even a small part of the first movie. The concept has already been done to death in such Oscar winners as Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Fat Albert, and more; though to this film’s credit, it’s not set in New York this time. I also loved the different environments in the first movie, so going into the real world seems like a step back.
Most of my skepticism disappeared when I got a good look at the 3D character models. Movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs tried to make their characters look more realistic, but rather than providing a refreshing update, it just came off as creepy and alienated the viewer; although fart jokes didn’t help matters either. In Sponge Out of Water the 3D character models have the same structure and move with the same physics as their 2D counterparts. When looking at a still of the trailer, the models look like they were sculpted from polymer clay. This artistic direction provides a great contrast to the real world, which works all the better for the characters and the humor. This style is even more effective when they become superheroes. That said, I can’t wait to see what they do with the gorgeously designed forms.
What has me most excited for the movie, besides that the great animation, is the fact that all six main characters are joining together for the adventure. The first movie had only Spongebob and Patrick, which is great, but the show is at its best when all of these great personalities are bouncing off of each other. In addition, Sandy Cheeks had literally five seconds of screen time in the first movie, which, even as a kid left me disappointed.
I am least excited for the celebrity appearances. Antonio Banderas plays the villain of the movie, the aforementioned pirate captain by the name of Burger-Beard the Pirate; that’s his actual name, by the way. Slash of Guns and Roses fame was also briefly seen in the trailer and “Welcome to the Jungle” also played throughout the second half. Banderas’s character came off as generic, so I hope that he gets a bit more development past the fact that he’s a pirate. And as for the possibility of other celebrity appearances, I just hope that they don’t try to hog the limelight and painfully try to get a laugh out of us. I’m looking at you, Truth or Square.
Many fans were disappointed in the fall from grace the show had. The personalities we fell in love with were now crude and obnoxious. But in this movie, at least from what I got from the trailer, you can tell that there was a great deal of care put into everything. It’s almost as if nothing has changed; same oddball humor, same personalities, same voices, and same overall spirit. I have high hopes that this movie will fully emulate SpongeBob’s days of yore while making it fresh again.