The SpongeBob origin movie and remembering its creator, Stephen Hillenburg

Alex Paul, Staff Writer

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most successful cartoon tv shows and has been on air for 20 years. It has aired 11 unique seasons and 2 movies. Now, the SpongeBob franchise is in the process of creating a third movie..

In The SpongeBob Movie: It’s A Wonderful Sponge, SpongeBob will be voiced by Tom Kenny, who has also voiced The Ice King from Adventure Time. This movie will tell the origin of how all of the beloved Spongebob characters met. Some Amador students are excited for the new addition, but others are hoping for an interesting storyline.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
The previous movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, received mixed reviews from both fans and critics.

“I didn’t really like the last movie so I’m hoping that this movie will meet my expectations” said Nick Handlery (‘19).

Soon after the announcement of the movie, SpongeBob’s creator, Stephen Hillenburg, sadly passed away. This came after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig disease, back in March of 2018.

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg was born on August 21, 1961 at Fort Sill, a United States Army post in Lawton, Oklahoma, where his father worked in the military. From an early age, Steven loved to draw, often pictures about the Vietnam War.

During high school, he went snorkeling for the first time expiring him to want to become a marine biologist. In the summers of high school, he worked at a seafood restaurant which he later said contributed to the idea of SpongeBob. He then started his marine science major at Humboldt State University while also studying a minor in art.

Soon after college, he found a job at the Orange County Marine Institute where he was a marine biology teacher. He created a comic called The Intertidal Zone, which he used to teach his students. Many of the characters in this comic would evolve into the characters that people know today. After getting his comic book denied by publishers, he decided to quit his job and become an animator.
Many don’t know that SpongeBob was named SpongeBoy in early stages.

After animating The Green Beret and Wormholes, which were two short films, the Princess Grace Foundation agreed to fund his project, SpongeBob. It first aired as a preview on May 1, 1999 on Nickelodeon as its first Saturday-morning cartoon. The rest is history, as SpongeBob SquarePants continues to make episodes and holds its place as the 5th longest running cartoon, only behind The Simpsons, South Park, Arthur, and Family Guy.

“Honestly, I have nothing but thanks for what this man created. He gave me so many laughs, childhood memories, and jokes that still carry on to this day. Rest in Peace.” said Emma Brown (‘19).

This new SpongeBob movie will take place at Camp Coral and will display all the characters meeting for the first time. The entire movie will be CGI, which means that it will be completely animated in real life scenes. This draws comparison to the 2015 Spongebob movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, where half of the movie was made with CGI.

“Personally, I’ve enjoyed SpongeBob better through TV shows because they can have a simpler storyline packed with quality jokes. When it’s a movie I feel like they try to force jokes that aren’t as good.” said Austin Baker (‘20).

For many, Spongebob is a classic that has been a staple entertainment source since childhood.

“I’ve been watching SpongeBob since I could remember. I’m definitely going to see this to see if I can capture that old nostalgic feeling” said Owen Poplawski (‘22).

SpongeBob is one of the most recognizable cartoons of all time and it’s only fitting that it could receive 3 movies. The movie The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge is set to debut in theaters July 17, 2020.