ⓘ The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

ⓘ The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is a 2004 American live-action/animated adventure comedy film based on the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. The film was co-written, directed, and produced by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, with live-action sequences directed by Mark Osborne. It features the series cast of Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass and Mr. Lawrence, and also has new actors which include Alec Baldwin, David Hasselhoff, Scarlett Johansson and Jeffrey Tambor. It is the first film in the SpongeBob SquarePants film series. In this film, Plankton devises a plan to discredit his business nemesis Mr. Krabs, steal the Krabby Patty secret formula and take over the world by stealing King Neptunes crown and framing Mr. Krabs for the crime. SpongeBob and Patrick team up to retrieve the crown from Shell City to save Mr. Krabs from Neptunes wrath and the oceanic world from Planktons rule.

Previous offers by Paramount Pictures for a film adaptation of SpongeBob SquarePants had been rejected by Stephen Hillenburg, but he eventually accepted one offer in 2002. A writing team consisting of Hillenburg, Paul Tibbitt, Derek Drymon, Aaron Springer, Kent Osborne and Tim Hill was assembled, conceiving the idea of a mythical heros quest and the search for a stolen crown, which would bring SpongeBob and Patrick to the surface. The film was originally intended as the series finale, but Nickelodeon ordered more episodes of the series as it had become increasingly profitable, so Hillenburg resigned as showrunner with Tibbitt taking his place.

The film was widely promoted by Paramount and Nickelodeon, with tie-in promotions made by 7-Eleven, the Cayman Islands and Burger King, which decorated various of its franchises with 9-foot 2.7 m SpongeBob inflatable figures. The film was released on November 19, 2004, grossing $140 million worldwide, and received generally positive reviews from critics. A second film titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released on February 6th 2015, and another titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is scheduled for release on May 22nd 2020.


1. Plot

After having a dream with the imitation of an action film, SpongeBob SquarePants cheerfully prepares for the opening ceremony for a second Krusty Krab, expecting his boss Mr. Krabs to promote him as new manager of the new restaurant. Instead, Mr. Krabs names Squidward Tentacles, SpongeBob’s next-door neighbor and co-worker, as manager, thinking SpongeBob is too immature to handle the role, much to SpongeBobs depression. Meanwhile, Mr. Krabs business rival, Plankton, complains about his failures to his computer wife Karen, being unable to steal the Krabby Patty formula. When Karen points out plan "Z", a scheme which he has yet to attempt, Plankton decides to implement it.

That night, SpongeBob drowns his sorrows in ice cream with his best friend Patrick Star. Elsewhere, Plankton steals King Neptunes crown, leaving false evidence to frame Mr. Krabs for the crime, and sends the crown to the distant land of Shell City. The next morning, Neptune barges into the Krusty Krab 2 and threatens Mr. Krabs for his alleged thievery. SpongeBob arrives and chastises Mr. Krabs under the influence of an ice-cream headache, but seeing his bosss life at risk shocks SpongeBob back to his senses and he promises Neptune that he will retrieve the crown from Shell City. Neptune is convinced by his daughter Mindy to spare Mr. Krabs for the time being and freezes him instead, ordering SpongeBob to return with the crown in exactly six days. Soon after SpongeBob and Patrick leave for Shell City, Plankton steals the Krabby Patty formula and uses it to produce and sell Krabby Patties at his restaurant, the Chum Bucket. He also gives away free Chum Bucket helmets to his customers, which are actually mind-controlling devices that Plankton activates to control Bikini Bottoms residents and take over the city. Squidward goes to the Chum Bucket to confront Plankton, but is captured and enslaved by the customers.

After overcoming several setbacks on their journey, including sacrificing the Patty Wagon to escape a ravenous frogfish, SpongeBob and Patrick reach a dangerous, monster-filled trench. When they finally come to the conclusion that they cannot finish the mission due to their immaturity, they tearfully give up. Mindy, however, arrives at the trench and tells SpongeBob and Patrick of Planktons plan. She pretends to magically turn them into men by giving them seaweed mustaches. With their confidence boosted, they brave the trench but are confronted by Dennis, a hitman hired by Plankton to eliminate them. Suddenly, Dennis is stepped on by a hard-hat diver that SpongeBob and Patrick believe to be a Cyclops. The Cyclops grabs SpongeBob and Patrick, and takes them to his beachside store, revealed to be Shell City.

