Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Tom Kenny and Rodger Bumpass Talk 'SpongeBob', 'Sponge on the Run' & 'Kamp Koral'

Tom Kenny and Rodger Bumpass chat about what's new and different in SpongeBob film Sponge on the Run and prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years.

Fans of SpongeBob, which has been delighting kids and adults alike for no less than twenty years, will be treated to two new stories about their favorite underwater cartoon characters. With both SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years surfacing on the new Paramount+ streaming service, there's plenty of fun content to dive into.

Sponge on the Run is a film that focuses on the meaning of friendship when Gary the snail is kidnapped by the mighty Poseidon, while Kamp Koral is a prequel series that sees all the protagonists gathered together at summer camp as kids. While everything's familiar territory when you've lived in a pineapple under the sea for two decades, it turns out there's still more gems to uncover.

Tom Kenny and Rodger Bumpass, who voice the frienemies SpongeBob and Squidward, spoke to Screen Rant about what to expect from the movie and series this week.

Screen Rant: There are so many lovely speeches, songs, and themes about friendship in Sponge on the Run. Can you each talk about how your character comes to view friendship in the film?

Tom Kenny: SpongeBob is a friend to everyone. That's one of the fun things to play about him ven with Squidward, who has this sort of antipathy towards SpongeBob. "Why do I have to live next door to this guy?" SpongeBob doesn't even feel that. He doesn't even pick up on those cues. He knows, "Squidward loves me!" And Patrick? "Patrick is the smartest guy I know!"

SpongeBob really thinks the best of everyone. It's fun to play a character like that. And that's his approach to friendship - even with Plankton who's constantly not worthy of trust and is always scheming. SpongeBob's always willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. "You know, I think he's really reformed this time, Mr. Krabs."

And once in a while, SpongeBob does get through to those people: Squidward and Plankton, and even greedy Mr. Krabs sometimes realizes there's more to life than money for a second. That's SpongeBob's view of friendship,

Rodger Bumpass: Everybody has their veneer that they interact with the world through. Krabs is money, the plans of plankton, and the sarcasm and almost arrogance of Squidward. But all of them realize eventually, given the right circumstances, that the friendship is the overriding aspect of endeavor and interaction between people.

Squidward has that façade of sarcasm and disdain for everyone who he thinks is lower than he is in the artistic world. But when push comes to shove, he comes out as a decent guy.

Tom Kenny: Otherwise he would have moved by now. He's tried a couple of times.

SR: I really loved the preview of Kamp Koral we got in the movie, but can you each give maybe one buzz word or one thing you're looking forward when it comes to your baby selves?

Rodger Bumpass: I've said this before, so pardon me, Tom. But one of the dynamics that I like about the Kamp Koral version of Squidward is that he's a camp counselor. He's described as a little bit older than the other three main characters there, so he gets to be an authority person. He gets to sit in his room in the back of the cabin, and then when he hears all the insanity, he comes busting out with, "What's going on here?" Kind of like the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket.

That dynamic is similar to what I do with SpongeBob a lot, where he just goes on and on and on and on. It's a Honeymooners dynamic, is what I've always referred to.

Tom Kenny: For me, in a word, the most fun aspect of the Kamp Koral TV series has been "environment." It's a new environment for these characters to live in. It's the camp, and it's new characters that go to the camp and that reside outside the camp in the neighborhoods. To me, that's fun.

There's just new characters and new place to go. And even though it's very much in the SpongeBob world, in terms of the type of humor that it traffics in, it's a little different. It's a little different flavor of SpongeBob; a little different shade for him and all the characters.

Yeah, it's fun to put those characters that we know so well and enjoy playing so much in a different environment.

Rodger Bumpass: I will give you a nuance on that. My one word would be "innocence." Because you see a slightly more innocent version of all our characters, that they haven't lived through life enough to become shaped into their adult personas yet.

Tom Kenny: Could SpongeBob get any more innocent?

Rodger Bumpass: I know, he gets negative innocence.

SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run and Kamp Koral will premiere on Thursday, March 4 through Paramount+. Sponge on the Run will also be available through PVOD.

More Nick: 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years' and 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run' to Debut on Paramount+ on Thursday, March 4!

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