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This is the page about the movie. For other uses, see The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (disambiguation).

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is a film based on Nickelodeon's hit TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. In this movie, SpongeBob and Patrick go on a rescue mission to save Gary, who’s been snailnapped by Poseidon and taken to the Lost City of Atlantic City.[7].

It is the third SpongeBob SquarePants film in the franchise[8], set for release on May 22, 2020.[9]



SpongeBob and Patrick go on a rescue mission to save Gary, who has been snailnapped by Poseidon and taken to the Lost City of Atlantic City. The movie will reveal the first time our beloved characters met as kids at Camp…a magical moment that brings meaning to the power of true friendship.[10]

Trailer Blurb

Gary's been snailnapped! SpongeBob and Patrick embark on a hilarious adventure to #SaveGary! Next year on, Memorial Day weekend, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event.

After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snailnapped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.


It will likely consist of both computer-generated (CG) animation and traditional 2D animation, as used in the second movie.[11] Vincent Waller has given the reason for the mix of 2D and 3D animation as expense-based.[11]

In a February 2015 interview discussing the film's financial success, Megan Collison, president of worldwide distribution and marketing at Paramount, stated the possibility of a third film was "a good bet."[12] In another interview, Paramount vice-chairman Rob Moore remarked, "Hopefully, it won't take 10 years to make another film."[13] Later in 2015, in a tweet by Viacom, it was revealed that Paramount Pictures would be developing sequels to existing franchises such as World War Z, Jack Reacher and a third SpongeBob Movie.[14]

On August 3, 2015, in a tweet by Vincent Waller, it was confirmed that the sequel is in pre-production,[15] and that Paul Tibbitt will be directing it.[16] It was later revealed that Tim Hill would be directing the movie[17] with Tibbitt leaving the project.[18] Waller suggested the release date of the film "should be in 2018" but may "land in 2017."[19] He also revealed that the crew working on the series would not necessarily be working on the movie.[20][21] This enables the series to be produced in tandem with the movie.[22]

Ruben Hickman is helping out with preliminary developments of the movie, with the same group of producers being present - Cale Boyter, Mary Parent, and Craig Sost.[23] Kristen Caplan is the production manager of the movie.[24] Furthermore, Zeus Cervas has been brought in to help with the movie storyboards.[25]

As of March 2017, animatics for the film have already been completed.[26]

On March 28, 2017, Yahoo! Movies reported on its Twitter feed that the movie had been given the placeholder title of The SpongeBob Movie and the release date had been pushed back to August 2, 2019.[27][28][29] In April 25, 2018, the movie received another title of The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge.[30]

On January 22, 2018 it was confirmed principal photography had begun.[31] Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley, Carolyn Lawrence, Mary Jo Catlett, and Lori Alan are expected to reprise their roles.[32]

On October 23, 2018, the president of Paramount Animation revealed that the movie will have a "nice homage to the classic movie" with references to It's a Wonderful Life. The movie will also be an origin story detailing "how SpongeBob met the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang at summer camp." The opening sequence will take place at Camp Coral where all the characters first meet.[33]

The movie is going to use full-CG characters and environments, with hybrid sequences in the real world. This animation will be completed by Mikros Image and the score will be completed by Hans Zimmer. Music from "big names" will also be included.[33]

Iaws poster 1

On February 2, 2019 the release date of the movie was moved forward to May 22, 2020.[1]

On June 12, 2019 it was announced that Awkwafina and Reggie Watts will appear in guest voice roles. Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman, and Ali Dee will work on songs for the film. Ryan Harris will produce the film and Mia Michaels will act as its choreographer.[34]

At San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) 2019, an SDCC exclusive poster was revealed.

On November 12, 2019, the movie was renamed to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and the movie's poster was released.[35]

On November 14, 2019, the trailer was released in the United States.

Deleted storyline

Below follows a set of storyboards by Wolf-Rüdiger Bloss from a storyline that Vincent Waller believes was "a first pass at the story, but the entire alien cat storyline was later tossed out and rewritten."[36][37]

Sleepy Time 052
I can turn into a skyscraper!
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It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 1

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 1

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 2

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 2

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 3

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 3

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 4-0

It's a Wonderful Sponge Deleted Scene 4-0



  • This will be the second SpongeBob SquarePants production to be animated in CGI, the first being the second SpongeBob movie.
    • However, unlike the second movie, this movie seems to be mostly CGI animated, though having live-action scenes, whereas Sponge Out Of Water usually had CGI models in live-action environments.
  • The movie's previous title was It's a Wonderful Sponge, a parody of the Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life.
  • The title for this movie is also the name of a mobile game based upon the previous SpongeBob movie.
    • There is also a book with the same name but however it is based on "Life of Crime."
  • Gary will play a much more major role in this film compared to the previous two, where he was mostly a background character.
  • Three copies of Perch Perkins can be seen in Atlantic City. This marks the first time that he has been used as a generic background character model, rather than just as an individual character.
  • This movie has a similar plot to the season 4 episode "Have You Seen This Snail?," as both involve Gary being taken in by a stranger and SpongeBob and Patrick teaming up to go find him.
    • It is also referenced in the promotional material as SpongeBob and Patrick make "Lost Pet" posters for Gary, which happened in the episode as well.
  • This will be the first entry in the SpongeBob SquarePants film trilogy to be released after Stephen Hillenburg's death.
  • The film's title follows the same pattern as the previous one, both starting with "The SpongeBob Movie" followed by a colon stating the more important part of the title.
  • This film has been promoted heavily on the official SpongeBob Movie Twitter account, which uses the #SaveGary hashtag whenever tweeting content related to the movie.
  • One of the "lost pet" posters in the promotional material lists "Garebare" as one of the nicknames Gary responds to. This is a reference to "Krab Borg" where SpongeBob calls him that name.
  • In most episodes that flashback to SpongeBob as a kid, his voice sounds similar to his modern adult one if not done with a somewhat higher pitch. However, in this film, he has a realistic-sounding voice of a prepubescent boy.
  • There is a major series continuity error: SpongeBob mentions having adopted Gary at the animal shelter in "Plankton's Pet," and is also suggested to have had him ever since he was a little boy in "Treats!;" however, this film reveals that he met him at Camp Coral after soaking up a big puddle.
  • In the poster promoting the film, we see that Patrick is using a pair of binoculars backwards. He also does this in Sponge out of Water, so this could be a reference to that gag.
  • In the trailer, we see what looks like the Krusty Krab basement seen in the first film, as well as a Patty Wagon-like vehicle, but now, instead of being shaped like a burger, it now resembles a submarine sandwich.
  • The movie serves as the backdoor pilot for "Kamp Koral." 



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  12. ^ ‘SpongeBob’ Soaks Up $55 Million to Swamp ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ ‘Seventh Son’ at Box Office. (February 8, 2015).
  13. ^ Box Office: 'SpongeBob' Capsizes 'Jupiter Ascending,' 'Seventh Son' With $56M. The Hollywood Reporter (February 8, 2015).
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