yes 'cause this show wiki needs a page about spongebob This article is about the series. For the title character, see SpongeBob SquarePants (character). For other uses, see SpongeBob SquarePants (disambiguation).

SpongeBob SquarePants

The current "off-screen" logo, enacted in the summer of 2009.

Genre Animated comedy
Created by Stephen Hillenburg
Developed by Derek Drymon

Tim Hill Nicholas R. Jennings

Written by Stephen Hillenburg

Derek Drymon Tim Hill

Directed by Walt Dohrn

Paul Tibbitt

Creative director(s) Derek Drymon

Vincent Waller

Voices of Tom Kenny

Bill Fagerbakke Rodger Bumpass Carolyn Lawrence Clancy Brown Doug Lawrence

Composer(s) The Blue Hawaiians

Sage Guyton Jeremy Wakefield Steve Belfer Brad Carow

Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 283 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Stephen Hillenburg (1999–2005)Paul Tibbitt (2005–present)
Running time 22–23 minutes
Production company(s) United Plankton Pictures

Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Original channel Nickelodeon
Picture format SDTV 480i (1999–2009)HDTV 1080i (2009-present)
Audio format Advantage Audio Services (1999–2009) (NTSC)Advantage Audio Services 8.0 (2009–present)Dolby Surround 5.1 (2009–present) (NTSC)
Original run May 1, 1999 (1999-05-01) – present
Status Currently airing
External links
Official website

SpongeBob SquarePants (often referred to simply as SpongeBob) is an American animated television series, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the underwater city "Bikini Bottom". The series' popularity has prompted the release of a media franchise, contributing to its position as Nickelodeon's highest rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons' most-watched shows.[1]

The pilot episode of SpongeBob SquarePants first aired in the United States on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999, following the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The "official" series premiere followed on July 17, 1999, with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." The show reached popularity shortly after the beginning of its second season and has remained popular since. A feature film of the series was released in theaters on November 19, 2004. The series is currently in its eighth season and celebrated its tenth anniversary on July 17, 2009. SpongeBob has recently been renewed for a ninth season.


[hide]*1 Origins

  • 2 Production
    • 2.1 Voice actors
    • 2.2 Music
  • 3 Characters
  • 4 Setting
  • 5 Hallmarks
    • 5.1 Humor
  • 6 Reception
    • 6.1 Critical reception
    • 6.2 Popularity and appeal
    • 6.3 Awards and nominations
    • 6.4 Criticism and controversy
      • 6.4.1 Criticism of declining quality
  • 7 Other media
    • 7.1 Amusement rides
    • 7.2 Film
  • 8 Merchandise
  • 9 Notes
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links
    • 11.1 Wikis

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] OriginsEdit

EnlargeCreator Stephen Hillenburg became an animator during his period of study at the California Institute of Arts.Creator Stephen Hillenburg initially conceived SpongeBob SquarePants in 1984, while he was teaching and studying marine biology at what is now the Orange County Ocean Institute.[2] During this period, Hillenburg became fascinated with animation, and wrote a comic book entitled The Intertidal Zone starring various anthropomorphic forms of sea life, many of which would evolve into SpongeBob SquarePants characters,[3] including "Bob the Sponge", who was the co-host of the comic and resembled an actual sea sponge as opposed to SpongeBob.[4] In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue his dream of becoming an animator,[3][4] and began to envision the possible concept of a project involving anthropomorphic sea life, drawing several rough sketches.[4] In 1992, Hillenburg began to attend the California Institute of the Arts to study animation, having been accepted into the institute by Jules Engel, who was impressed with Hillenburg's previous work.[3][5][6]

While attending animation school, Hillenburg received a job on the children's TV series Mother Goose & Grimm, and worked on the series from 1991 to 1993. When attending the California Institute of the Arts, he made his thesis film entitled Wormholes,[4] which was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation and was later displayed at various animation festivals.[4] In 1993, Hillenburg graduated from the institute, earning a Master of Fine Arts in experimental animation.[3] In 1995, Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, met Hillenburg at one of said animation festivals, and offered him a job as a director of the series.[4][7][8][9] Hillenburg then joined the Nickelodeon animated series as a writer, producer, and storyboard artist during the series' third season, continuing his position for much of the fourth season.[4][9][10] The third season episode "Fish-N-Chumps" (November 12, 1995) was directed by Hillenburg, and involved Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt going on a fishing trip, oblivious to the fact that a pair anthropomorphic fish are attempting to catch them from underwater.[7][11] While working on Rocko's Modern Life, Hillenburg became friends with Tom Kenny, who was later approached by Hillenburg to become the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants,[12] and future SpongeBob SquarePants collaborators Doug Lawrence, Paul Tibbitt and others.

