- "Hero. Legend. Sponge."
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is a feature film based on the television cartoon series of the same name. It was produced by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies production. It was released in theaters in the United States on November 19, 2004 by Paramount Pictures. It was distributed in Switzerland, Spain, and Netherlands by Universal Pictures.
The film received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike, and was a box office success, grossing $140 million worldwide against its $30 million budget.
A group of pirates get tickets to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie from a treasure chest. The pirates then sing the "SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song," enter a movie theater, raid it, and sit down to watch the movie.
The movie properly begins with an emergency situation at the Krusty Krab, complete with police helicopters and news reporters. Suddenly, SpongeBob SquarePants, "the manager," arrives in a sleek sports car. Mr. Krabs says that it started with a simple order, a Krabby Patty with cheese. "When the customer took a bite, NO CHEESE!" Mr. Krabs starts crying, leading SpongeBob to slap him. He enters the Krusty Krab and meets a guy named Phil, who was involved in the situation. SpongeBob then opens his suitcase, takes out a pair of tweezers, and puts cheese on the Krabby Patty. The day is saved, and the crowd starts cheering for SpongeBob. Their cheers soon degenerate to the sound of SpongeBob's alarm clock, and he wakes up, revealing the opening scene to be a dream.
SpongeBob is extremely excited, as today is the grand opening of "The Krusty Krab 2," and he's going to be the new manager and prepares himself for the day. Patrick Star's rock lifts up, and Patrick congratulates SpongeBob says that to celebrate, they're going to go to "Goofy Goober's Ice Cream Party Boat." SpongeBob and Patrick sing the Goofy Goober theme song, and afterwards, SpongeBob goes off to the Krusty Krab. Plankton envies Mr. Krabs, and states he tried every plan in his cabinet from "A to Y". There are actually 26 letters of the alphabet, and Plankton doesn't notice it at first, but Karen, his computer wife, tells him. Plankton finds "Plan Z" in the back of the drawer. He thinks it's his best plan yet. He goes outside, only to be stepped on by SpongeBob. He pulls Plankton off his shoe, and asks him if he's going to the grand opening ceremony. Plankton replies that he's busy planning word domination, but SpongeBob doesn't understand this and walks off. Meanwhile, Mr. Krabs is preparing the grand opening ceremony of the Krusty Krab 2, which is an exact replica of the original and is located directly next-door to it, the only difference being a giant glowing "2" sign. Thinking that he would be the new manager of the restaurant, SpongeBob rushes up to the stage to accept his promotion, but Mr. Krabs announces that Squidward is the new manager instead, much to SpongeBob's shock. Mr. Krabs tells a heartbroken SpongeBob, who realized that Krabs lied, that he is too immature and childlike to handle the task, and SpongeBob sulks away, saying "I'm ready ... depression." Patrick suddenly flies by, naked, with a SpongeBob banner in his butt, and crashes into the set, causing a fire.
Later, Plankton flies towards King Neptune's castle, as part of "Plan Z". Inside, Neptune is attempting to punish his royal crown polisher for touching his crown, but is stopped by his intelligent daughter, Mindy. The brutish and tyrannical king tries to explain to his daughter that he must enforce his power as king in order to be respected, and that she will have to do the same when she is Queen. He begins to explain the importance of his crown, and as he talks, Plankton arrives and steals it. Neptune, who is bald, is horrified to discover that his crown is missing, Plankton having stolen it.
Meanwhile, SpongeBob is at Goofy Goober Ice Cream Party Boat brooding over his loss. Patrick arrives thinking SpongeBob is the manager, but he was told the truth about being a kid SpongeBob starts to leave, but then Patrick gets a Triple Gooberberry Sunrise, and SpongeBob comes back. They begin to eat dozens of Surprises burying the waiter in ice cream continuously saying "waiter". The two become "drunk" from all the ice cream, and SpongeBob falls asleep in the restaurant, experiencing hangover-like symptoms the morning afterwards.
