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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is an American CGI-animated film based on the Nicktoon SpongeBob SquarePants. It was released in Canada on August 14, 2020, internationally on Netflix on November 5, 2020, and in the United States on Paramount+ as a launch title on March 4, 2021.


The movie starts with an opening shot of Bikini Bottom, which takes us to SpongeBob's pineapple where we find Gary waking our titular character up, leaving snail trail on his face, after this, SpongeBob rushes to yell "Good Morning" to Patrick, then Patrick yelling "Good Morning" to SpongeBob, they keep on saying "Good Morning" to each other until Squidward rushes to quiet them down, then SpongeBob and Patrick both yell "Good Morning" to Squidward, Squidward closes the window, his nose caught in it. Then we see SpongeBob feeding Gary which leads to an unrealistic montage showing SpongeBob and Gary's daily routine, once the montage finishes, SpongeBob rushes to the Krusty Krab in order to be early, leaving Gary sad and alone.

At the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob unintentionally annoys Squidward with his shenanigans when Mr. Krabs walks out of office commanding SpongeBob to raise the colors, hoist the mainsail and commanding Squidward to deploy smokestacks as Squidward use the pencil to the engine order telegraph all ahead full to deploying smokestacks, meanwhile at the Chum Bucket, we see Plankton plotting yet another evil plan to get the secret formula, until Karen's stop the evil copepod, reminding him of his "wall of failures," which is a huge wall filled with pictures of Plankton's failures. Karen then convinces Plankton that SpongeBob is the factor of all his failures, Plankton of course ignores her and continues his plan.

Meanwhile, in the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob is busy cooking and serving Krabby Patties, when Sandy arrives with a special invention, a robot named Otto, so she shows the robot to Mr. Krabs and the crustacean falls in love with it when he realizes it's free and has no emotions, as he thinks it's a great invention to fire people without remorse, so after some humorous antics Mr. Krabs throws Otto to Plankton's garbage can, so then Karen decides to adopt Otto.

A bubble wipe takes us to the Krusty Krab at night, where Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob to clean up the place. One cleaning montage later, SpongeBob is ready to go home when suddenly the camera zooms into a jar of pickles, revealing Plankton, disguised as a Pickle is ready to steal a Krabby Patty, so he uses a giant mechanical claw to remove a food cover from a Krabby Patty, so once he's about to accomplish this, SpongeBob enters the kitchen looking for keys, causing Plankton to fall on a puddle, a series of comical mishaps leads us to landing on the fryer, when he suddenly realizes that SpongeBob truly is the factor for all his failures.

The movie transitions to the Lost City of Atlantic City, where we meet Poseidon who discovers the existence of a wrinkle right next to his eye, so he demands Chancellor to bring him a snail, he uses the snail's trail as a face cream, when suddenly he discovers that the snail's trail has ran out, so he orders another snail to be brought to him immediately, then the Chancellor tells Poseidon that they ran out of snails, leading to the Chancellor writing a royal decree and posting it all over town, when Plankton reads one, he gets the brilliant idea of kidnapping Gary and sending SpongeBob on a risky mission to get Gary from the Lost City of Atlantic City, thereby getting rid of SpongeBob forever.

Next morning, SpongeBob arrives home, where he can't seem to find Gary anywhere, leading to a flashback to Camp Coral, where SpongeBob met Gary. Patrick then tells SpongeBob that he found one of his "Lost Snail" posters, when he gets the idea of looking for clues, his plan eventually works as they both find the royal decree mentioned earlier, so SpongeBob assumes Gary's been snailnapped and taken to the Lost City of Atlantic City.

After a comedic pep talk, SpongeBob and Patrick are ready to go rescue Gary, but they'll need some wheels first, luckily Plankton (as part of his plan) provides SpongeBob and Patrick a free ride to the Lost City of Atlantic City, with Otto as the driver, so our heroes embark on a very dangerous mission to go rescue Gary. Meanwhile, Mr. Krabs and Squidward find out SpongeBob is missing and can't cook for the customers leading to them acting like savages. While that is going on, SpongeBob and Patrick wake up in a dream where they find a bar called "The Inferno Saloon" in the middle of a town called "Goner Gulch," when suddenly a taking tumbleweed named Sage gives the duo a so-called Challenge Coin that's supposed to give SpongeBob the courage needed on his journey.

The two are assigned with a task before they can actually look for Gary, the task is to free the souls from "The Inferno Saloon" so after a musical number, a human known as El Diablo enters the bar capturing SpongeBob and Patrick in a cage, once they get out of the cage, El Diablo tries to kill them with a knife until the duo open the curtains letting the sunlight evaporate El Diablo thereby freeing the souls from "The Inferno Saloon" like Sage told them to. However, El Diablo comes back as a smoke monster and tries to kill SpongeBob and Patrick once again, but is quickly defeated. Soon after they both wake up from the dream but somehow Sage is still in the picture and tells them to look at the Window of Meanwhile, a magical device which allows them to watch what's happening in the kingdom, where they find Poseidon using Gary as a face cream, horrified by this SpongeBob and Patrick hurry to the Lost City of Atlantic City.