Rocko's Modern Life ended in 1996.[13] Shortly following this, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob SquarePants, teaming up with several Nickelodeon veterans and Rocko crew members.[4][11] To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life.[12] Originally SpongeBob was to be named SpongeBoy but this name was already in use.[14] This was discovered after voice acting for the original seven minute pilot was recorded in 1997. The Nickelodeon legal department discovered that the name was already in use for a mop product.[15] Upon finding this out, Hillenburg decided that the character's given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it".[16]

Whilst pitching the cartoon to Nickelodeon executives, Hillenburg donned a Hawaiian shirt, brought along an “underwater terrarium with models of the characters”, and Hawaiian music to set the theme. The setup was described by Nick executive Eric Coleman as "pretty amazing".[17] When given money and two weeks to write the pilot episode (“Help Wanted”),[5] Derek Drymon, Stephen Hillenberg, and Nick Jennings returned with, described by Nickelodeon official Albie Hecht, “a performance [he] wish [he] had on tape”.[18] Although described as stressful by executive producer Derek Drymon,[5] the pitch went “very well”; Kevin Kay and Hecht had to step outside because they were “exhausted from laughing”, making the cartoonists worried.[18]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] ProductionEdit

In its first season, SpongeBob SquarePants suffered in the ratings, and failed to attract a steady audience.[19] Stephen Hillenburg was confident that due to the low ratings, the Nickelodeon executives would cancel the series after its first season.[19][20] However, during this period, he visited Sumatra and noticed a schoolgirl carrying a bootleg SpongeBob SquarePants bookbag, convincing him of the series' cult following.[19] However, he continued to believe that the series would be canceled after its first season, and was surprised when Nickelodeon renewed the series for a second season.[19][20] The series garnered popularity in its second season, and was ordered a third season in 2001. A feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was released soon afterwards. The film was intended to be the series finale[20], however, in 2004, it was announced that SpongeBob would be continuing with a fourth season due in May. Hillenburg was rumoured to have left the series; however, he did not actually leave the show but resigned from his position as the show's executive producer.[20] The job now belongs to Derek Drymon, with Paul Tibbitt taking over Drymon's job as creative director.

The series' fourth season began on May 6, 2005, with the episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man", and was ordered a fifth season in December 2005, bringing the show’s total to 100.[21] In December 2006, SpongeBob was approved for a sixth season. The fifth season began on February 19, 2007 with the episode "Rise and Shine"/"Waiting."[22] On July 23, 2007 Nickelodeon aired a special event, called the "SpongeBob New-New-New-New-New Week" in which from Monday to Friday, a new episode would air.[23] This continued until the end of the second week. Later on November 12, 2007 a TV movie aired titled Atlantis SquarePantis, guest staring David Bowie as the voice of Lord Royal Highness. On March 13, 2008, it was announced that SpongeBob will have an additional thirty-nine episodes, which includes the remaining episodes of the sixth season, and a seventh season.[24][25][26] Also Victoria Beckham lent her voice as Queen Amphitrite, a Brit-accented goddess of the sea in an episode titled "The Clash of Triton," a half-hour special that aired on July 5, 2010.[27][28]