In the store, SpongeBob and Patrick find the crown, but dry out and die when they are dehydrated by the Cyclops heat lamp. Their tears short-circuit the lamps power cord, and its smoke activates the sprinkler system, reviving them and the other dried sea creatures intended to be sold as souvenirs. As the vengeful sea creatures attack and overwhelm the Cyclops, SpongeBob and Patrick take the crown and head for the beach, where David Hasselhoff appears and offers them a ride. He swims from the beach to Bikini Bottom carrying them on his back. Dennis catches up to them but is knocked by a catamaran back into the sea. Then, when they arrive at Bikini Bottom, Hasselhoff launches Patrick and SpongeBob down to the Krusty Krab 2.

At the Krusty Krab 2, King Neptune arrives to execute Mr. Krabs much to Planktons enjoyment and Mindys horror, but SpongeBob and Patrick return with the crown just before he is able to do so. They and Mindy confront Plankton, but he drops a king size mind-controlling bucket on Neptune, enslaving him and revealing that Planktons plan was not to just steal the Krabby Patty formula but also to set Neptune up so he could take over the world. Before Plankton can direct Neptune to kill them, SpongeBob finally accepts his immaturity and bursts into a rock song‐in a parody to Twisted Sisters song "I Wanna Rock" which destroys the mind-controlling helmets, freeing King Neptune, Squidward, and the rest of Bikini Bottoms residents from Planktons control. Plankton tries to escape, but is stepped on by the other citizens. Meanwhile, a flattened Plankton is arrested by the police for the crimes of brainwashing all the people of Bikini Bottom, incriminating Mr. Krabs, and for stealing Neptunes crown. Neptune thaws out Mr. Krabs, who promotes SpongeBob to manager of the Krusty Krab 2 in gratitude.


2. Cast

  • Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks
  • Jill Talley as Karen
  • Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune
  • Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles
  • Scarlett Johansson as Princess Mindy
  • Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs
  • Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff
  • Alec Baldwin as Dennis
  • Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star
  • Mr. Lawrence as Plankton
  • David Hasselhoff as himself actor
  • Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants

Other characters from the television series also appear in the film, including Pearl Krabs voiced by Lori Alan and Gary the Snail voiced by Tom Kenny. Carlos Alazraqui, director Stephen Hillenburg, and Neil Ross voice King Neptunes squire, a parrot, and the Cyclops, respectively. In a post-credits scene, Mageina Tovah portrays a theater usher.


3.1. Production Development

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was long-planned; Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures had approached series creator Stephen Hillenburg for a film based on the show, but he refused for more than a year. Hillenburg was concerned, after watching The Iron Giant and Toy Story with his son, about the challenge of SpongeBob and Patrick doing something more cinematically-consequential and inspiring without losing what he calls the SpongeBob "cadence". He said, on a break from season-four post-production, "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. Thats where the comedys 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 shows staff stopped making episodes to work on the film after the shows third season. The films plot originally had SpongeBob rescue Patrick from a fisherman in Florida; an obvious reference to the 2003 film, Finding Nemo, this was later said by Tom Kenny the voice of SpongeBob to be a "joke" plot to keep fans busy. Hillenburg wrote the film with five other writer-animators from the show over a three-month period in a room of a former Glendale, California bank. Osborne said, "It was hugely fun although it did get kind of gamy in there." At the beginning of the series, Hillenburg screened a number of silent shorts from Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and work by two modern comic actors: Jerry Lewis and Pee-wee Herman, both obvious inspirations for SpongeBob. For the film, the writers created a mythical heros quest: the search for a stolen crown, which brings SpongeBob and Patrick to the surface. Bill Fagerbakke the voice of Patrick said about the plot, "Its just nuts. Im continually dazzled and delighted with what these guys came up with."

When the film was completed, Hillenburg wanted to end the series "so it wouldnt jump the shark". However, Nickelodeon desired more episodes; Hillenburg stated: "Well, there was concern when we did the movie totally trusted him." Tibbitt would remain showrunner until he was succeeded in 2015 by the shows creative director Vincent Waller and staff writer Marc Ceccarelli. He has also acted as an executive producer since 2008. Hillenburg no longer wrote or ran the show on a day-to-day basis, but reviewed each episode and submitted suggestions: "I figure when Im pretty old I can still paint I dont know about running shows." Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke and the crew confirmed that they had completed four episodes for broadcast on Nickelodeon in early 2005, and planned to finish a total of about 20 for the fourth season. In 2015, Hillenburg returned to the show following the completion of the second movie as an executive producer, having greater creative input and attending crew meetings until his death on November 26, 2018.

