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SpongeBob SquarePants 'Sponge On The Run' Trailer Shows Bold New Style

When SpongeBob SquarePants was first broadcast 20 years ago (!) nobody could have imagined that it would still be airing two decades later. Not only that, but it also spun-off two movies. And with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run next year that number is going to go up to three.

Following 2003's SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and 2015's Sponge Out Of Water, this will be the third big-screen outing for Bikini Bottom's most famous resident. However, in a potentially controversial move, On The Run will drop the series's usual hand-drawn style for full CGI-animation. The franchise has dabbled in CG before, notably with a part live-action/animation mixed sequence in the 2015 film. However, the third movie is debuting a bold new animation style.

Eschewing the slick 3D style we've come to associate with CG, the movie instead has a unique look to it. It has something of a more theatrical quality to it (with more detail and more elaborate lighting) but is still recognisably SpongeBob. It's looking to be one of the most visually original animated films of next year. And that's not something we thought we'd ever say about a SpongeBob movie.

As for the film itself, it seems business as usual, with gags aplenty and the usual character dynamics. The plot itself is set in motion with the disappearance of SpongeBob's beloved pet snail Gary. This leads to a journey to "The lost city of Atlantic City", and for some reason a live-action cameo from the head of The Internet's Boyfriend™ Keanu Reeves.  But perhaps most excitingly for long-time fans, the movie promises to reveal SpongeBob's origin story.

Originally titled It's A Wonderful Sponge,  the movie was originally planned to release on the show's twentieth anniversary, before being pushed back to next May. The film is directed by Tim Hill, a long-time writer on the show who previously directed Hop and Muppets From Space.  Hill is credited as screenwriter alongside Glenn Berger, Jordan Dunn and Jonathan Aibel. This will be the first movie released since original creator Stephen Hillenburg passed away.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run will arrive in cinemas in the US and UK on 22 May, 2020. Check out the trailer, below.