SpongeBob SquarePants is slated to surpass Rugrats as the longest running Nicktoon in number of episodes during its ninth season, slated to occur either in 2011 or 2012. Rugrats aired 172 episodes in its run; SpongeBob, when the ninth season completes, will have 178.[29] On July 14, 2009, a primetime SpongeBob tenth anniversary documentary titled Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants, aired on VH1, discussing the history of the show, and its impact on popular culture.[30] Starting on July 17, 2009 at 8:00 PM EST, Nickelodeon aired a 50½-hour marathon titled "The Ultimate SpongeBob Sponge Bash." The marathon included the premiere of 11 new episodes, countdowns of celebrities' and viewer-chosen top 10 episodes, and more.[31] On November 6, 2009, a second TV movie debuted on Nickelodeon, titled Truth or Square, in which SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs are accidentally locked inside the Krusty Krab freezer on the night of the restaurant's eleventy-seventh anniversary celebration. While trapped inside, the friends look back on their shared memories with "shocking" reveals.[32] Several celebrities made live-action cameo appearances on Truth or Square, including Rosario Dawson, LeBron James, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Craig Ferguson, Robin Williams and Pink, while Ricky Gervais provided opening and closing naration for the special.[33]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Voice actorsEdit

SpongeBob SquarePants employs six main voice actors: Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence, and Mr. Lawrence.[34] Kenny primarily voices SpongeBob SquarePants[15] and his pet sea snail Gary, as well as various recurring characters including the French Narrator, a narrator with a French accent who occasionally hosts the series in a manner similar to a nature documentary, Patchy the Pirate, SpongeBob's father Harold, and Old Man Jenkins. Kenny previously worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life, and when Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he approached Kenny to voice the character.[12] Kenny had originally used the voice of SpongeBob for a background character present in a crowd scene in Rocko's Modern Life, but forgot the voice initially, as he created it only for that single use.[15] Hillenburg, however, remembered it when he conceived SpongeBob and used a video clip of the episode to remind Kenny of the voice.[15] Kenny says that SpongeBob's high pitched laugh was specifically aimed at being unique, stating that they wanted an annoying laugh in the tradition of Popeye and Woody Woodpecker.[35] Bill Fagerbakke primarily voices Patrick Star. Fagerbakke modeled his performance whenever Patrick is angry after American actress Shelly Winters.[36] Rodger Bumpass primarily voices Squidward Tentacles and Dr. Gill Gilliam, while Clancy Brown primarily voices SpongeBob's employer Mr. Krabs. Carolyn Lawrence primarily voices Sandy Cheeks. Lawrence modeled her performance of Sandy after American actress Holly Hunter.[37]

Main cast members
Tom Kenny Bill Fagerbakke Rodger Bumpass Clancy Brown Carolyn Lawrence Mr. Lawrence
SpongeBob, Gary, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Harold SquarePants, Old Man Jenkins, others Patrick Squidward Mr. Krabs Sandy Plankton, Larry, Fred, Johnny, others

Recurring voice actors in the series include: Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman; Dee Bradley Baker as Squidward's rival Squilliam Fancyson, as well as various other characters; Frank Welker, who provides animal vocal effects; Jill Talley as Karen, Plankton's computer wife; Lori Alan as Pearl Krabs; and Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff. Executive producer Paul Tibbitt has provided the voice of Mama Krabs in the series' second and third seasons, as well as Potty the Parrot for the fifth season onwards, while creator Stephen Hillenburg provided the voice for Potty in the second and third seasons.

When SpongeBob SquarePants is broadcast in non-English languages, the voice actors dubbing SpongeBob's voice use Tom Kenny's rendition of the character as a starting point but also add unique elements. For example the French version has SpongeBob with a slight Daffy Duck style lisp.[15]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] MusicEdit

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] CharactersEdit

Main article: List of characters in SpongeBob SquarePantsEnlargeSpongeBob SquarePants main characters (from left to right): Plankton, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, SpongeBob, Squidward, Patrick, and Gary.SpongeBob SquarePants is an extremely energetic and optimistic sea sponge (although his appearance more closely resembles a kitchen sponge) who lives in a pineapple under the sea with his pet snail Gary, who meows like a cat. Although Gary only actually speaks in a few episodes, the characters have shown an ability to understand him. Living two houses down from SpongeBob is his best friend Patrick Star, a dim-witted yet friendly pink seastar who lives under a rock. Living between the two is Squidward Tentacles, an arrogant and egotistical octopus who lives in an Easter Island moai and dislikes his neighbors (especially SpongeBob) for their child-like behavior. He enjoys playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits.