Later, Neptune arrives at the Krusty Krab 2 after receiving evidence planted by Plankton of Mr. Krabs stealing his crown, which is a note, saying, "I stole your crown. Signed, Eugene Krabs". Krabs denies stealing the crown, but a message then plays on the phone of a man thanking Mr. Krabs for giving him the crown and saying that he sold it to Shell City. This call is actually from Plankton. Having to hear that his crown is in the "forbidden" Shell City, Neptune gets extremely angry and plans to burn Mr. Krabs to a crisp; but before doing that, Neptune asks if anyone has anything to say to defend Mr. Krabs, and a "drunken" SpongeBob arrives and bad-mouths Mr. Krabs for not giving him the manager job. Neptune then burns Krabs, but Krabs plunges into a barrel filled with water. Upon realizing the severity of the situation, SpongeBob returns to his normal self and stops Neptune from executing him. Mindy convinces her father to give SpongeBob a chance to prove Krab's innocence, and he and Patrick agree to travel to the dreaded Shell City, and return with the crown. Before departing, Mr. Krabs is frozen solid by King Neptune, and Mindy, who Patrick develops a crush on, gives the duo a magical bag of winds to return home with and warned about the trip.
With six days to retrieve the crown (there were originally ten until King Neptune and Patrick argued it down to six), SpongeBob and Patrick take the "Patty Wagon," a car shaped like a Krabby Patty. They soon reach a gas station located on the county line, where the hillbilly owners laugh at them, finding the duo and their vehicle stupid. They tell SpongeBob and Patrick that they wouldn't last for ten seconds over the county line. When SpongeBob and Patrick cross the line, their car is immediately stolen by a thug. SpongeBob and Patrick then realize that they lasted for twelve seconds, and begin laughing at the hillbillies, who are dumbfounded by their idiocy, as they continue on foot. Later, they find their car parked at the "Thug Tug," a bar for tough, muscular fish. SpongeBob has Patrick distract the thugs so he can get the key. (Unfortunately, Patrick just said: "I have to go to the bathroom," making SpongeBob unsuccessful, and getting his hands dirty in the process.) SpongeBob heads for the bathroom to wash his hands, and when he uses the soap dispenser, it produces bubbles. SpongeBob and Patrick begin having a "Bubble Party," but one bubble floats over to the leader of the "Thug Tug," who reminds the other bar patrons of the policy that all "Bubble Blowing Babies" will be severely beaten. The leader goes on a "Bubble Blowing Baby Hunt" by turning on the Goofy Goober Theme song, where the first person to start singing is determined to be the culprit. SpongeBob and Patrick struggle not to start singing, then the owner starts singing it to SpongeBob and Patrick, causing SpongeBob's eyes to water and Patrick to start melting, and they are only saved when a pair of Siamese Twins burst out in song. The other thugs begin beating them, allowing SpongeBob and Patrick to steal the key amidst the confusion and depart.
Back in Bikini Bottom, Plankton, with Mr. Krabs incapacitated, obtains the Krabby Patty secret formula and begins serving Krabby Patties at the Chum Bucket. He stole the formula by sneaking by Mr. Krabs while he was frozen, went into his office, entered the safe code and stole the formula. Plankton starts selling Krabby Patties at the Chum Bucket, along with free bucket helmets. He has also learned about SpongeBob and Patrick are trying to get the crown back and hires a professional hitman named Dennis to ensure that SpongeBob and Patrick do not reach Shell City. The next day, Squidward sees that everyone is wearing helmet buckets and after a woman tells him that Plankton is giving them away for free with the Krabby Patties, he goes to confront Plankton, telling him that Plankton was the one who stole King Neptune's the crown to get the Krabby Patties formula and decides to report him to King Neptune, but before he leaves the Chum Bucket, Plankton activates a mind-control device, revealing that the bucket helmets are acually mind controlling helmets that can cause everyone to repeatedly quote "All, hail, Plankton" and turn them into slaves. Squidward tries to escape, but the enslaved citizens corner and capture him, taking down the last opposition to Plankton in Bikini Bottom and transforms the city into "Planktopolis".
SpongeBob and Patrick are traveling through a field of skulls, laughing over their victory at the Thug Tug. They see an Ice Cream Stand, but when SpongeBob goes to order, the old lady running the stand is revealed to be the tongue of a monstrous Frogfish using the Ice Cream Stand as bait. SpongeBob and Patrick are chased by a large sea monster, eventually driving off a cliff and getting out of the car just in time. The Frogfish is lured off the edge, and subsequently is eaten by an even larger beast that is a gigantic sea serpent that appears from the trench. Unable to pass through a monster-filled trench, SpongeBob decides to give up and accepts the fact that he and Patrick are just children. However, Mindy arrives and shows them what has happened to Bikini Bottom while they were gone, and gives them fake mustaches in the form of seaweed, convincing them that they are now men. SpongeBob and Patrick pass through the trench without fear (singing "Now That We're Men"), but meet up with Dennis on the other side. He rips off their fake mustaches and explains to them that they are not really men, and prepares to kill them by crushing them under his boot. However, before he can do so, Dennis himself is crushed by a gigantic boot, belonging to a monstrous scuba diver known as "The Cyclops," who abducts SpongeBob and Patrick to the surface.
