Emmett Watkins Jr – The Goofiest Goober

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

I’ve had the same default username, Ejsponge61, on all of my accounts for nearly two decades. The “ej” represents my nickname, as I am a junior to my dad of the same first name. The numbers at the end don’t really hold much significance, but the “sponge” is an obvious shout out to one of my favorite media franchises of all time. My love of SpongeBob started as soon as I was able to comprehend stories and comedy more complex than that found on Nick Jr, and while I don’t regularly watch the show now, I still have a deep love of the show. But if I had to point to a time where that love hit crescendo, it would unquestionably be when it’s first feature film premiered.

In 2004, I was eight years old, and I had already been loving the show for several years at this point. Most weeknights at the time were spent watching either reruns or premiers with equal enjoyment. But once I heard about a film coming in the near future, I lost my mind. Going to the theater was already a dearly held novelty as a kid, but getting to do so to see my favorite fictional character at the time go on an epic adventure was a literal dream. The weekend it came out, my family took me to see it and it was everything I hoped it would be and more. All of the jokes delighted me, the twists and turns of Patrick and SpongeBob’s journey were enthralling throughout, and I sobbed several times in the final act. I can, of course, look back on the movie with a slightly more critical eye now that I’m much older, but my nostalgia for it will never fully leave my heart.

But my experience with the film didn’t end with the theatrical release. When it came to DVD, I got it for my birthday that year, from several people actually, and I wore that disk out. Every time I was bored with what was on TV, what few video games I had to play, and the weather didn’t permit me to play outdoors, The Spongebob Square Pants Movie was my favorite way to pass the time. During Prymetime, the afterschool program I attended during elementary school, we would watch a movie every Wed afternoon, and we’d decide that movie from options brought by kids from home. So, when I got my hands on that DVD, you met your ass I brought it in every single Wed. And because everyone knew me as the SpongeBob super fan, they all knew to vote for my copy of the movie, even when others brought in the exact same movie. And I kept that up for at least a month straight, maybe even more, because I was sure I would never get sick of watching this movie.

Well, everyone else did, so after those few weeks, all the kids began to vote on different movies. But I truly never got tired of the movie. Even to this day, despite some elements that haven’t aged well, I still feel the movie holds up. The jokes still hit hard, the climax of the story is still remarkable, and the surprisingly emotional moments still manage to choke me up a bit. I’m not the biggest fan of the later movies, especially Sponge Out Of Water. And the incoming spin-off series really rubs me the wrong way as Hillenburg never wished for there to be a spin-off. But no matter what the future of the brand has in store, my love of Battle for Bikini Bottom will never fade. My obsession with the Band Geeks episode will never leave me. And my hype and later adoration of the first feature film in the franchise will never cease to fill my heart with joy.

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