Just call it the 'Best News Ever.'
The show that stars the yellow sponge is still making new episodes after 20 years. Yes, you read that correctly. Nickelodeon renewed its contract in 2018 for the 12th season. This contract lasts into the summer of 2019, meaning the show will be on the air for 20 years. The cast of the show found that as a cause for celebration.
This summer, many of the voices of 'Spongebob' we have come to know and love will take their talents above water. They will be filmed as real people, dressed as their characters in the show. The idea of the episode is Spongebob's Squarepants' best friend, Patrick Star, brings all of his friends above the surface so that a party can be planned to celebrate Spongebob's birthday in Bikini Bottom. The title of the episode is called 'The Best Year Ever,' inspired by one of the most famous episodes of the show, 'The Best Day Ever.'
A third Spongebob movie is supposed to release in 2020, called "The Spongebob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge." This episode will hold us down until we get to see our underwater friends in elongated action.
For us that grew up fanatics of the show, this means the world to us. The show may still make new episodes, but most of us have grown beyond the days of having time to watch them consistently. I know that personally, I have not seen a new episode in at least five years, probably more. Something of this significance to the brand, however, gives us all the excuse to jump right back in like we're 10 years old again. This is also something brand new. We finally get to see real people in Spongebob besides David Hasselhoff.
Of course, it may come as a bit of a culture shock. Hearing Mr. Krabs' greedy voice but seeing a human instead of a crab will be difficult to digest at first, but it is worth it. Most of us have no idea what the faces behind the voices even look like, they deserve their moment on camera, outside the recording booth.
You have to think this is more than celebratory. The episode has to be in large-part promotional for the movie in 2020. It is definitely a smart move to get the people that grew up loving the sponge and his friends back into it before a movie release. I cannot help but believe, however, that this idea is at least partly to honor Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the show who tragically passed away on Nov. 26 from ALS disease. And if anyone deserves that honor, it is him.
Hillenburg was a man of many talents. Not only was he a cartoonist and a voice actor himself, but he was also a marine biologist. These talents came together to form what many call the best children's show of all-time. It is now the fifth-longest-running American animated series.
Hillenburg's vision was to make a kid's show even weirder. These shows usually do not make any sense, but Spongebob is even a stretch compared to its counterparts. How do you get more insane than a boy genius with a robot dog? How does something make less sense than a boy with an evil babysitter who has godparents that grant his every wish? How about a show that is not even about a little kid, or even about humans in general? How about a setting in an underwater city, with an only slightly inappropriate name, with a cast revolving around a sponge and his friends? Also, one of his friends is somehow a squirrel? Brilliant.