As far as I can tell, no one was begging for a sequel to 2004’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but next year we’ll be getting one weirder and probably far worse than we ever could have imagined. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, an uneasy blend of traditional animation, CGI and live-action, spent Comic-Con weirding people out with new footage. And today, the first trailer for the film has hit the web, so that you can feel just as confused, unsettled and oddly repulsed as those con-goers.
Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Hop. What do all those CGI/live-action movies have in common? Firstly, they’re absolutely awful. Secondly, they made serious money at the box office. So before you ask why the team behind The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water decided to incorporate the hybrid format, the answer lies above.
Sadly, this film looks like an absolute mess – and not in a good way, to be clear. Antonio Banderas is drowning in bad dialogue as the requisite baddie, a pirate searching for a mythical book that will give him great power. There are also shots ogling a female beachgoer that seem downright bizarre for this property. And most worryingly, there are no signs of life or personality from the title character, whose lovable antics always made the Nicktoon show that this is based on enjoyable to watch.
Additionally, the idea of SpongeBob and his friends turning into CG heroes just weirds me out still, and I can’t imagine long-time fans of the franchise adapting well to it either. We’ll find out whether The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was a winningly bold move (a slim possibility in my opinion, but of course some films in the animation genre have surprised in the past – just look at The LEGO Movie) or a terrible mistake when the film opens February 13th next year.
SpongeBob and his friends need to go on a quest to discover a stolen recipe that takes them to our dimension, our world, where they tangle with a pirate who posesses the recipe. And in order to get it, SpongeBob transforms into a superhero named Invincibubble (while Patrick becomes Mr. Superawsomeness, Sandy stays as herself, Mr. Krabs becomes the Iron Man-like Sir Pinch-a-lot, Plankton becomes a yet unknown Hulk-like superhero, and Squidward becomes Sour Note).