Adventures in marine biology

SpongeBob SquarePants finally makes it to the big screen

Claire Joseph

Plankton, the owner of The Chum Bucket restaurant, is on to “Plan Z.”

The Krusty Krab restaurant, which monopolizes the fast-food industry in Bikini Bottom Village, is booming and is opening an additional restaurant next door to its current location.

In “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” SpongeBob, voiced by Tom Kenny, is disappointed when his boss, Mr. Krabs, does not give him a managerial promotion at the second Krusty Krab restaurant.

Krusty Krab’s growth is beneficial to everyone in the town, except Plankton, whose restaurant has never had a customer.

Plankton sets forth his evil “Plan Z” in an attempt to sabotage Mr. Krabs and the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob and his loyal pal, Patrick Star, embark on a journey to the feared Shell City, in search of a crown, the only thing that will save Mr. Krabs and defeat Plankton.

“The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” is the newest addition to the craze for SpongeBob, a cartoon character who has moved from his comfortable Nickelodeon television slot to the big screen.

SpongeBob’s evolution is successful.

Although “SpongeBob” is generally aimed at younger viewers, some adult comedy and social commentary floats to the surface.

This undercurrent takes aim at monopolies, corporate homogeneity and environmental degradation.

For example, Shell City turns out to be a gift store that sells items decorated with dead sea creatures. When SpongeBob and Patrick are caught by Shell City’s scuba-diving owner – referred to as “Cyclops” because of his one-eyed diving-mask – the audience sees the unpleasant consequences of creating kitsch from sea creatures.

Even with these observations, however, the movie maintains the bouncy tone that has made the franchise into just the kind of cultural behemoth the Krusty Krab represents.