This is a production article for the SpongeBob SquarePants film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which aired on February 6, 2015.



Following the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004, producer Julia Pistor stated that a sequel film was unlikely despite its successful box office performance.[1] In a 2009 interview with Digital Spy, former SpongeBob SquarePants writer and executive producer Paul Tibbitt was asked about the possibility of a sequel;[2] he said, "I think that they are talking about doing that, but I haven't signed up for anything. We just feel like we've told so many stories, and SpongeBob exists so well in this short 11-minute form."[3] He also stated that making another film was "a huge challenge."[4] However, Tibbitt said a sequel is not impossible, saying, "I wouldn't say no, but I don't know if there will be another one."[5] In 2010, Nickelodeon was reportedly approaching the crews of the show to make another film adaptation.[6] The network had long wanted to partner with Paramount Pictures to release another SpongeBob SquarePants film to help reinvigorate the series' declining ratings.[7] Internal disagreement delayed collaborations.[8][9]

On March 4, 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported Paramount had "another SpongeBob picture" in development.[10] In July the same year, Paramount formed its new animation unit, Paramount Animation, in the wake of the commercial and critical success of the 2011 computer-animated film Rango and the departure of DreamWorks Animation upon completion of its distribution contract in 2012.[11] Philippe Dauman, a former president and CEO of Paramount and Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom, officially announced on February 28, 2012, that a sequel film was in development and was due for an unspecified 2014 release, saying; "We will be releasing a SpongeBob movie at the end of 2014."[12][13][14] Dauman said the new film "will serve to start off or be one of our films that starts off our new animation effort."[15] Nickelodeon expected the film to do much better in foreign box offices than the 2004 feature considering the channel's increasingly global reach.[16][17] Dauman said, "This will continue to propel SpongeBob internationally."[18]

Production was announced on June 10, 2014, under the title The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 2,[19] which some trade publications began referring to as SpongeBob SquarePants 2.[20] The film's executive producer is series creator Stephen Hillenburg, who left his role as the series' showrunner in 2004 following the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. He no longer wrote for or ran the show on a day-to-day basis but reviewed episodes and delivered suggestions.[21][22] In a 2012 interview with Thomas F. Wilson, however, Hillenburg said he was helping to write the film.[23] Production on the film finished in November 2014.[24]


An archive of the official SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water website states the plot as:

SpongeBob SquarePants, the world’s favorite sea dwelling invertebrate, comes ashore to our world for his most super-heroic adventure yet.
— The official website

From cast and crew interviews, we can say the storyline of the movie entails. SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, and Plankton go to find a stolen recipe which takes them to the real world. There, they tangle with a pirate who possesses a book which makes what ever he writes into it come true. SpongeBob and co. manage to get hold of the book and turn into superheroes to fight the pirate.[25]

Cast and crew members have provided further insight into the plot of the movie, as well as their views on how successful the movie will be:

Clancy Brown

Clancy Brown (who plays Mr. Krabs) revealed a hint as to how the characters would be involved in the movie:

"Goodness, that one also the future of the free world hinges on what I have to say about it so I can’t really say much about it except that we’re all on an adventure this time, Squidward, Patrick, Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob, Plankton, and Sandy. We’re all in it together this time rather than just being a buddy movie like the first movie. It’s very funny I have to say."[26]

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell, one of the Directors of the movie, made the following statement about the movie's storyline:

"It's 2D and they come out of the water, and they're in our world... and there's like people out there like 'where are we?' There's SpongeBob and Patrick and Mr. Krabs... and then they find out that there's a bad guy that stole the Krabby Patty and they have to transform into life-sized superheros which is amazing... And if you can picture each one has their own superpower..."[27]

Tom Kenny

Tom Kenny (who plays SpongeBob) gave his insight and views into the movie in an interview with the Saturday Morning Rewind Podcast. Here are his thoughts:

"We've been hard at work on the second SpongeBob movie. The first one was years ago, 2007 [2004] or something, a long time ago. And it did well, but Steve Hillenburg, much to the consternation of executives, was not ready to make another SpongeBob movie, just didn't think that he had a story that warranted the longer running time and all that. You've got to know Steve Hillenburg, he doesn't think like anybody else in show business. Even when he had no money he didn't care about money. The integrity of the product is so important to him, so he didn't want to do another movie for no reason. So years later he said, “OK, I've got a story that I think is worth spending 90 minutes on.” And he pitched it to Nickelodeon. So yeah, we've got it coming out.