Another close friend of SpongeBob's is Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas, who was sent to Bikini Bottom to do scientific research for her chimpanzee bosses. Sandy is an expert at karate and lives in an underwater tree dome. When not inside her tree dome, she wears an astronaut-like suit because she cannot breathe in water. SpongeBob and Squidward's employer is former officer cadet for the Bikini Bottom Navy force and war veteran Eugene Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money, who is the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant. Mr. Krabs’ archenemy is Sheldon Plankton, a small green copepod who owns a low-rank fast-food restaurant called the Chum Bucket across the street from the Krusty Krab. Plankton spends most of his time planning to steal the recipe for Mr. Krabs's popular Krabby Patty burgers to obtain success, though his schemes always end in failure, except in the movie, but that is eventually stopped by SpongeBob and Patrick, who return King Neptune's crown and save Mr. Krabs, who was frozen by Neptune, from being burnt.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] SettingEdit

Left image: Bikini Atoll, with Bikini Island boxed in the northeast; right image and, on the right, Bikini Bottom, a fictional underwater city and the main setting of SpongeBob located beneath the tropical isle.Much of the series' events take place in Bikini Bottom, an underwater city located in the Pacific Ocean beneath the real life tropical isle of Bikini Atoll.[38] Stephen Hillenburg has stated that much of Bikini Bottom was based on the real life city of Seattle.[39] Much of this is supported within the context of the episodes themselves; however, despite implications of the city's location as well as anologies to real life, Hillenburg has stated that he wishes to leave the city isolated from the real world, explaining the Baywatch parody scene from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie as simply a reference to his favorite show of all time.[39][40]

Being located underwater, much of the city's populace, like that of the rest of the series, consists mostly of various sea life; however, in many episodes, the laws of physics are violated for comedic value. The citizens of Bikini Bottom live in mostly aquatic-themed buildings, and use "boatmobiles", an amalgamation of cars and boats, as a mode of transportation.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] HallmarksEdit

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] HumorEdit

SpongeBob is designed to appeal to adults as well as children, due to the comic nature of situations encountered in underwater life. Situations, references, and language are used that may not be understood by the show's younger viewers. Certain innuendos, in particular, are intended to go over the younger viewers' heads.[41]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] ReceptionEdit

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Critical receptionEdit

SpongeBob SquarePants currently holds an 8.6 on,[42] the fourth best rating in Nickelodeon, the first being Avatar: The Last Airbender with a rating of 9.0,[43] the second being The Ren and Stimpy Show, Invader Zim, and Danny Phantom with a rating of 8.8,[44][45][46] and the third being both Rocko's Modern Life and KaBlam! with a rating of 8.7.[47][48]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Popularity and appealEdit

SpongeBob SquarePants was the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated, higher-budgeted shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob SquarePants aired in 1999, it had gained a significant enough number of viewers in the ratings to be considered popular, eventually becoming more popular than Rugrats had ever been. SpongeBob follows other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the KaBlam! skits, Action League Now! and The Angry Beavers. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: Invader Zim and The Fairly OddParents won a similar fan base when they both premiered in 2001, and the latter is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity, while the former was cancelled despite gaining a cult following and has recently returned in reruns. Though the show debuted in 1999, SpongeBob did not become hugely popular until around 2000, and it has remained popular since then.

Heavy metal group Metallica even released a T-shirt featuring cartoon versions of themselves playing live with the characters SpongeBob and Patrick. British rock singer David Bowie was a special guest on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode Atlantis SquarePantis, which aired on November 12, 2007.[49] The episode drew total 8.8 million viewers, the biggest audience in the show's eight-year history.[49]

The show became so popular with adolescents and adults that the series was broadcast on MTV and featured on Spike TV. A quote by Patrick, "It's gonna rock!" from the episode Mid-Life Crustacean, has been used as a promotional tag-line for rock stations.[citation needed] Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff, in a parody of his role from the Baywatch TV series. In April 2009, as a tie-in to the special "SpongeBob vs. The Big One", Burger King distributed two different commercials geared toward children and adult audiences. In ads broadcast on major networks, the commercial shows rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot recording a music video for his new song, “SpongeBob Got Back”.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominee Result
2000 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episodes: "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" and "Pickles" Won
2000 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Sound Episode: "Karate Choppers" Won
2001 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production

for Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff in "No Free Rides"

