MY FAVORITE THING about SpongeBob SquarePants is knowing that the guy who voices SpongeBob's fat and dimwitted best friend, Patrick, is the aging Bill Fagerbakke—AKA "Dauber" on Coach.
Right below that is knowing that the guy who plays SpongeBob's boss, Mr. Krabs, is Clancy Brown—better known as the Kurgan in Highlander and the sadistic-when-he's-not-giving-out-beer prison guard in The Shawshank Redemption. And then right below that is the last name of the actor who plays SpongeBob's crabby coworker, Squidward: It is "Bumpass." (OH, AND YES, YES, YES: I'M WELL AWARE THAT SPONGEBOB IS VOICED BY TOM KENNY, WHO WAS ON MR. SHOW. YAWN.)
Otherwise I'm not much for the franchise, which I didn't even realize was still a thing, all these years after 9/11 and the Iraq War destroyed the concept of childhood. But I guess I'm wrong? Because for the first time since 2004, there's a SpongeBob movie in theaters. It's called The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and you could technically take yourself, or some children you know and kind of like, to see it!
I did that. I wish I hadn't! Sponge Out of Water is nothing more than a tediously long episode, except it's also got some underwhelming special effects and an existentially sad Antonio Banderas tacked on for no apparent reason other than tacking them on was technically possible.
(No! Seriously! The slightly memorable sequence that dominates the trailers and also earned the movie its name—the bit when SpongeBob and his associates exit the ocean and literally wind up "out of water"—comes all the way at the end and totally feels like way too little, way too late.)
Worse, one of the film's major themes concerns society's addiction to fast food. But no one even goes to McDonald's anymore! I read that in the Guardian last month. So that was pretty stupid, too.