A bubble transition takes us to an empty Krusty Krab, where we see an upset Mr. Krabs devastated for losing each and every customer he once had (not too long ago), when suddenly Plankton enters the Krusty Krab and demands Mr. Krabs to give him the secret formula once it for all, Mr. Krabs, without hesitation, takes out a tiny secret formula from his belt and hands it to Plankton, who at first happily receives it, feels empty and upset at seeing Mr. Krabs so depressed.

Meanwhile the duo finally arrive to the Lost City of Atlantic City, where Sage advices them to not lose any focus, when at first the duo ignore him, they quickly do in fact lose focus, leading to a montage of SpongeBob and Patrick riding rollercoasters, eating food, and gambling, it all leads to them waking up drunk and confused. When they finally regain consciousness, they hurry to the kingdom's stage entrance where they find themselves forced to participate on the talent show, then SpongeBob finds Gary and tries to get him home, but Poseidon won't let that so he gets SpongeBob arrested.

A fade out takes us to Sandy sledding to SpongeBob's pineapple where she finds out he's missing, so she goes to the Krusty Krab and starts blaming Mr. Krabs and Squidward on SpongeBob's disappearance, when they finally explain that they weren't guilty, a Bikini Bottom news report explaining SpongeBob and Patrick's arrest plays on the Krusty Krab television, so Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Sandy and Plankton embark on another dangerous journey to free SpongeBob and Patrick.

We then find SpongeBob and Patrick in Poseidon's dungeon, when SpongeBob finds out he lost his "Challenge Coin" by gambling it (despite Patrick asking SpongeBob to think twice about doing so), the duo get on a fight and are then sent to their frightening execution, only to be sabotaged by Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Sandy and Plankton, they then start explaining why SpongeBob shouldn't get executed by travelling back to Kamp Koral in the form of flashbacks.

Sandy's Flashback: We see a young SpongeBob arrive to Camp Coral when he suddenly meets a young Sandy, she then explains why she has to wear her famous astronaut suit and SpongeBob asks if she's a scientist, with Sandy replying no, he then tells her that she can do anything, Sandy is then quickly convinced by SpongeBob that she can indeed be a scientist if she wanted to, ending the flashback.

Patrick's Flashback: We see a young Patrick crying on top of a log, then SpongeBob finds him crying and asks him what's wrong, Patrick explains he's homesick and has no friends, so SpongeBob decides to befriend the little sea star and invites him to jellyfish with him.

Squidward's Flashback: Squidward explains that back then, he wanted to win the Annual Kamp Koral Talent Show more that anything, and when SpongeBob and Patrick's act steals the crowd, Squidward runs crying to his cabin, then SpongeBob and Patrick enter his cabin and explain that there was an evaluating mistake and Squidward actually won the Kampy Award by a landslide.

After these flashbacks, Mr. Krabs gives out a speech about how SpongeBob inspired him to open the Krusty Krab and how SpongeBob is in fact the secret formula to the Krabby Patty, after that, the crew perform "Secret to the Formula" which is a distraction for SpongeBob to get his hands on Gary and replace it with a wooden imitation. Once Poseidon discovers this, he sends his guards to get them.

After a chase scene, the gang hide in a knight armor leading to an intense climax with the guards fighting the knight armor being controlled by SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy and Plankton, they all get rounded up by Poseidon. However, it reveals that he found the whole ordeal to be exciting and agrees to let them go, if they hand over Gary. SpongeBob is destroyed by this proposal, but then Sage appears and reminds the yellow sponge that the courage he needs to confront Poseidon is inside him.

So he defies Poseidon and tells him that he loves Gary too much to hand him over. He then compliments and thanks his friends for sticking up for him, but he indirectly insults the Greek God, making Poseidon ready to attack when he is stopped by SpongeBob when he tells him he doesn't have any loyal friends, Poseidon laughs at it first but after actually checking with everyone on his kingdom, he comes to the sad conclusion that he doesn't have any friends, upset at this Poseidon cries but SpongeBob tells him that he'll gladly be his friend if he doesn't kidnap Gary, Poseidon explains that if he doesn't keep the snail then he wouldn't be able to get rid of his wrinkle, but SpongeBob explains that looks don't matter, what matters is what's inside, so after this advice, Poseidon starts "loosening up a bit" by taking off his wig, removing his neck clip, begones his perfect shiny teeth and dentures and taking off his chest plate and girdle.

When he realizes how free he feels like that, he salutes SpongeBob for having the courage to stand up against a powerful king, and frees Gary and all the snails he previously kidnapped, so SpongeBob has the idea to turn Bikini Bottom into a sea snail refuge.

The movie ends with a dedication to the original creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg, as the ending of the theme song plays in the background.