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Look out for more coverage of
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

(voices of) Tom Kenny • Bill Fagerbakke • Alec Baldwin • Scarlett Johansson • Jeffrey Tambor
DIRECTOR: Stephen Hillenburg

Sponge friend THE CONCEPT:
Based on the successful children’s TV series, SpongeBob (Kenny) and his best friend Patrick (Fagerbakke) the starfish find themselves in the middle of an epic adventure, going where no sponge has gone before, to Shell City, in order to retrieve King Neptune’s stolen crown.

U.S. RELEASE: November 19 2004, Nationwide
• Rated: PG


“When we started the TV series, I was only interested in doing Spongebob shorts. Even in the show, most of the half-hours were more like two 15 minute [(segments]. The plotlines were really simple, silly stories. With the movie, I didn’t want to make it an inflated episode. This is more like SpongeBob’s great adventure. I thought about him going on an extended road trip where he would encounter the surface world, and there would be live action involved. He has this innocent, kid-like perspective, and he’s naïve. He launches into this journey and at the end he manages, in his way, to save the day.”

TOM KENNY on creating SpongeBob’s voice:
“Stephen had me in mind sensibility-wise for SpongeBob, and we worked on where the voice placement was, and I twisted it around to make a voice that was young but not really a child, but not really a man either - but just like an elf on helium.”

“Lest anyone think, ‘Oh, I can do silly voices,’ Tom’s instrument is incredible. It’s like this paramilitary device. He can do this high volume for four hours and still be funny, it’s a remarkable blend of comedic timing and this incredible sound he can make; it always leaves us in awe to be with Tom when he’s working. For Patrick, I just pretend that my mouth is in my chest and I just slow down.”

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the ocean. I studied marine science and actually taught marine biology to kids. So when I became an animator, I started drawing undersea marine animals. And I drew these natural sponges for awhile, gave them googly eyes, and it didn’t really come together until I drew a sink sponge one day after talking to some colleagues about it. And the moment I drew the square, I said, ‘This is the guy.’ He’s the square peg, literally in this world of animals.”

“Gratefully, Tom and I work together [when we do the voices], it’s one of the pleasures of this job, and I think it has a lot to do with the success of it. We’re always in the booth together, in terms of cast performance, and we really get a performance experience when we’re doing an episode, or when we were working on a scene for the movie.”

“It’s a really fun kind of retro job. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to being an old-time radio actor. It’s cool. It’s a great job.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie site
Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #651, December 2004 cover

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