Fun, though 80+ frenetic minutes may prove exhausting for the older set. This time ‘round, the theft that drives the plot is a stolen secret recipe for those delicious Krabby Kakes SpongeBob flips to perfection. And the culprit proves tricky to pin down because the story is anything but a closed book. Literally! It’s an open book, available for emendation & addition by anyone with pen & ink. Life: it’s one erratum after another. (It's not all deep philosophy, lots of loud, rude, silly jokes for the kids, too.) Under the sea, or what passes for it here, the film sticks to the familiar hand-drawn animation style of the tv series. But up on dry land, where the film mixes in Live Action to medium result, it’s computer animation, a switch which helps blend the images to better effect. The swap in technique may confuse an old fogey or two, but kids will have no problem. Pleasant enough, but no match for the series.
DOUBLE-BILL: Peak traditional animation techniques combine with 3-strip TechniColor Live Action to striking effect in Disney’s wartime THE THREE CABALLEROS/’44.