2001 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production Tom Kenny as SpongeBob in "Wormy" Nominated
2001 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for a Song in an Animated Production Peter Straus and Paul Tibbitt for the song "The Very First Christmas" Nominated
2001 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Sound Episodes: "Rock Bottom" and "Arrgh" Won
2001 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episodes: "Fools In April" and "Neptune's Spatula" Nominated
2002 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Nominated
2002 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation Episodes: "Secret Box" and "Band Geeks" Won
2002 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episodes: "Jellyfish Hunter" and "The Fry Cook Games" Nominated
2002 Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming Won
2003 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Episodes: "New Student Starfish" and "Clams" Nominated
2003 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episodes: "Wet Painters" and "Krusty Krab Training Video" Won
2003 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation Episodes: "Nasty Patty" and "Idiot Box" Won
2003 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2004 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Episode: "SpongeBob B.C. (Before Comedy)" Nominated
2004 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episodes: "The Great Snail Race" and "Mid-Life Crustacean". Won
2004 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television Animation — Music Episode: "Mid-Life Crustacean". Nominated
2004 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2005 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production Won
2005 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Episodes: "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man" Nominated
2005 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated Episodes: "Pranks A Lot" and "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" Nominated
2005 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2005 Satellite Awards Best Youth DVD Complete Second Season DVD Nominated
2005 Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming Nominated
2006 Annie Awards Best Writing in an Animated Television Production C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell, and Tim Hill in "Fear of a Krabby Patty" Won
2006 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated Episode: "Have You Seen This Snail?" Nominated
2006 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2007 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Episodes: "Bummer Vacation" and "Wigstruck" Nominated
2007 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2007 Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming Nominated[50]
2008 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Tom Kenny in "Spy Buddies" Nominated
2008 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated Episode: "SpongeHenge" Nominated
2008 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Nominated
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) Episodes: "The Inmates of Summer" and "The Two Faces of Squidward" Nominated
2008 Philippines Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2009 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2009 Indonesia Kids Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2009 Annie Awards Direction in an Animated Television Production Episode: "Penny Foolish" Nominated
2009 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing: Television Animation Episode: "Suction Cup Symphony" Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Animated Show Won
2009 Emmy Awards Special Class Animated Program Episode: "Dear Vikings" Nominated
2010 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing: Television Animation Episode: "SpongeBob vs. The Big One" Nominated
2010 Annie Awards Best Home Entertainment Production "SpongeBob vs. The Big One" DVD Nominated
2010 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for Children Nominated
2010 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting in a Television Production Tom Kenny in "SpongeBob's Truth or Square" Won
2010 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2010 Indonesia Kids Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Won
2010 Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Won
2010 Famous Teen Awards Favorite Cartoon Won[51]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Criticism and controversyEdit

In 2005, a promotional video which showed SpongeBob along with other characters from children's shows singing together to promote diversity and tolerance,[19] was attacked by an evangelical group in the United States because they saw the character SpongeBob being used as an advocate for homosexuality.[52] James Dobson of Focus on the Family accused the makers of the video of promoting homosexuality due to a pro-tolerance group sponsoring the video.[52]

The incident led to questions to whether or not SpongeBob is homosexual. Creator of the character, Stephen Hillenburg, had previously denied that SpongeBob was gay in 2002 when SpongeBob's popularity with gay men grew. He clarified that he considers the character to be "almost asexual".[53][54] After Dobson made the comments, Hillenburg repeated this assertion that sexual preference was never considered during the creation of the show.[55] Tom Kenny and other production members were shocked and surprised that such an issue had arisen.[15]

Dobson later asserted that his comments were taken out of context and that his original complaints were not with SpongeBob, the video, or any of the characters in the video but with the organization that sponsored the video, We Are Family Foundation. Dobson indicated that the We Are Family Foundation posted pro-homosexual material on their website, but later removed it.[56] After the controversy, John H. Thomas, the United Church of Christ's general minister and president, said they would welcome SpongeBob into their ministry. He said "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we".[57]

