People come from all over to see specific panels at the San Diego Comic-Con, but I seriously doubt many, if any, attendees were there especially to see the first look at next February’s SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water, a live-action/CGI hybrid that takes the cartoon sponge and other denizens of Bikini Bottom to our world, à la The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks. It seems pretty clear that this latest attempt to breathe new life into the long-running Nicktoon is going to be very, very strange and probably awful – and the movie’s appearance at Comic-Con did nothing to change anyone’s mind about that.
In the first look above, we can see SpongeBob and his friends in superhero get-up, complete with six-pack abs. In the Sponge Out Of Water movie, SpongeBob and his team begin in Bikini Bottom, as per usual, but turn into CGI heroes to take down a villainous pirate (Antonio Banderas) menacing the fictional under-sea city. SpongeBob Squarepants becomes The Invincibubble, Patrick Star’s superhero name is Mr. Superawesomeness, Squidward Tentacles is Sour Note and Mr. Krabs is Sir Pinch-A-Lot.
Premiering footage from the movie that /Film’s Peter Sciretta described simply as “weird,” Tom Kenny, who has voiced SpongeBob Squarepants for 17 years, admitted that the new movie might be a tough sell to fans:
“It’s a bold new world where no Sponge has gone before. I’m still getting used to it. You’ve seen someone in a certain way for so long… It’s just really different.”
Kenny added he’s ready for a rebellion:
“There a thin line between a riot and a paroxysm of joy. Either way, it’s Comic-Con and it’s always good to have your escape route planned.”
I would have used harsher words than “bold” and “different” for something as creepily realistic as the above image, but perhaps SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water can overcome its bizarre panel at Comic-Con to emerge as a truly great family film that revitalizes the SpongeBob franchise? Yeah, I don’t really buy that either.
The flick opens February 13th, 2015.