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'SpongeBob Movie' review; actors talk with Kidsday

Kidsday reporters interviewed actor Bill Fagerbakke, the voice

Kidsday reporters interviewed actor Bill Fagerbakke, the voice of Patrick Star in the new "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." Kidsday reporters (l) Patrick Shanahan, Baylea Burgess, Mikaela Mooney and Vincent Daidone all from Bayport at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manhattan on Jan. 3, 2015. Credit: Pat Mullooly

Have you ever seen the show "SpongeBob SquarePants"? Are you a big fan of this classic cartoon? If you are, you should see the new movie, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." As Kidsday reporters, we went to a screening last week. We were chosen from our class because our teacher gave us a quiz to see who the true "SpongeBob SquarePants" fans are.

In the beginning of the film, it was just a normal day in Bikini Bottom. There were people eating at the Krusty Krab. Kids were playing and others were shopping. While all this was going on, Plankton was trying to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula -- as always. Things got a little out of hand and the secret formula disappeared while Plankton and SpongeBob were playing tug-of-war with it. Poof! It had vanished! They were so surprised, and all of a sudden Bikini Bottom went crazy. Mr. Krabs and all of people in Bikini Bottom were mad at Plankton and blamed him for stealing the formula. SpongeBob stood up for him and tried to explain that he didn't do it.

Then SpongeBob and Plankton floated away and teamed up with other characters to get the secret formula back from Burger-Beard, a mean, tough, Krabby Patty-loving pirate. Wait until you see what super powers the characters get in this movie to fight Burger-Beard. We don't want to give away the rest of the story so go see it!

We thought the movie was funny and entertaining, especially for SpongeBob fans. We loved it when they gained their super powers. One scene has SpongeBob using his bubble powers to battle Burger-Beard, who was shooting cannon balls at him. And, we really loved it when the seagulls started singing the SpongeBob theme song at the end, especially the SpongeBob rap they did when battling against Bubbles.

We rate the movie: 3 1/2 (out of five) smiles.


After seeing the movie, we went back to Manhattan last Friday to meet voice-over actors Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star). Here is part of our interview with them:


Do you ever accidentally use your SpongeBob voice in real life?

Tom: No . Oh my gosh, I just did it. Sometimes you are still kind of thinking like him when you leave the studio. We will do four or five hours of SpongeBob and then we will walk out and the receptionist at Nickelodeon will say, "See you on Monday." Tom and I will say , "OK, see you later!" Sometimes the SpongeBob brain is still going. You have to adjust.

Bill: I didn't think I did, and somebody asked me that question. My daughter Carson said I do. Whenever I see a spider around the house I go [in Patrick's voice], "Spider, spider, spider." Sometimes it's just in my subconscious and it just comes out.


Do you have to act things out when you do the voice of SpongeBob?

Tom: You mean physically? Not all voice actors do. Some voice actors I work with just sit in chairs like this, but I need to have my whole body. When I come in, they say, "Get the music stand out of the way because Tom is going to knock it over. He flails around like a goofball." They take away my chair so there is more room to jump around and go crazy. Patrick [Bill] is a very physical voice-over actor so he and I are always jumping around, going crazy.


How did you come up with SpongeBob's voice and can you do it for us?

Tom: The personality description was he was kind of childlike, almost like an elf. The laugh was something I came up with. We wanted him to have a signature laugh. There was an old character named Woody Woodpecker who had a signature laugh and then Popeye the Sailor Man. We wanted something for SpongeBob. I said, "What about if he was like a weird dolphinish noise?" Steve [Hillenburg, writer] said, "Yes, that is so weird and disturbing."


As a voice actor, what happens when you get the suds [a cold]?

Bill: [Laughing] You get itchy and dry mouth and your eyes go in different directions like a lizard. When I have the suds I stay home. In fact, I don't even talk on the phone.


Did you do your own stunts [in the movie]?

Bill: As Patrick I do all that screaming. I don't have a stunt screamer. You know what is interesting? Recording a cartoon can be pretty hard on your voice. Actually laughing [as Patrick] gives your voice a rigorous workout.


Bill, what is it like to do a character's voice that isn't very bright?

Bill: That is a great question. I've spent much of my career playing those types of characters. I find it is really important to focus on what that character is focusing on. Very often we meet someone who we think is not very bright, but they are just focusing on something we are not focused on.

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