Paramount has this newly activated animation division and we are their first film that they're doing, so there's kind of a lot riding on it, it makes me a little nervous. I was born nervous. So we're having a lot of fun and [there's] all the original cast and some fun drop-in guest stars.


[The first movie] was a lot of fun and it's kind of a different world now. Just in that short, whatever it is, 7 years [10 years], the world has changed so much in that SpongeBob wasn't nearly as global then as he is now. Now he's really managed to blanket the Earth, he's pretty much in every country, and that wasn't quite the case in 2007 [2004]. So he's known in parts of the world now that he was not 7 years ago and I think it's going to be really exciting to see what happens with the movie. Also the way you sell a movie with social media and all that was not nearly in place then like it is now.

The fun thing is that when you're doing a character like SpongeBob and cartoon characters in general you don't notice the passage of time. It doesn't seem like 7 years ago that we did the last SpongeBob movie because I've never stopped doing SpongeBob. You sort of lose track of time, in a good way. You think it was 6 months ago we were doing that last movie then you realize it was 7 years."[28]


The animation for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was done in South Korea by Rough Draft Korea.[29] As did its predecessor, the film combines traditional animation with live action,[30][31] and also used computer-generated imagery (CGI), which was handled by Iloura VFX in Melbourne, Australia, to render the characters in 3D.[32][33]

In a 2012 preview of upcoming Paramount films, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was exhibited as a "3D feature film" with "CGI-like animation."[34] Following the release of SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue! (2013), a 3D short film that was released at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando, executives talked about continuing the use of 3D in the film.[35]

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water contains a stop-motion sequence that was animated by Screen Novelties;[36][37] the company had previously produced a clay animation scene for the first SpongeBob SquarePants film, the mixed-media opening of the television episode "Truth or Square," and the entirety of the stop-motion special "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!"[38]

In March 2014, Paramount screened live-action footage from the film during the National Association of Theatre Owners' event CinemaCon. News websites report that the film would be CGI-animated;[39] an Internet Movie Database staff member commented; "When Paramount announced there would be a new SpongeBob SquarePants movie, the assumption was that it would be animated (like all other incarnations of SpongeBob). The very brief footage from tonight's presentation suggested otherwise – it looked as though this was a CGI/live-action hybrid akin to Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear, The Smurfs, etc."[40] In an article published by, author Edward Douglas said the film's CGI footage looks "weird."[41] Philippe Dauman said the CGI elements are intended to "refresh and give another boost" to the characters.[42]


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water includes live-action scenes that were directed by Mike Mitchell.[43] Filming began on September 30, 2013, and finished on November 5 the same year. Filming was done at multiple locations in Savannah and Tybee Island; both of which are in Georgia.[44][45][46] On July 11, 2013, the Savannah Film Office announced the filming of live-action scenes in Savannah for 40 days.[47] Will Hammargren, Savannah Film Office's location specialist, said the film was expected to contribute $8 million to the city's economy, including hotel bookings of at least 5,600 room nights.[48][49]


On September 30, 2013, the start of production filming was interrupted when film services director Jay Self was dismissed.[50][51] According to a memorandum from Joe Shearouse, bureau chief of the leisure services department of Savannah, Self was fired for his "failure to properly plan and manage the arrangement for the movie."[52] It accused Self of shortcomings surrounding the filming and also cited complaints from local residents of Savannah.[53] Another reported reason for Self's dismissal was a disagreement between Paramount and the Savannah Film Office, about the deal of granting the local businesses to negotiate with Paramount for potential business losses during filming.[54]

