Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Not exactly king of the sea

Published November 22, 2004

[Paramount Pictures]
Cartoon heroes Patrick Starfish, lleft, and SpongeBob SquarePants move to the big screen in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Movie: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Rating: PG for some mild crude humor

Summary: In the wake of the opening of another Krusty Krab restaurant in Bikini Bottom, a crisis has occurred. King Neptune's beloved crown is missing, and restaurant owner Mr. Krabs (voice of Clancy Brown) is being blamed for the crime. The crown actually was stolen by the tiny villain, Plankton (voice of Mr. Lawrence), who set up Mr. Krabs in a plot to draw customers into his own restaurant, the Chum Bucket, and to ultimately take over the world. Meanwhile, SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny) is coping with utter disappointment because Mr. Krabs did not give him the managerial position at the new restaurant. But when SpongeBob learns that he has only six days to recover the crown, he and his trusty starfish pal, Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), set aside their feelings and set out on a mission to save Mr. Krabs from certain death.

My view: This film must be taken at face value. For the vast number of kids who adore the Nickelodeon show, this movie will be a pure delight. I can't see this movie attracting any new fans, though. Its target audience will be its only audience. The animation is simple - no Shrek, Nemo or Polar Express here. The dialogue, except for a few humorous one-liners, was flat-out annoying. The David Hasselhoff cameo would have been funnier if it hadn't been revealed in the trailers, and it ended up getting only a chuckle out of me. These 90 minutes were hard to sit through, but it makes a good film for that select audience.

Recommendations: If you're not the type of person who gets a kick out of zany, goofy cartoon humor, or if you're easily annoyed, avoid this one.

Grade: This one starts at a C for me, but the younger you are and the more you like the TV show, the higher your own personal grade will be.

Billy Norris, 17, is in the 11th grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the X-Team.

[Last modified November 19, 2004, 12:10:12]

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