Jeffrey P. Dennis, author of the journal article "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons," argued that SpongeBob and Sandy are not romantically in love, while adding that he believed that SpongeBob and Patrick "are paired with arguably erotic intensity." Dennis noted the two are "not consistently coded as romantic partners," since they live in separate residences, and have distinct groups of friends, but claimed that in the series, "the possibility of same-sex desire is never excluded."[58] Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Dennis's comments regarding SpongeBob and Patrick as "interesting."[59]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Criticism of declining qualityEdit

In the early 2000s, SpongeBob was praised for its wit, realism, and intelligence, and was often labeled by critics as "uncann[ily] brillia[nt]".[60] However, in 2005, following the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, opinions began to change. Some began to describe the series as "disappoint[ing]", and accused of "amplif[ied] stereotypes" and "characteristic clichés."[61]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Other mediaEdit

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] Amusement ridesEdit

Main articles: SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D and SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom PlungeEnlargeThe SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge roller coaster inside Nickelodeon Universe Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States.SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D is located in both Six Flags Over Texas and Noah's Ark Dive-In Theater in Noah's Ark Waterpark, and opened in both locations in 2007. The ride features water squirts, real bubbles, and other sensory enhancements. The SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D ride opened at the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in the summer of 2007. SpongeBob appears at the Mall of America's new Nickelodeon theme park re-branded from the Mall of America's Park at MOA, formerly Camp Snoopy, to Nickelodeon Universe in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota. The new theme park features a SpongeBob-themed Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter custom roller coaster, the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, which has replaced the Mystery Mine Ride and Olde Time Photo store on the west end of the theme park. The theme park opened March 15, 2008.

The Chicago Shedd Aquarium hosts a 15 minute feature of Sponge Bob in 4-D with vibrating “special FX” movie seats accompanied by bubbles, wind, a distinct pickle smell, and tickles throughout the film. The feature ran through 2009 being temporarily replaced on November 27.[62]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] FilmEdit

Main article: The SpongeBob SquarePants MovieEnlargeTheatrical poster of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies produced The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, a film adaption of the SpongeBob SquarePants animated series released on November 19, 2004. The film was directed by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, and was written by long-time series writers Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Tim Hill, Kent Osborne, Aaron Springer, and Paul Tibbitt. Nickelodeon official Albie Hecht, Drymon, Hillenburg, Julia Pistor, and Gina Shay produced the film, while much of the film's music was composed by Gregor Narholz. The film follows SpongeBob, who expects to be bestowed the title of manager for Mr. Krabs' new restaurant, the Krusty Krab 2. However, the position is given to Squidward instead, causing SpongeBob to go into a state of depression. Jealous of Mr. Krabs' success, Plankton initiates his final plan, Plan Z, which involves framing Mr. Krabs for the theft of King Neptune's crown. SpongeBob and Patrick then go on a quest to retrieve Neptune's crown and save the lives of both Mr. Krabs and the rest of Bikini Bottom from Plankton's scheme. The film also guest stars Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune, Scarlett Johansson as the king's daughter Mindy, Alec Baldwin as Dennis the Hitman, and David Hasselhoff as himself.[63] It received a largely positive critical reception and was a box office success.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] MerchandiseEdit

Main article: List of SpongeBob SquarePants merchandiseMerchandise based on the show ranges from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Go-Gurt, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, flip-flops, pajamas, t-shirts, slippers, Pez dispensers, and radios. The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, Waldenbooks, Borders Books, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, KB Toys, Big Lots, Wal-Mart, Shopko, Pamida, Meijer, Kmart, Sears, JCPenney, Kohl's, Lowe's, T.J. Maxx, Toys "R" Us and Ames stores in the United States as well as the Zellers, Wal-Mart Canada and Toys "R" Us stores in Canada, and a limited selection of merchandise in Australia at Kmart Australia and Target Australia.

