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THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE

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When King Neptune's crown is stolen, SpongeBob and his starfish buddy Patrick set off from Bikini Bottom on a perilous journey to retrieve the royal headgear in Stephen Hillenburg's feature-length adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series. Our plucky albeit easily distracted heroes face dangers that range from amusingly terrifying (a biker gang) and naturalistic (dehydration) to just plain absurd (a fierce battle while balanced on David Hasselhoff's hairy leg). Smitten kids will probably adore every bit of the absorbent yellow guy's adventures. Adults may find 90 minutes of SpongeBob is material stretched thin, but they should be buoyed by the odd bits of adult humor such as the Grand Guignol nature of "Shell City" or the unsuccessful eatery for fish called Chum Bucket. Celebrities lending their pipes include Jeffrey Tambor, Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin, but Tom Kenny's squeaky SpongeBob is the biggest hoot.

 

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