SpongeBob and Patrick wake up in a goldfish bowl filled with freshwater and sedimentary pebbles. They see the Cyclops making "knick-knacks" from dead sea creatures, much to their horror, and are soon taken out of the bowl and put on a table under a heat lamp, and start to dry up. Soon, SpongeBob laments that they have failed, and that Bikini Bottom will remain under Plankton's mind control, Mr. Krabs will be executed, and they too will die. Patrick points out a sign reading "Shell City: Marine Gifts and Sundries". SpongeBob realizes that they are in Shell City, which is in fact a gift shop. They see the crown, and SpongeBob then realizes that they did at least make it to Shell City, and did pretty well for "a couple of goofballs." They both shed a tear and begin singing the Goofy Goober song, just as they shrivel up. Back in the movie theater, all the pirates mourn the apparent death of SpongeBob and Patrick, but a talking parrot points out that the movie isn't over yet and they continue watching it. The "Tear of the Goofy Goobers" slides down a wire into the power outlet, which short-circuits and lets out smoke rising up and activating the sprinkler system, and causes all the sea creatures to reanimate. As the sea creatures (which include a mariachi band playing a song from Mexico) beat up "The Cyclops," SpongeBob and Patrick grab the crown and carry it out to the beach. There, SpongeBob reads the manual of the Bag of Winds, and Patrick accidentally releases it, leaving them stranded on the beach. However, David Hasselhoff spots them, arrives and carries them across the ocean on his back.
On the way back home, SpongeBob and Patrick sees the big boot belonging to the same diver that kidnapped them and who stepped on Dennis with, rises up sea, and an angry Dennis, who "The Cyclops" has actually stepped on, emerges from below it, intent on finishing the job Plankton gave him and goes after Patrick and SpongeBob with his dagger in hand (much to Hasselhoff's discomfort). He corners SpongeBob, who attempts to reason with Dennis (by bribing him with five Goober dollars); Dennis is uninterested, so SpongeBob proceeds to make more offers - including a bubble-blower that sends a stream of bubbles to Dennis's eyes, blinding him and making him even angrier. But just as he is about to stomp on them with his boot, he ends up getting knocked into the ocean by a floating sailboat. As the duo arrive over Bikini Bottom, King Neptune is about to execute Mr. Krabs, but is being stalled by Mindy. Hasselhoff opens his pectoral muscles and prepares countdown and shoots the duo down into Bikini Bottom at fast speed, where they crash through the roof of the Krusty Krab, the crown deflecting the trident blast that nearly kills Mr. Krabs, and ends up burning Hasselhoff. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop Plankton, who dumps a King-sized Chum Bucket Helmet on Neptune, also putting him under his control. As Plankton's minions surround the heroes, SpongeBob realized that Plankton didn't care whether Krabs should be fried or not he just wanted the power of the seas under his control, having used the theft of the crown to lure Neptune into the trap, thus he cheated. Plankton doubts to him to cheating, and he states to him that he is an evil genius and SpongeBob is just a kid---a stupid kid. SpongeBob makes a speech about being who you are, before transforming in a wizard and breaking out into "Goofy Goober Rock" (based on Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock") using his electric guitar's laser beams to destroy all the brain-control buckets with. Plankton is trampled before he can escape, and the cops put him in a little cage and take him away for brainwashing all the people in Bikini Bottom, scrapegoating Mr. Krabs, and for stealing King Neptune's crown.
Neptune reaches an understanding not only with Mr. Krabs, but also with his daughter, and thanks SpongeBob and Patrick. He then turns to leave, but Mindy reminds him about Mr. Krabs. He unfreezes Mr. Krabs, turning him into a fat little boy. Neptune then reveals that he had his trident set to "Real Boy Ending", and turns Mr. Krabs back to a crab. Squidward suggests to SpongeBob that he has learned that he doesn't really need to be the manager of the Krusty Krab 2, but SpongeBob eagerly takes the position anyway. Images shown throughout the end credits shown the sole two differences between the job of manager and fry-cook is that there is a giant hat with the word manager imprinted on it and an extra cent in his paycheck. Nonetheless, SpongeBob takes on the role of manager of the Krusty Krab 2 with great pride, as the film signifies the conclusion of the franchise's story.