Kids' meal tie-ins have been released in fast-food restaurants in many different parts of the world, including Burger King in Europe and North America, as well as Wendy's in North America, and Hungry Jack's in Australia. A McDonald's Happy Meal tie-in with SpongeBob-themed Happy Meal boxes and toys has not been released in North America yet,[when?] but was released in Europe and other international markets in the summer of 2007.[64] In Australia, the advertisement for the McDonald's SpongeBob Happy Meal won the Pester Power Award for the fact that the ads are enticing young children to want its food because of the free toy. In Japan, they had a kids meal tie-in with KFC which featured different toys based on the TV series.[65][dead link] As a tie-in beverage for the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, 7-Eleven convenience stores created a pineapple-flavored Slurpee in 2004, which was discontinued in 2005.

In 2007, some new high-end SpongeBob-themed electronics have been introduced by Imation Electronics Products under the Npower brand, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, a DVD player, and a flatscreen television.[66] Other items featuring SpongeBob include a special edition Monopoly board game, Life and Operation board game as well as a SpongeBob SquarePants edition of Ants in the Pants and Yahtzee. There are also rarer items such as Spongebob Surfboards and electric guitars.

Pictures of SpongeBob SquarePants also started to appear on the labels of 8 oz. cans of Green Giant cut green beans and frozen packages of Green Giant green beans and butter sauce which featured free stickers in 2007 as part of an initiative to get kids to eat their vegetables.[67] In the United Kingdom, a SpongeBob SquarePants magazine is currently being published by Titan Magazines every four weeks. It was first published on February 3, 2005. The issue published on February 1, 2007 was the second anniversary of the magazine. The magazine contains comic strips, fan letters, competitions and several features including games.

A SpongeBob SquarePants 2009 calendar has been released featuring the caption on the bottom right corner of the front cover, "Celebrating his 10th Anniversary!", which was on May 1 and July 17, 2009 respectively.[68] On March 31, 2009 three songs from the show were released as downloadable content for the music video game series Rock Band. Nickelodeon has also created a Facebook page and Twitter account for SpongeBob. His best friend, Patrick Star, has been given a page on Facebook as well.

The popularity of SpongeBob translated well into sales figures. In 2002, SpongeBob SquarePants dolls sold at a rate of 75,000 per week, which was faster than Tickle Me Elmo dolls were selling at the time.[69] SpongeBob has gained popularity in Japan, specifically with Japanese women. Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom purposefully targeted marketing at women in the country as a method of the SpongeBob SquarePants brand. Skeptics initially doubted that SpongeBob could be popular in Japan as the character's design is very different to already popular designs for Hello Kitty and Pikachu.[70]

