New SpongeBob movie on Netflix pays tribute to show's creator Stephen Hillenburg

Sam Warner
·2-min read
Photo credit: Mark Mainz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Mainz - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run minor spoilers follow.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run has paid a heartfelt tribute to the show's creator Stephen Hillenburg.

The animator sadly passed away back in 2018, a year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The newly-released Netflix movie includes a title card at the end just before the credits roll as the SpongeBob SquarePants theme plays.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Reading "In memory of Stephen Hillenburg", the picture on display actually shows the creator's original drawing of SpongeBob – who was then known as SpongeBoy.

Following his death two years ago, network Nickelodeon was among those who paid tribute, saying: "He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family.

"Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humour and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination."

Photo credit: Mark Mainz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Mainz - Getty Images

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Fans also rallied together as they created a petition to have the song 'Sweet Victory' performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in tribute, after the series depicted SpongeBob performing it at the Bubble Bowl.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is streaming now on Netflix.

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