"Atlantis SquarePantis" is a special hour-length episode produced for the fifth season of SpongeBob SquarePants. The special first aired in the U.S. on November 12, 2007, following a 12-hour-marathon of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes. A DVD was released the day after the show premiered, featuring the special and six bonus episodes. It attracted an estimated 8.8 million viewers. Behind the Pantis, a short special telling how the special was made, followed the main film.
The special begins with Patchy in a traffic jam. He thinks he will miss the next SpongeBob episode. Suddenly, Encino mysteriously disappears. The event reminds Patchy of the episode of "another lost city".
The cartoon begins with SpongeBob blowing bubbles and Patrick taking pictures of them, but the bubbles pop before the picture can be taken. Patrick then destroys the camera for being unable to take the picture in time, but SpongeBob tells him that it is the very nature of the fragile bubble. He then sings a song about bubbles, then accidentally blows a larger bubble than expected. It lifts SpongeBob and Patrick off the ground. Then, a broken coin (half of the Atlantean Amulet) pops the bubble. Patrick assumes the amulet belonged to SpongeBob's ancient ancestors. They take it to the museum. There they meet Mr. Krabs (who set up his own admission booth outside earlier) and Squidward (who was studying the "Neptune's Ascension" portrait before SpongeBob and Patrick ran into him). Squidward thinks SpongeBob and Patrick stole the half of the Amulet from the museum, but he soon matches it to the displayed other half of the Amulet. Squidward teaches Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob and Patrick about Atlantis. Sandy comes, and she, Patrick, Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob convince Squidward to link the two halves together.
The magical path to Atlantis (a bus) is opened. The robotic captain tells the group (with Plankton stowing away with them) to refill fuel, but he reveals the fuel for the vehicle is song (he stated that Atlanteans found the use of fossil fuels to be "counter-intuitive"). The group sings, but Patrick "empties" the fuel by messing up the song. The bus crashes into a topiary garden in Atlantis. There, they meet Lord Royal Highness (voiced by David Bowie; his eyes are different colors: his right is blue, his left is green; this is a homage to the voice actor.) LRH takes them on a tour, which Mr. Krabs, Sandy and Squidward all leave to explore what Atlantis has to offer: Mr. Krabs wallows in the Atlanteans' treasure storage, Sandy explores their technology (and invents a machine for herself), and Squidward observes the Atlantean art (he later claims he learnt more about painting in a few hours than he did in 4 years of community college). Meanwhile, Plankton explores the Weaponry Room. Finally, SpongeBob and Patrick get to see the world's oldest living bubble, over 1 million years old. They take a picture of it, which causes the bubble to pop. They are afraid to speak to LRH, saying they have to go back to Bikini Bottom. Then, Patrick shouts out the truth.
Lord Royal Highness is not mad at SpongeBob and Patrick for popping the bubble, saying that the one they popped was just a tourist attraction. He then shows them the real oldest living bubble, but once again, when Patrick takes a picture of it, it pops. Angered over this, Lord Royal Highness and his guards chase them when Plankton comes in and tries to destroy them with a tank he found in the Weaponry Room... which turns out to just shoot ice cream. Lord Royal Highness picks Plankton up, saying that a "talking speck" would be a better replacement for the bubble. Lord Royal Highness removes the Amulet, and orders a soldier to dispose it. Sandy, Squidward and Mr. Krabs want to stay, but return home anyway, much to everyone's (except SpongeBob and Patrick's) displeasure.
The special goes back to Patchy, who is upset and desperate to get home for SpongeBob. He then encounters a trio of aliens who shrunk Encino. Once the alien who did it is reprimanded by his mother and father (the other two), the place is restored to normal size again, but Potty grew.
The following songs were featured in the episode:
- "The Bubble Song" (Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke)
- "Fueling the Bus" (Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Doug Lawrence, Carolyn Lawrence)
- "Eugene H. Krabs's Song" (Clancy Brown)
- "Sandy's Song" (Carolyn Lawrence)
- "Plankton's Song" (Doug Lawrence)
- "Squidward's Song" (Rodger Bumpass)
- "Back in Encino" (Nicholas Carr, Steve Marston)
- "Goodbye Atlantis" (Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence)
Cast (in order of appearance)
- Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants
- Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star
- Clancy Brown as Mr. Eugene Krabs
- Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles
- Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks
- Doug Lawrence as Plankton
- David Bowie as Lord Royal Highness
Atlantis SquarePantis was given generally negative to mixed reviews from both critics and fans. Tom Shales, a television critic for The Washington Post, lambasted the movie in his review, titled Squeezing the Life Out of SpongeBob; he wrote that "the funniest thing about the film is its title" and "a typical episode has about as many laughs as this inflated version does". Shales also criticized the amount of musical numbers, calling them "numbing". He concluded the review with the statement that the show was "flat" and "unimpressive". However, Atlantis SquarePantis recorded nine million viewers, beating every 8pm show on broadcast television that night except Dancing with the Stars.
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- Atlantis SquarePantis at the Internet Movie Database
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia: Atlantis SquarePantis