In September 2003, Jules Engel, Hillenburgs mentor when he studied experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts, died. Hillenburg dedicated the film to him: "He truly was the most influential artistic person in my life. I consider him my Art Dad."


3.2. Production Casting

The film stars the series main cast members: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail and the French Narrator, Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star, Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles, Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, Jill Talley as Karen, Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff, and Lori Alan as Pearl Krabs. It also features Dee Bradley Baker as Perch Perkins, Carlos Alazraqui as King Neptunes squire, Aaron Hendry as the Cyclops, and Neil Ross as the voice of the Cyclops. In addition to the series cast, it was reported on March 23, 2004 that Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Tambor and Alec Baldwin would play new characters Princess Mindy, King Neptune and Dennis respectively, and David Hasselhoff would appear as himself.

Johansson accepted the role because she likes cartoons and was a fan of The Ren & Stimpy Show. When Jeffrey Tambor signed for his voice cameo, he saw his character King Neptune and joked, "This is me." He remembered the first cartoon he saw, Bambi: "My first cartoon, I had to be carried out crying It was Bambi. Its like the great American wound: the death of Bambis mother. Run, Bambi, run!" Another guest voice was Alec Baldwin; Stephen Hillenburg said that the actor recorded his character Dennis on a "phone": "I wouldnt say that about his performance. He might be mad if we said that. Technically, it was like he was in another booth in the studio."

Baywatch and Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff accepted the role when his daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley, urged him: "I got an offer to do a cameo in the SpongeBob Movie and I turned to my girls, who were like 16 and 14, and I said, Whos SpongeBob? and they said, Oh my God, Dad, its the number one cartoon in the world, you gotta do it." Hasselhoff enjoyed his cameo: "It was great fun and to this day around the world kids stop me and say, Are you David Hasselhoff? because I was the only human in the picture." Hasselhoff said that the film gained him new fans: "Its amazing - so many of the kids were so young and didnt see Baywatch and Knight Rider so I got a whole new legion of fans."


3.3. Production Animation

There were a number of stages involved in the making of the film, beginning with a rough animation process of ideas drawn on Post-it notes. The writers drew, working from rough outlines rather than scripts which made the humor more visual than verbal. The storyboard artists, including Sherm Cohen, then illustrated ideas conceived by the writers. In the series Tom Yasumi and Andrew Overtoom do the animatics, but director Hillenburg and writer Derek Drymon did the animatics for the film. Yasumi and Overtoom were the films animation-timing directors, concentrating on the sheets. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was animated at Rough Draft Studios in South Korea. The animators worked semi-digitally; pencil-drawn poses would be composited into layouts in Photoshop.

Series writer and storyboard artist Erik Wiese left the show for a year to work on Samurai Jack and Danny Phantom, but returned to do storyboards and character layout for the film. He "always wanted to be a feature animator, and the movie felt like I was on the character animation end", describing the experience as "a blast it felt like coming home."

Hillenburg enjoyed the process of making the film: "The TV schedule is tight, and you dont always have a lot of time to work on your drawings." He appreciated the films hand-drawn animation: "I think the movies drawings are much superior than the TV show", although CGI animation was flourishing at the time of the films release. "Theres a lot of talk about 2-D being dead, and I hope people dont think that. Even Brad Bird is a proponent of 2-D. He would agree with me that its all about what youre trying to say. There are many ways to tell a story, and whats unique about animation is that there are many styles with which to tell a story." The clay animation scenes were shot by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh and Chris Finnegan at Screen Novelties in Los Angeles.


3.4. Production Filming

The film features live-action scenes directed by Mark Osborne in Santa Monica, California. The ship used during the 30-second opening featuring the pirates singing the theme song was the Bounty, a 180-foot 55 m-long, enlarged reconstruction of the 1787 Royal Navy sailing ship HMS Bounty built for 1962s Mutiny on the Bounty. The ship appeared in a number of other films, including Treasure Island 1999, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest 2006 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End 2007. In film trailers, live-action scenes were taken from Das Boot 1981, The Hunt for Red October 1990, Crimson Tide 1995, and U-571 2000.

