Interview with Paul Tibbitt for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water #SpongeBobMovie

It's almost time for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water to open in theaters on February 6, 2015. I know many of you are excited and after screening the movie last week, I'm here to tell you YES, be excited!

Interview with Paul Tibbitt for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

Note: I was invited as media to the press screening and interview. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

I'll share my full movie review in another post. This post is all about my interview with Paul Tibbitt, Director (among other things) for The SpongeBob Movie.

As you can imagine speaking with Paul was humorous but strangely familiar. We both have a point of view as parents growing up when TV's had knobs. Now we both have children who enjoy entertainment on a much higher level then we did as kids. It makes for unique bonding moments when at the movies with our kids. But we both agreed that The SpongeBob Movie is something that families can enjoy together. Read on to find out why.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

photo credit: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

Onica (MommyFactor}: Tell me about the process of bringing Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water to life. There's a difference from the first movie and the TV series which changes what people are use to. People are use to Spongebob and his friends being a certain way and now their coming to life!

Paul Tibbitt: When we decided that we were gonna do another movie, the first thing that came to mind is that we want to make it different from the TV show. So that people feel like it was worth their time and effort. It's a huge effort especially for families to make it out to the movies. So we wanted to do something that bigger and different then what they can get on Nickelodeon or all the other different ways you can watch show now. We want it to feel like the movie was a big event.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

photo credit: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

Onica (MommyFactor}: Did you always want to have some live action element? Did it start with this idea or did that idea come later?

Paul Tibbitt: No, we started with the idea of people who don't always get along - Plankton and SpongeBob, now having to work together for a common goal. The team work aspect of it was sorta of our main thing. That's where we started.

And then through developing it, all the other things sorta came later. And once we hit upon the idea of having the narrator make himself part of the story, steal the formula and change things, that's when we knew they'll (SpongeBob and friends) have to go on land after him. So that part came a little later. But we knew there would have to be some big thing to make it different. But our original concept that we pitched was enemies that have to work together.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

photo credit: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

Onica (MommyFactor}: You talked about the villain of the movie. Antonio Banderas! That's an interesting pick. Was that a natural selection or just through the process did that happen. Did you have someone else in mind first?

Paul Tibbitt: What we did was we wrote it and then started thinking about who's best for this story. We wanted to get someone who could be scary but also funny. Someone who could do something physical. And Antonio names just kept coming up and getting higher on the list.

But also we didn't want to just present another typical Hollywood pirate. He sorta clicked in and fit all the categories. We were lucky that he said yes and that he was available.


Onica (MommyFactor}: During the movie there was some scene that weren't typical SpongeBob like the Indiana Jones start, the time travel with the dolphins, the rap battle at the end. What inspired those scenes?

Paul Tibbitt: The way we write normally is that we start with the story and then we watch it. As we watch it over and over and then we start feeling "ok this isn't really working so lets do this". Things kinda evolved organically.

Like the epic rap battle for instance, it just kinda came out of this idea that these new characters, the dolphin and the seagulls. We just thought it would be funny plus we're just big fans of the Epic Rap Battle guys. That was something that just feel together and it worked out tat they were stoked to do it.

We actually put them in the movie also. They have a little cameo. They're the two guys eating the hamburger. That's Lloyd and Peter. I think we were just trying to top what we did before and also stretch out from the other TV shows.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water

photo credit: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

Onica (MommyFactor}: What do you want both new and old SpongeBob fans to take from the movie?

Paul Tibbitt: For people who hasn't seen the show I hope it draws them to it. I think that's a different way to see the characters. For us the main thing we want to accomplish with this movie is to really get across this idea of team work. And how important it is for people to work together. No matter what your personal agenda is, the result is always going to be better if people work together. That to us is the big important take away from the movie.

Hopefully that's what people get and if they laugh too that's great. Those are the two things we really want people to get out of the movie.

Paul Tibbitt: I think after being with the show for 16 years, I never know what to expect. So I have no expectations or hopes for what's going on. We feel really blessed that we've not only had a show that sustained but that seems to have this weird universal appeal. All over the world people seem to gravitate towards him (SpongeBob) and enjoy him.

It's a good feeling to know that some silly joke that we came up with at 10 o'clock at night makes people laugh all over the world in all different countries and languages. That pretty rare and we just feel honored and privileged that we're able to do something like that. Sometimes American humor doesn't translate to other languages. But we feel that SpongeBob has got something tat everybody can sorta relate to. So we felt really blessed that way.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water


SpongeBob SquarePants, the world’s favorite sea dwelling invertebrate, comes ashore to our world for his most super-heroic adventure yet.

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