The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is a 2020 American live-action/computer-animated adventure comedy film based on the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Directed and written by series developer and former series writer Tim Hill, who co-wrote the story with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, it is the first film in the franchise to be fully animated in stylized CGI rather than traditional 2D animation. The regular voice cast of the series reprise their respective roles from the series and the previous films, and the plot follows the origin of how SpongeBob met Gary the Snail, and SpongeBob’s quest to rescue him after he is kidnapped. It is the third theatrical film based on the series, following the first in 2004 and second in 2015. The film is dedicated to creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in 2018, and also served as an executive producer on the project.
In Bikini Bottom, Plankton works on a new plan to steal the Krabby Patty formula while Karen argues that SpongeBob is actually responsible for all his previous failures and not Mr. Krabs. That same night, Plankton sneaks into the Krusty Krab and scans a Krabby Patty to print the formula but SpongeBob inadvertently causes Plankton to fall into a deep fryer and lose the formula while the latter was searching for his keys. This leads Plankton to understand that Karen was right in her suspicions.
Meanwhile, in Atlantic City, selfish ruler King Poseidon has just used up all the slime from his latest sea snail, which is necessary to keep him rejuvenated. Since sea snails are almost extinct, Poseidon decrees the obtaining of a new snail. Plankton finds out about this and kidnaps SpongeBob’s pet snail Gary so that SpongeBob will go to find him and thus not interfere with his plans. The next morning, SpongeBob learns from Patrick that Gary was taken to Atlantic City. However, Plankton offers Otto, a robot built by Sandy, to take them to the city and never return. Without SpongeBob cooking Krabby Patties, the Krusty Krab’s enraged customers trash the restaurant despite Mr. Krabs and Squidward’s efforts to stop them. Otto drives SpongeBob and Patrick to an old Western town where they meet a tumbleweed spirit named Sage.
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