Baywatch and Knight Rider actor David Hasselhoff made a cameo in the live-action scenes, offering SpongeBob and Patrick a ride to Bikini Bottom. The scene was originally written before consulting Hasselhoff. Hillenburg was pleased with the storyboards; Lead storyboard artist Sherm Cohen 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 counting on casting Hasselhoff, and the first question he asked him was "So, do we have Hasselhoff?" He replied "No", with a grin. Hasselhoff eventually agreed, before seeing the script. Hillenburg said about the actor, "Hes a great guy He was great at making fun of himself."

The crew built a 750-pound 340 kg, 12-foot 3.7 m replica of Hasselhoff. The $100.000 replica was kept at Hasselhoffs home; he has said, "It freaked me out because it was so lifelike, with teeth, when you touch it feels like real skin. Its soft, like your skin." At the completion of filming, Hasselhoff said, "Thats ridiculously awesome. What are you gonna do with it?" Asked by the crew if he wanted to keep it, he answered, "Uh, yeah. Okay." Hasselhoff filmed in cold water, where he was pulled by a sled nine yards across the sea; he described the experience as "cold but a lot of fun."

In late March 2014, Hasselhoff offered the replica up for auction with other memorabilia collected during his career. Juliens Auctions handled the items sale, which were expected to bring in between $20.000 and $30.000. Ultimately, Hasselhoff pulled the item, just a few days before the auction.


3.5. Production Deleted scenes

The DVD and Blu-ray releases include animatics of deleted scenes from the film, including SpongeBob and Patricks meeting with Sandy Cheeks a squirrel on the surface after their escape from Shell City. Patrick repeatedly vomits, upset by Sandys unusual appearance. The squirrel is pursued by black-suited exterminators, and defends herself with acorns. She informs SpongeBob and Patrick that they can return to Bikini Bottom by taking a bus at the beach. This idea was later used for the second film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, where Sandy became a giant realistic squirrel.

In 2013 the films lead storyboard artist, Sherm Cohen, released a storyboard panel of a deleted scene from the film with SpongeBob awakening from his dream saying "WEEEEE!" and Mr. Krabs holding a managers hat.


4. Soundtrack

Gregor Narholz composed the score for the film, conducting the recording sessions in 5.1 surround sound with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London. Narholz was signed when series music editor Nick Carr recommended him to Hillenburg after they worked together at the Associated Production Music library. Narholz was honored at the 2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for his work on the film, and received a nomination for Music in an Animated Feature Production at the 32nd Annie Awards.

American rock band The Flaming Lips recorded SpongeBob And Patrick Confront the Psychic Wall of Energy They shot the songs music video, directed by band member Wayne Coyne and filmmaker Bradley Beesley, in Austin, Texas. Coyne said, "Stephen Hillenburg seems to be a fan of the weirder music of the late 80s and early 90s He wanted to evoke the music he got turned onto back then." Coyne suggested a duet with Justin Timberlake, but Hillenburg refused, saying "I dont want any of those sort of commercial weirdos on there. I dont like those commercial people. I like you guys, and Wilco and Ween." American band Wilco wrote and recorded "Just a Kid". One of the films producers contacted frontman Jeff Tweedy after seeing a SpongeBob air freshener hanging from Tweedys rearview mirror in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco. Tweedy said, "I fell in love with SpongeBob when I heard him describe the darkness at the bottom of the sea as advanced darkness How could I not write a song for this film? It automatically makes me the coolest dad on the block." Avril Lavigne recorded the series theme for the soundtrack. Other artists contributing to the soundtrack were Motorhead, singing "You Better Swim" a derivative of their 1992 song "Youd Better Run"; Prince Paul "Prince Pauls Bubble Party"; Ween "Ocean Man", and the Shins "Theyll Soon Discover", partially written in 2001.

"The Best Day Ever", written by Tom Kenny SpongeBobs voice actor and Andy Paley, was featured in the film and on its soundtrack. Kenny and Paley were working on what would become the album The Best Day Ever, writing "The Best Day Ever" and "Under My Rock". The films production team needed two more tracks for the soundtrack; Hillenburg heard the songs, and decided to include them. "The Best Day Ever" ended up being played during the films closing credits.


