In the 1930s, people had the Marx Brothers for their dose of wild farce. In the early 2000s, they have SpongeBob Squarepants, considerably weirder and even crazier than Groucho and Co. One look at that female squirrel in her Treedome under the sea and you realize that. But this particular wild farce isn’t for everyone: it’s animated—and now on a movie screen, not a TV screen, for the second time.
2015’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water serves up a plot too fanciful to keep up with and a bad-guy pirate (who runs his ship on Auto Pirate) acted by Antonio Banderas. The cartoon farce rolls on until it is joined by a comparatively tame live action sequence on the beach, and then by some pallid “superhero” action. So the movie isn’t perfect, but it is utterly, delightfully mirthful. And it has a sweetly fey hero in . . . an underwater sponge.