A little late for the Oscars, SpongeBob resurfaces on the big screen in his second feature film: “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” An evil pirate, played by Antonio Banderas (“Spy Kids”) (he’s back! and not in boots!), lays siege to Bikini Bottom to recover the final page of a book that will makes true whatever the author writes in its page. SpongeBob must go (ahem) out of water and into 3D animation to save the day.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Paramount Animation

Perhaps due to his spongy resilience, Spongebob has managed to stay relevant to almost two generations of cartoon fans. Most Nickelodeon cartoon shows come and go (e.g., “Rocko’s Modern Life”), but SpongeBob has merrily abided on the sunken shores of Bikini Bottom for nearly 16 years.

Unfortunately, either SpongeBob has changed or I have, because Mr. SquarePants doesn’t seem to have the same appeal as before: His yellow seems less yellow, his bubble obsession less hilarious, his steady job as fry cook a little bit weird. I’m left asking the questions I was too innocent to ask before: Why has SpongeBob, who’s apparently an adult, been working as a fry cook for 16 years? Does Patrick have a mental disability? Does Squidward suffer from depression?

Luckily, this motion picture isn’t aiming to please jaded college students like myself. It’s geared toward kids for whom SpongeBob is still new(ish); and for them, Patrick’s caveman stupidity, Squidward’s killjoy attitude, Gary’s meowing and SpongeBob’s, well, squarepanted-ness will be as funny and enjoyable as ever … Oh, and this time it’s in 3D!

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