In preparing the filming location in the downtown, the film crew painted storefronts along Broughton Street to resemble a "beach community" called "Salty Shoals."[55][56] Jay Self said, "They're trying to make it look like it's right at the seaside." The Jen Library and Trustees Theater, a landmark situated on Broughton Street, of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) was converted into a sea museum.[57] Paramount first approached SCAD to utilize the Jen Library for a scene back in August 2013.[58] Once SCAD approved, the studio's art department transformed the buildings in choice for the film.[59] It remained open to students during filming, while the "SCAD" letters atop Trustees remained untouched.[60] Other establishments, like flower shops, convenience stores and coffeehouses, were converted to surfing, fudge and buoy shops, respectively.[61] Self said, "The changes are temporary with all buildings scheduled to be restored to their original colors after filming is complete."[62]

Filming began on October 9 in the downtown where parts of the Broughton Street between Montgomery Street and Habersham Street were closed through October 18.[63][64] Prior to October 9, residents were given yellow flyers handed out by the production crew to detail the inconveniences of the filming would have on them. Actor Antonio Banderas appeared as a pirate and was filmed on a pirate ship with wheels for a car chase scene.[65][66] At one point, a film crew member caused an accident that damaged a downtown building and rushed a woman to the Candler Hospital.[67][68] William Hammargren, with the Savannah Film Services office, said that Paramount was issued a permit to use motorized vehicles within certain areas closed for filming, but the permit did not extend to the lanes.[69]

Filming in the downtown ended on October 18, when a raffle was also held, with City Mayor Edna Jackson announcing the winners.[70] The prizes include: a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed party, bicycles, a vacation at Marshall House, dinner at Savannah Bistro, gift certificates, and a 60-inch television.[71] After filming in the downtown, the production received mixed response from local businesses located in filming areas.[72] A concern raised by business owners was the choice in dates for shooting as October is "a big month for merchants along Broughton."[73] Some merchants suggested February, July, or August as prime filming dates.[74]

Filming for the scenes resumed on October 21 on Tybee Island.[75] The producers of the film were permitted to film on Tybee Island after meetings held at the Tybee Island City Hall with businesses and residents that imposed concerns about the possible effects of the filming, and also apprehensions about sea turtle safety.[76] Musician Saul Hudson of the band Guns N' Roses was seen on set at the Tybee Pier for filming, although he does not appear in the final film.[77] The film crew later moved to Strand Avenue for a chase scene with extras on bicycles.[78]


The original score for the movie was being composed by John Debney.[79]

On December 26, 2014, a track was released for the movie by the band known as "N*E*R*D." Chad Hugo stated in an interview with Variety that "[They're] trying not to think too much in a cartoon sense, but more just like a psychedelic, otherworldy type of thing. If you want to draw a parallel, maybe think of what the Beatles did with 'Yellow Submarine.'" The track is called "Squeeze Me" with an official release date for the single on January 5, 2015.[80]


N.E.R.D. - Squeeze Me (from The SpongeBob Movie Sponge Out of Water)

San Diego Comic Con 2014

See here for highlights of the panel hosted by Tom Kenny.


Patrick Star (as Mr. Superawesomeness), SpongeBob SquarePants (as The Invincibubble), Squidward Tentacles (as Sour Note), and Mr. Krabs (as Sir Pinch-A-Lot), in 'SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water.'(Photo: Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures Animation)

Crucial details of the movie were revealed at the San Diego Comic Con 2014.

To start with, character designs for the movie were revealed. These depict the design of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs once they exit the water later in the film (pictured right).[81]

At the convention, managed to gain exclusive interviews with Tom Kenny and director of the movie, Paul Tibbitt:

In the interview with Tom Kenny, he expressed the "different" world the characters are going into:

"It's a bold new world where no Sponge has gone before. I'm still getting used to it. You've seen someone in a certain way for so long... It's just really different."

"It's not like SpongeBob has gone through any personality rewiring, there's no reboot. Daniel Craig will not be voicing him, it's just a very different likeness."