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] NotesEdit

  1. ^ Stock, Rosina (June 24, 2009). "Nickelodeon Celebrates Pop Culture Icon SpongeBob SquarePants decade". Media News International. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Banks, pp. 8-9
  3. ^ a b c d Banks, p. 9
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Hillenburg, Stephen. (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  5. ^ a b c Drymon, Derek. (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  6. ^ "Nickelodeon Taps Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley to Produce First-Ever SpongeBob SquarePants Documentary". Press Release (Viacom). 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  7. ^ a b Murray, Joe. (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  8. ^ Neuwirth, p. 50
  9. ^ a b "Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor interviews Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life," The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ
  10. ^ Banks, pp. 9-10
  11. ^ a b Banks, p. 10
  12. ^ a b c Orlando, Dana (2003-03-17). "SpongeBob: the excitable, absorbent star of Bikini Bottom". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  13. ^ "Rocko's Modern Life". Joe Murray Studio.
  14. ^ Banks, p. 31
  15. ^ a b c d e f Farhat, Basima (interviewer). (2006-12-05) (mp3). Tom Kenny: Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants - Interview. [Radio production]. The People Speak Radio. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  16. ^ Neuwirth, p. 51
  17. ^ Coleman, Eric. (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  18. ^ a b Hecht, Albie. (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  19. ^ a b c d e Reuters Staff (2005-01-20). "SpongeBob turns 10". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2009-07-14. [dead link]
  20. ^ a b c d Access Hollywood Staff (2009-07-13). "Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" Reaches A Milestone: 10 Years". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  21. ^ "More SpongeBob on Nickelodeon". Star Online eCentral. 2005-12-27. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  22. ^;paginator;5
  23. ^ "Nickelodeon July Highlights". Animation Insider. 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  24. ^ "Nickelodeon Picks-Up Returning Animated Hits". 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  25. ^ "Nickelodeon Upfront 2008". Animation Insider. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  26. ^ "Nick Orders New Eps of "SpongeBob," "OddParents" and Other Series". ToonZone. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Victoria Beckham to Square Off with SpongeBob". Us Magazine. April 8, 2009.,,20270930,00.html. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  29. ^ "'SpongeBob' Renewed for 26 Episodes". The Wrap. December 15, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Banks, pp. 12-30
  35. ^ "SpongeBob's Alter Ego". CBS News. 2002-12-30. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  36. ^ Banks, p. 33
  37. ^ Banks, p. 32
  38. ^ QSR Staff (2001-06-07). "Burger King SpongeBob SquarePants". QSR Magazine ( Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  39. ^ a b "SpongeBob SquarePants". Spongebob Squarepants information. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  40. ^ Banks, Steven (2004-09-24). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Schigiel, Gregg (Illustrator). Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-0689868702.
  41. ^ Harris, Richard Jackson (2004). A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication. Routledge. p. 133. ISBN 0805846603.
  42. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants". Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  43. ^ "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  44. ^ "The Ren and Stimpy Show". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  45. ^ "Invader ZIM". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  46. ^ "Danny Phantom". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  47. ^ "Rocko's Modern Life".;title;1. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  48. ^ "Kablam!".!/show/5643/summary.html. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  49. ^ a b "Bowie "sponge" makes splash". New York Post. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
  50. ^ "NBC 'Lights' Up Critics' Nominations". Zap 2 It. 2007-06-05.,0,935063.story. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  51. ^
  52. ^ a b Associated Press (2005-01-22). "Spongebob, Muppets and the Sister Sledge writer suffer criticism". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  53. ^ BBC Staff (2002-10-09). "Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  54. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (2005-01-28). "SpongeBob Asexual, Not Gay: Creator". People.,,1021976,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  55. ^ "SpongeBob isn't gay or straight, creator says". Reuters. 2005-01-29. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  56. ^ Chang, Pauline J. (2005-01-28). "Dobson clarifies Pro-Gay SpongeBob Video Controversy". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  57. ^ Till, Francis (2005-02-04). "Ministry celebrates SpongeBob: Gay, happy, yellow, orange, whatever, he's welcome". National Business Review. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  58. ^ Dennis, Jeffrey P. "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons." Journal of Popular Film & Television. Fall 2003. Volume 31, Issue 3. 132-140. 9p, 3bw. Within the PDF document the source info is on p. 137 (6/10)
  59. ^ Goodman, Martin. "Deconstruction Zone — Part 2." Animation World Network. Wednesday March 10, 2004. 4. Retrieved on October 28, 2009.
  60. ^ Zeus, Maxie (2005-01-28). "The Uncanny Brilliance of "SpongeBob SquarePants"". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  61. ^ Zeus, Maxie (2008-10-12). ""Whatever Happened to SpongeBob?": Good Question!". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  62. ^
  63. ^ Johansson, Scarlett. (2005). The Absorbing Tale Behind The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. [DVD]. Paramount Home Entertainment.
  64. ^ "SponbgeBob SquarePants Happy Meal". Megamodo.
  65. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants KFC toys in Japan".;jsessionid=OQP0BQE5ORHWSCQBAFLQ4CY?inID=10000007&inReleaseID=227116.
  66. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants". Npower Electrionics. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  67. ^ Nickelodeon Expands Healthy Food Initiative with Green Giant
  68. ^ SpongeBob 2009 Calendar
  69. ^ Strauss, Gary (2002-05-17). "Life's good for SpongeBob". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-11-08. [dead link]
  70. ^ Kageyama, Yuri (2007-01-24). f=/n/a/2007/01/24/entertainment/e091755S47.DTL "SpongeBob Goes Trendy to Win Japan Fans". The San Francisco Chronicle. f=/n/a/2007/01/24/entertainment/e091755S47.DTL. Retrieved 2008-11-08.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] ReferencesEdit

  • Banks, Steven (September 24, 2004). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Schigiel, Gregg (Illustrator). Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-0689868702.
  • Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Communications, Inc. pp. 50, 252–253. ISBN 1581152698.

[[[SpongeBob SquarePants|edit]]] External linksEdit

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