SpongeBob SquarePants movie

Paramount Pictures

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbant and yellow and porous is he! SpongeBob SquarePants! Who is going to haunt your nightmares until the end of time? SpongeBob SquarePants!

If you’re familiar with SpongeBob SquarePants the television show, you already know what happens when SpongeBob is out of the sea. No, he doesn’t turn into one of these dudes, he’s just a yellow kitchen sponge. It’s a solid sight gag, and also just weird enough to make both kids and parents laugh. Fine, yes, it’s also kind of disturbing, but it’s disturbing in all the right ways. This, however, is just terrifying. SpongeBob is now bound for the big screen with the 2015 feature, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and our very first look at the new film bowed at Comic-Con yesterday. Good luck with the sleeping.

The film will see SpongeBob and pals, including Patrick Star (you know, the starfish), Squidward (uh, the squid) and Mr. Krabs (do I even need to say it?), hitting the mainland for their “most super-heroic adventure yet.” Wait. What. SpongeBob is a superhero now?

Created back in the nineties by Stephen Hillenburg who is an actual marine biologist — the beloved Nickelodeon series is all about life under the sea. With a kitchen sponge. It’s a fun enough play on ocean sponges, and the entire thing is a fun enough play on life under the sea (SpongeBob and his friends live in a place called Bikini Bottom, which is excellent humor no matter where you live). It’s good stuff, but now SpongeBob is getting out of the sea (bye bye, Bikini Bottom) and on to land, where he now looks like a guy in a bad costume (where are this man’s legs?). It’s like going to an off-brand theme park, but at the movies. Why?

SpongeBob has, of course, already made his way to the big screen. The 2004 outing, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, naturally, was an animated adventure and basically worked like a long-form episode of the show, using typical tropes and tricks we’d see in a half-hour package. Now that SpongeBob is getting out of the ocean, that’s all changing.

For Sponge Out of Water, we’ll see live action scenes folded into animated stuff. The animated sections will be in 3D, blending both CGI and hand-drawn techniques. It’s SpongeBob, but not really. It’s a nightmare factory. Is this going to be a horror film? No, I’m not being stupid, just imagine how you’d feel if you saw those four monsters strolling down your street in the middle of the day. Not so cute and fun now. Get back to your pineapple.

Why couldn’t they just make a film about a kitchen sponge? Don’t answer that.

The film will feature a vast array of voice actors and flesh-and-blood stars, including Antonio Banderas (again, what?), Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence and Douglas Lawrence. The film will open on February 6, 2015, which makes it the most prefect counter programming for Fifty Shades of Grey (which opens the next week) that we can possibly imagine. [Paramount Pictures, via ComingSoon]


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