Similarly, director Paul Tibbitt expresses his take on the story:

"It's the big climax of the movie. They all come to shore in our world. And they transform themselves into an Avengers-type team to do battle. Their world is in jeopardy."

"I don't know if these guys could take out Thor and The Hulk, but they might give them a run for their money."

Tom Kenny announced the movie on Thursday, July 24, with the movie's trailer shortly following that announcement.

Differences between the trailers and the films

Some scenes that were shown in the trailers and TV spots that did not end up in the final film include:

  • A cameo appearance by Saul Hudson as a street musician.
  • SpongeBob flying in the sky.
  • A shot of Mr. Superawesomeness' (Patrick's) pants ripping off revealing his underwear with him saying, "Nothin' to see here."
The Spongebob Movie Sponge out of water

The Spongebob Movie Sponge out of water. Deleted scene

  • A shot of SpongeBob saying, "Maybe you should get that checked out" cutting to reveal Patrick has a hole in his head saying, "Why?" this was removed for unknown reasons, possibly because of a plot hole as his head is fully functional several seconds prior.
  • Sour Note plays his clarinet and makes farting noises.
  • Burger-Beard throws a 6-pack can holder at Sour Note and he gets tangled by it.
  • Beach girl holding a 3 scoops ice cream cone.
  • SpongeBob and friends singing "Thank Gosh It's Monday."
  • A line of SpongeBob on the surface saying "Clean it up just clean it up."
  • Burger-Beard explains that the Magic Book's powers can only be activated by having the Krabby Patty formula. However, that idea was scrapped. Now things can come true by re-writing the story even without the formula.
  • In one version of the scene where Patrick (not as Mr. Superawesomeness) eats the ice cream, it is on a beach, not in the kid's hand.
  • A scene of Burger-Beard the Pirate in his ship, telling his seagulls a story about him when he was younger. This was probably cut to save time.
  • SpongeBob and Plankton time-traveling to the Mesozoic era, where they encounter Patrickosaurus and Squidasaurus Rex. This scene was taken out of the movie, but was instead put in the video game, as our heroes encounter both dinosaurs. This was either cut to save time or to surprise everyone when Patrick returns to the present with the Squidasaurus Rex.
    • Another time traveling scene had SpongeBob and Plankton visit Bikini Bottom, but the citizens are robots. But it was cut for unknown reasons possibly to save time or it would not make sense since the future of Bikini Bottom would be a wasteland.
  • One part shows Mr. Krabs serving Nasty Patties to the customers. This was cut because it would not look pretty if a customer actually ate one after all these years.
  • A car chase scene with SpongeBob and Plankton and ends with SpongeBob receiving an F- from Mrs. Puff after crashing. This was cut for unknown reasons.
  • A montage of Mr. Krabs thoroughly cleaning SpongeBob's brain, similar to "Brainwashing," this was cut to save time.
  • Plankton telling SpongeBob to make Krabby Patties by using his muscles at the Taco Haüs. This was scrapped and instead replaced with SpongeBob, Plankton, and Karen building a time machine with using stuff inside Taco Haüs.

Production images


Credit: Sherm Cohen

Concept art


Deleted Scene images

Animation test images



Production Footage


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  25. ^ Team, The MovieWeb. (2014) "'Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water' Comic-Con 2014 Panel Video". MovieWeb. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  26. ^ Topel, Fred. (2014) "Exclusive Interview: Clancy Brown on Homefront". Crave Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  27. ^ Levine, Katie. (2014) "Mike Mitchell interview - forward to 1:25". Nerdist. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  28. ^ Nightville, Tim. (2014) "Tom Kenny interview 2 (Spongebob Squarepants, Clarence, Shakes the Clown, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Adventure Time)". Saturday Morning Rewind. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
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  79. ^ Film Music, Reporter. (2013) "John Debney scores the music". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
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  81. ^ Alexander, Bryan. (2014) "Exclusive peek at SpongeBob in 'Sponge Out of Water'". USA Today. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
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