In a post-credits scene, back in the theater the usher tells the pirates to leave the theater so she can clean up the mess they left.
The ending credits bill 12 voices as the main cast:
- Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants
- Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs
- Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles
- Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star
- Doug Lawrence as Sheldon J. Plankton
- Jill Talley as Karen Plankton
- Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks
- Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff
- Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune
- Scarlett Johansson as Princess Mindy
- Alec Baldwin as Dennis
- David Hasselhoff as himself
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was a long-planned production, since Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures had been approaching series creator Stephen Hillenburg to do a film on the show but he refused for more than a year. Hillenburg was worried about doing this, after watching The Iron Giant and Toy Story with his sons, because he conceived that it would be a challenge to give the characters of SpongeBob and Patrick something more cinematically consequential and inspiring to do, as long as it could be done without losing what he calls the SpongeBob "cadence." He said, while taking a break from his post-production labors, where he was also working on the fourth season, "To do a 75-minute movie about SpongeBob wanting to make some jellyfish jelly would be a mistake, I think [...] This had to be SpongeBob in a great adventure. That's where the comedy's coming from, having these two naïve characters, SpongeBob and Patrick, a doofus and an idiot, on this incredibly dangerous heroic odyssey with all the odds against them."
In 2002, Hillenburg and the show's staff members decided to stop making episodes to work on the film, after completing the show's third season. The film's plot originally had SpongeBob save Patrick from a fisherman in Florida. The obvious reference to the 2003 film Finding Nemo was later revealed by Tom Kenny, voice of SpongeBob, that it was a "joke" plot to keep the fans busy. To write the film, Hillenburg sat with five other writer-animators who had worked on the show including Paul Tibbitt, Derek Drymon, Aaron Springer, Kent Osborne and Tim Hill in a room in a former bank in Glendale, California for three months. Osbore said "It was hugely fun [...] although it did get kind of gamy in there." For the film, the writers concocted a mythical hero's quest, a search for a stolen crown that takes SpongeBob and Patrick to the surface. The idea interested Hillenburg to do the feature film with the characters. Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of Patrick, on the idea, said "It's just nuts. I'm continually dazzled and delighted with what these guys came up with."
Once the film was completed, Hillenburg wanted to end the series "so the show wouldn't jump the shark," but Nickelodeon wanted to do more episodes. Hillenburg said "Well, there was concern when we did the movie [in 2004] that the show had peaked. There were concerns among executives at Nickelodeon." Hillenburg resigned as the series' showrunner, and appointed Paul Tibbitt, who previously served as the show's supervising producer, writer, director, and storyboard artist, to overtake the role. Hillenburg considered Tibbitt one of his favorite members of the show's crew, and "totally trusted him [Paul Tibbitt]." Tibbitt still holds the showrunner position and also functions as an executive producer. Hillenburg no longer writes or runs the show on a day-to-day basis, but reviews each episode and delivers suggestions. He said "I figure when I'm pretty old I can still paint[...] I don't know about running shows." Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke and the rest of the crew confirmed they have completed four new episodes for broadcast on Nickelodeon in early 2005, and planned to finish about 20 total for the then-fourth season.
During the production, Jules Engel, Hillenburg's mentor while he was studying experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts, died in September 2003. Hillenburg decided to dedicate the film to him and said "He truly was the most influential artistic person in my life. I consider him my 'Art Dad.'"
The film featured live-action scenes directed by Mark Osborne in Santa Monica, California. During the 30-second opening of the film featuring the pirates singing the theme, the ship vessel used was the Bounty. The 180-ft long vessel was an enlarged reconstruction of the original 1787 Royal Navy sailing ship HMS Bounty built for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, and has also appeared in films such as Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
David Hasselhoff's scene was originally asking without him being asked. Hillenburg was very happy after he finished roughing out the storyboards for it. Sherm Cohen, the lead storyboard artist, said "He had been wrestling with the ending for quite a while, and finally he was ready to pitch his ideas to some of the other board artists." Hillenburg was dependent on casting Hasselhoff and the first question to him was, "So, do we have Hasselhoff?" Hillenburg said "No" with a grin. Eventually, Hasselhoff said "I'm in" even he did not saw the material. Hillenburg said "He's a great guy[...] He was great at making fun of himself."
