SpongeBob SquarePants

Release Date: November 19, 2004

Movie of the Day for Friday, June 25, 2004
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They were singing Under the Sea until the Disney lawyers showed up.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
31/126 Kim Hollis Yeah, I love the little yellow guy. The cartoon is just so shiny.
108/133 Dan Krovich A few of the television episodes strung together would have been better

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Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob SquarePants!
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!
SpongeBob SquarePants!
If nautical nonsense be something you wish,
SpongeBob SquarePants!
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
SpongeBob SquarePants!
SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob SquarePants,
SpongeBob SquarePants!
SpongeBob SquarePaaaaannttss!!!
HA HA HA HA !!!!

The current reigning champion of kids’ NickToons and a frequent denizen of Nielsen’s top 20 cable programs, this freaky little mind trip of an animated series will be making its way to the big screen at long last. Where movies based on Nickelodeon series like Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, and Hey Arnold! have been somewhat lackluster performers in the past two years, SpongeBob Squarepants looks to break that trend as it is the network’s staple performer and a solid favorite amongst kids aged two to 11 (in fact, it was the number one show for children that age during the 2001-2002 season).

During the show’s television run, 65 episodes were aired before production was ended to allow the creative team to focus exclusively on the movie. Those episodes are now running as reruns until further notice (probably at least until the movie is finished and a decision is made as to whether to turn the show into a movie series or return it to the small screen).

For the uninitiated, the show revolves around a happy, rectangular-shaped sponge with pants who lives in a pineapple in the undersea community of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab diner as a fry cook, where he also hangs out with friends that include a squid and a starfish. Occasionally, his adventures bring him into contact with the evil Plankton, one of the best modern television cartoon villains this side of The Brain. This background story will be expanded in the movie, which movie Web site Dark Horizons reports will follow an eerily similar plot to that of the highly successful Finding Nemo. SpongeBob’s friend Patrick the Starfish is caught by a fisherman and taken to a Florida aquarium. The remaining friends team together to save their friend.

Given the creative proclivities of the screenwriter, show creator and co-writer Stephen Hillenburg, it’s possible that this premise is a red herring. A former biology teacher, SpongeBob SquarePants will be his first movie screenplay, and since this show is his baby, he can be expected to shoot for the rafters.

With SpongeBob SquarePants’ popularity remaining very high despite the fact that it is in reruns, expect fans of the show to be clamoring for new material by the time the movie is released. It largely mirrors the meteoric rise of Rugrats, another NickToon that spawned two successful movies before trailing off into mediocrity, and as a result, should find a very substantial audience when it hits theaters for the first time. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

March 23, 2004
Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin and Jeffrey Tambor have all been added as voice cast, according to Variety. The trade also reports that Nickelodeon/Paramount has secured an estimated $150 million in promotional support for the film from such sponsors as Mitsubishi, Burger King, Holiday Inn and even the Cayman Islands. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for SpongeBob SquarePants
Main Cast Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke
Supporting Cast Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Tambor, Carolyn Lawrence, Clancy Brown
Director Sherm Cohen, C.H. Greenblatt
Screenwriter Stephen Hillenburg
Distributor Paramount
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating PG
Running Time 88 minutes
Screen Count 3,212
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for SpongeBob SquarePants
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Pokemon the First Movie 11/12/9931.03 36.97 2901 10696.00 12212.0 85.74 102.17 2.13
Rugrats 11/20/9827.32 35.12 2782 9820.00 12144.1 100.49 129.19 3.68
Rugrats in Paris 11/17/0022.72 25.41 2934 7744.00 8333.1 76.46 85.53 3.37
Rugrats Go Wild! 6/13/0311.56 11.56 3041 3800.00 3800.0 39.40 39.40 3.41
Recess: School's Out 2/16/0110.07 10.74 2624 3838.00 3939.9 36.70 39.16 3.64
Wild Thornberrys, The 12/20/026.10 6.34 3012 2025.00 2025.0 43.12 44.83 7.07
Hey Arnold! The Movie 6/28/025.71 5.93 2527 2258.00 2258.0 13.68 14.22 2.40
Doug's 1st Movie 3/26/994.47 5.32 2268 1971.00 2250.4 19.42 23.14 4.34



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