5. Release

The first teaser trailer was released on December 26, 2003, and was attached to Peter Pan. The teaser includes footage from Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, and U-571. The films second trailer was released on May 19, 2004, and was attached to Shrek 2. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie opened in theaters on November 19, 2004; its yellow-carpet world premiere was at Graumans Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on November 14, 2004. Among celebrities who saw the premiere with their children were Ray Romano, Larry King, Ice Cube, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation s Gary Dourdan and Friends Lisa Kudrow. The carpet was a reminder of home for Tom Kenny, SpongeBobs voice actor; he said, "I have a 15-month-old daughter, so Im no stranger to yellow carpets."


5.1. Release Marketing

Julia Pistor, the films co-producer, said that although Nickelodeon which owns the SpongeBob trademark wanted to sell character-themed backpacks, lunch boxes and wristwatches it respected Hillenburgs integrity and gave him control of merchandising. Hillenburg had no problem with candy and ice cream tie-ins, Pistor said because of the treats simplicity, but he had issues with fast food tie-ins; according to him, the latter was "full of hidden additives." Pistor said, "The trouble is that you cant go out with animated films without a fast-food tie-in People dont take you seriously." Hillenburg replied, "Yeah, well, my take on that is that we shouldnt do that We didnt want to suddenly become the people serving up food thats not that good for you especially kids. We work with Burger King, and they make toys and watches. But to actually take the step of pushing the food, thats crossing the line. I dont want to be the Pied Piper of fast food."

The film was promoted across the United States. Nickelodeon joined Burger King for a 12-figure toy line based on the film, and about 4.700 Burger King stores perched 9-foot 2.7 m, inflatable SpongeBob figures on their roofs as part of the promotion one of the largest in fast-food history. Customers could also purchase one of five different SpongeBob-themed watches for $1.99 with the purchase of a value meal.

On November 11, 2004, it was reported that a number of the inflatables had been stolen from Burger King roofs nationwide. Burger King chief marketing officer Russ Klein said, "As to the motives behind these apparent spongenappings, we can only speculate. We did receive one ransom note related to an inflatable SpongeBob disappearance in Minnesota." The chain offered a years supply of Whopper sandwiches as a reward for information leading to the return of inflatables stolen in November. One was found attached to a railing at the football-field 50-yard line at an Iowa college, and another under a bed in Virginia. A ransom note was found for a third: "We have SpongeBob. Give us 10 Krabby Patties, fries, and milkshakes." Steven Simon and Conrad C.J. Mercure Jr. were arrested after stealing an inflatable from a Burger King in St. Marys County, Maryland. While facing up to 18 months in jail and a $500 fine, Simon and Mercure said they were proud of what they did; Simon said, "Once we got caught by the police, we were like, now we can tell everybody." The following year Burger King took "extra security precautions", when Stormtroopers from George Lucas Star Wars guarded the delivery of Star Wars toys to a Burger King in North Hollywood.

The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea, joined with Nickelodeon to create the first Cayman Islands Sea School with SpongeBob for the film. The partnership was announced by Pilar Bush, Deputy Director of Tourism for Cayman Islands, on March 10, 2004. As part of the agreement the Cayman partnership was seen on Nickelodeons global multimedia platforms, including on-air, online and in magazines.

In 2005, Nickelodeon and Simon Spotlight released a book, Ice-Cream Dreams, as a tie-in to the film. It was written by Nancy E. Krulik and illustrated by Heather Martinez, with Krulik and Derek Drymon as contributors.


5.2. Release SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300

On October 15, 2004, the film was the first to sponsor a NASCAR race: the 300-mile 480 km, Busch Series SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. It was the first race of its kind where children at the track could listen to a special, "kid-friendly" radio broadcast of the event.

Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson debuted a pair of SpongeBob SquarePants -themed Chevrolet race cars in the race. Johnsons No. 48 Chevrolet included an image of SpongeBob across the hood, and Buschs No. 5 Chevrolet featured Patrick Star. Johnson said, "This sounds so cool I know there are a lot of families who will be excited that Lowes is doing this. The great thing is there will be something for every type of race fan. Plus how can we go wrong with SpongeBob helping us out on the car?"