To complete the scene where Hasselhoff swims to the sea without hurting him, the film crew built a 750-pound, 12-foot replica of him. The replica costs $100,000 and is now at Hasselhoff's residence. Hasselhoff said "It freaked me out because it was so lifelike, with teeth, when you touch it feels like real skin. It's soft, like your skin." When and the rest of the crew completed filming, he said "That's ridiculously awesome. What are you gonna do with it?" Hasselhoff was asked if he want to keep the replica and he said "Uh, yeah. Okay." Hasselhoff also did takes in cold water where he was pulled by a sled nine yards across the sea. He described the experience as "Cold but lot of fun."
- See also: SpongeBob SquarePants videography
The VHS and DVD the movie was released on March 1, 2005. The movie was later released on Blu-ray on March 29, 2011. On December 30, 2014, the DVD and Blu-ray were reissued with new covers. The DVD and Blu-ray have also been reissued in box sets with the sequels.
- → Main article: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
A sequel to this movie was announced on February 29, 2012 by Stephen Hillenburg and was originally titled The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 2. In June 2014, the film was renamed and officially titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The movie sequel was released on February 6, 2015.
- → Main article: The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge
A sequel was announced in 2016 by Stephen Hillenburg. The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, was released in theaters in Canada and Cina, on Netflix internationally and will be released on Paramount + in United States.
Trailers and TV spots
- This was the last 2D "hand-drawn" animated film from Nickelodeon Movies until its successor. It was also was the last theatrical film based on a Nicktoon for six years until The Last Airbender (though Barnyard, released in 2006, would spawn a TV show in the meantime).
- On its opening weekend at #2, this film grossed $32,018,216 at the U.S. box office, already covering its $30 million budget.
- This movie marked the last SpongeBob project with the direct involvement with series creator Stephen Hillenburg, who left the series in 2004. He continued to be credited as the executive producer for seasons 4-12 before his death in 2018.
- The film is said to be set after the entire series due to the Krusty Krab 2's appearance and SpongeBob's manager employment. If such a case is true, then it is said to be the 'true' finale as it was originally intended.
- The movie was aired on NickSplat (following the premiere of Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie) on November 25, 2017, making it the only installment of SpongeBob SquarePants (or any currently-running Nickelodeon show) to air on the block.
- In later scenes in the films, the Krusty Krab 2 is missing. It might have been demolished during Plankton's takeover.
- Edelstein, David (7 November 2004). He Lives in a Pineapple, but Then What?. The New York Times. Retrieved on 19 August 2013.
- Koltnow, Barry (14 November 2004). "SpongeBob creator is soaking up success ". East Valley Tribune. http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/get_out/article_08af58a9-3a6c-5af6-a86a-2754502d0bd9.html. Retrieved on 16 June 2013.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: The Absorbing Tale Behind The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2005.
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- The brilliance behind SpongeBob. Boston.com (16 July 2009). Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
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- Template:Cite video
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- Rae, Fiona (September 26, 2009). Paul Tibbitt interview. New Zealand Listener. Retrieved on May 25, 2013.
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- ules Engel Centennial Celebration Honored Legendary Animator and Founder of CalArts Animation. California Institute of the Arts. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
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- (SpongeBob Creator’s “Art Dad”: JULES ENGEL [Short Form of Feature]. The Richest (5 March 2013). Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
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- Brockes, Emma (5 August 2012). David Hasselhoff: 'If we have to go with the Hoff to pay the rent, let's go with the Hoff'. The Guardian. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
- Burgeson, John (14 August 2012). HMS Bounty, star of 1962 'Mutiny,' in Bridgeport this weekend. Connecticut Post. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
- Siegel, Andrea F. (14 June 2012). Tall ship, replica of Bounty docked in Annapolis for tours. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
- Curtis, Abigail (8 August 2012). Ship replica used in ‘Mutiny on the Bounty,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ opens to visitors in Belfast. Bangor Daily News. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
- Suehle, Ruth (31 October 2012). Remembering the HMS Bounty and Her Role in the Movies. Wired. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved on 23 August 2013.
- Winters, Rebecca (15 November 2004). Q&A David Hasselhoff. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
- Bans, Lauren (October 2011). The GQ&A: David Hasselhoff. GQ. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
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- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Inside the Pineapple. DVD. Paramount Home Entertainment, 2005.
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie on Wikipedia
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie at the Internet Movie Database
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie at TV Tropes
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie at Behind the Voice Actors