‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ to celebrate 20 years with the ‘Best Year Ever’ and a new movie


SpongeBob sang it best: “It’s going to be a good one, just wait and see.”

Nickelodeon announced Monday that it will celebrate the 20th anniversary of “SpongeBob Squarepants” with the “Best Year Ever”: a tribute that will launch this July with a one-hour special on TV, leading up to a new movie scheduled to hit theaters in summer 2020.

“The tiny residents of Bikini Bottom have held the world’s attention for a remarkable 20 years and we owe it all to the monumental creator Stephen Hillenburg,” Nickelodeon’s executive vice president of animation production and development, Ramsey Naito, said in a statement. “This anniversary special is a love letter to everyone in the universe of SpongeBob, from the fans across the globe to the incredible creative team, crew and talent who continue to bring these great characters to life.”

Kicking off the Best Year Ever is the mixed live-action and animated special, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” which will premiere July 12.


This anniversary special will see SpongeBob and Patrick venture to the surface world and stumble upon some familiar characters while visiting a restaurant called the Trusty Slab. While the best friends are away, the residents of Bikini Bottom set up a surprise party for the birthday sponge.

“SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout” will feature the actors that voice SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Squidward and Plankton playing live-action doppelgängers of their characters.

New episodes slated to premiere in summer include one in which SpongeBob’s personality changes after closing the signature gap between his front teeth, as well as one in which he becomes the boss for the day at the Krusty Krab.

Another new episode will see the tiny, diabolical Plankton and his computer wife Karen somehow have a baby.

“SpongeBob Squarepants” officially premiered on July 17, 1999, and in the years since, the beloved characters have been on the big screen, on the Broadway stage, in holiday parades and even in some of the internet’s favorite memes.


Hillenburg died last year.

The new film set for next year is titled “The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge.”

Twitter: @tracycbrown