The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the run is a 2020 American live-action/computer-animated adventure comedy film and the third theatrically-released film based on the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants.
It was theatrically released in Canada on August 14, 2020, and was released worldwide on Netflix on November 5, 2020.
The film was released in the United States on March 4, 2021 for premium video-on-demand and Paramount+.
When SpongeBob SquarePants' beloved pet snail Gary goes missing, a path of clues leads SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and the Bikini Bottom gang team up for a heroic and hilarious journey, where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.
Why it rocks
1: Impressive visuals, with the film featuring some top-notch computer-animation that replicate stop-motion animation in many parts; the world of the series also translates spectacularly from the traditionally 2D animation to computer-animation.
2: Decent cameo appearances from Awkwafina and Keanu Reeves, despite their appearances doing very little for the story; their respective characters, Otto and Sage, are enjoyable and their respective scenes stand out in comparison to others.
4: Easter eggs throughout the movie which reference specific episodes of the series. There is one shot in which concept art of an early design for SpongeBob himself is shown on a sticky note.
5: The Patty Wagon from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie also returns in this film.
6: The Electronics Outhouse from "Hello Bikini Bottom!" also makes a small cameo in the scene where SpongeBob is spreading flyers about Gary across Bikini Bottom.
7: Much like the show itself and it's first two films, the characters are still likeable.
8: The celebrity actors don't seem to waste their talents.
9: Some heartwarming moments here and there, including Patrick's backstory as well as the memorial to series creator Stephen Hillenburg.
10: Excellent musical score by Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro.
11: The film has plenty of funny moments, and it at least retains the series' goofy and absurd tone but without being ridicolous or making the characters unlikeable, unlike Sponge out of Water.
12: The musical numbers thrown in, despite being entirely random and pointless, are pretty catchy and fun, especially with "Secret to the Formula" feeling like it came straight out of The SpongeBob Musical.
13 The number with Snoop Dogg, while not spectacular, is very well-choreographed.
14: Nice direction from Tim Hill (who was instrumental in the series' development), arguably making this the best movie in his filmography in recent years.
15: The voice acting of the characters is still good.
16: It was very respectful to Steve Hillenburg's death.
17. Huge improvement over Sponge out of Water.