Spongy One Makes Splash in Theaters

The last few weeks have been huge for animation fans, what with the release of Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles and Sony’s The Polar Express while DreamWorks’ Shark Tale is still treading water in theaters. With today’s release of Paramount’s and Nickelodeon Movies’ The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, we may very well the top three spots at the box office occupied by animated efforts.

Directed by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, the movie has our yellow absorbent hero leaving his town of Bikini Bottom to find King Neptune’s stolen crown. In addition to series regulars Tom Kenny (SpongeBob) and Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star), the movie boasts star turns from voice guests such as Alec Baldwin (The Cooler), James Earl Jones (The Lion King), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation), Jeffrey Tambor (TV’s Arrested Development) and Clancy Brown (Highlander). Baywatch favorite David Hasselhoff also makes a live-action appearance.

Spongebob’s feature debut is getting rave reviews from critics, scoring an impressive 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com). The pic is outdone only by The Incredibles, which got the thumbs up from 96% of critics featured.

Go behind the scenes with Hillenburg as he discusses the making of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in the December issue of Animation Magazine, now available.

Also opening wide today is Buena Vista Pictures’ National Treasure, which stars Nicholas Cage as a modern-day treasure hunter in search for a war chest reportedly hidden by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The action-adventure pic is directed by John Turteltaub and features vfx work by Asylum Effects, New Deal Studios and Realscan 3D.