The first of two (so far?) flicks starring SpongeBob —2004’s The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie—is raffish fun with nothing to say, which is good.  The comic lines are simple, conventional and droll, the comic action loony.

A written note falsely claiming that SpongeBob’s employer, Mr. Crabs (a crab), has stolen King Neptune’s crown puts Mr. Crabs in real jeopardy.  After being refused a manager’s position at the boss’s new eatery, SpongeBob must prove himself—him?—by retrieving the crown from a mean “city”. . . I don’t understand the rock god sequence near the end, but Stephen Hillenburg‘s animated lark is weird.  There’s some risk-taking behind the slapdash insanity.  Tom Kenny has one heck of a voice as SpongeBob, and Scarlett Johansson is more pleasing as the voice of Mindy the mermaid than she is in her live-action performances.  Too, there is easy charm here.