5.3. Release Home media

The film was released on VHS and DVD on March 1, 2005, in wide- and full-screen editions, by Paramount Home Entertainment. The VHS release is known for being the last animated film by Nickelodeon Movies to be released on the platform. The DVD special features include an 18-minute featurette, The Absorbing Tale Behind The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, featuring interviews with most of the principal cast and crew; a 15-minute featurette, Case of the Sponge "Bob", hosted by Jean-Michel Cousteau; a 20-minute animatic segment featuring scenes from the film with dialogue by the original artists, and the films trailer. As a tie-in to the films DVD release, 7-Eleven served a limited-edition Under-the-Sea Pineapple Slurpee in March 2005. The film was released as a Blu-ray-plus-DVD combination pack on March 29, 2011 alongside Charlottes Web.

It was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 30, 2014.


6.1. Reception Box office

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie earned $9.559.752 on its opening day in the United States, second behind Disneys National Treasure which earned $11 million. It grossed a combined total of $32.018.216 during its opening weekend, on 4.300 screens at 3.212 theaters, averaging $9.968 per venue or $7.446 per screen, again second to National Treasure. The film dropped an unexpected 44 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend, and 57 percent the weekend after that. The opening weekend earned 37.48 percent of the films final gross. It closed on March 24, 2005, failing to out-gross holiday animated competitors The Incredibles from Disney-Pixar, grossing $261.441.092 and The Polar Express from Warner Bros., grossing $183.373.735. It was still profitable for distributor Paramount Pictures and producer Nickelodeon Movies, earning $85.417.988 in the United States and $140.161.792 worldwide on a budget of $30 million. The film was the 29th-highest-grossing 2004 film domestically and is the sixth-highest-grossing animated TV adaptation of all time.


6.2. Reception Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 69% based on 128 reviews and an average score of 6.2/10. The sites consensus read, "Surreally goofy and entertaining for both children and their parents." Metacritic gave the film a score of 66 out of 100, based on reviews from 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, calling it "the Good Burger of animation plopping us down inside a fast-food war being fought by sponges, starfish, crabs, tiny plankton and mighty King Neptune." Ed Park of The Village Voice wrote, "No Pixar? No problem! An unstoppable good-mood generator, the resolutely 2-D enjoys is not enough" to save it from its slide in ratings. This was due to the fact that Stephen Hillenburg and many writers left the show.


7. Video game

A video game based on the film was released for PlayStation 2 PC, Game Boy Advance, Xbox and GameCube on October 27, 2004 for Mac OS X in 2005 and PlayStation 3 on February 7, 2012. The home-console version was developed by Heavy Iron Studios; the Game Boy Advance version was developed by WayForward Technologies and published by THQ.

It was created on the same engine as SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. Game developer Heavy Iron Studios tweaked the graphics to give the game a sharper and more-imaginative look than Battle for Bikini Bottom. It increased the polygon count, added several racing levels and incorporated many creatures from the film. The games plot was based on the film, with SpongeBob and Patrick on a mission taking them outside Bikini Bottom to retrieve Neptunes crown. On October 4, 2004, THQ announced the games mobile release. Nickelodeon vice-president for new-media business development Paul Jelinek said, "As one of the leading publishers of wireless entertainment content, THQ Wireless is introducing the SpongeBob SquarePants license to a whole new audience of gamers THQ has been a great partner to Nickelodeon over the years and we look forward to the same standard of excellence with these upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants games for wireless devices." The mobile console was developed by Amplified Games.


8.1. Sequels The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

On February 28, 2012, a movie sequel was announced; it was directed by Paul Tibbitt, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger and produced by Stephen Hillenburg for a late-2014 release. On August 1, 2013, Paramount changed the movie release date to February 13, 2015. It was announced in early June 2014 that the film would instead be released on February 6, 2015, to avoid competition with Universal Pictures Fifty Shades of Grey, which was set for a February 13, 2015 release. The film involves SpongeBob and his friends, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy taking back the sercret formula from a pirate that stole it, resulting in them making it to land.


8.2. Sequels The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

A third film, titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, is scheduled for release on May 22, 2020, with Tim Hill as writer and director. The film has SpongeBob and Patrick on a rescue mission to save Gary, while revealing how SpongeBob and Gary met at Kamp Koral.

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