SpongeBob SquarePants is turning 20 soon; a fact that Nickelodeon has spent much of the year reminding the world in celebratory jubilance. Besides the July 20 special, SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout!, the diminutive dweller of a pineapple under the sea has lined up another movie, a confirmed prequel series and even possible spinoffs. However, San Diego Comic-Con will be the backdrop for a more ephemeral experience to celebrate said birthday, with Nickelodeon promising a party unlike anything else for convention attendees.
Nickelodeon is transforming the floor of Comic-Con into SpongeBob’s undersea hamlet home, Bikini Bottom! – Well, 1800 square feet of said floor, anyway. Indeed, Comic-Con International: San Diego July 18-21, 2019 will see the channel – in addition to an array of meet-and-greets, signings and giveaways – host an interactive experience for its booth (#4113), where fans will be able to immerse themselves in an environment of familiar design elements that bring to life key SpongeBob setting such as The Krusty Krab, The Chum Bucket and Mrs. Puff’s Boating School.
The Nickelodeon booth will be teeming with activity each day of the convention, notably from a game held inside The Krusty Krab, in which fans will compete against each other in a race against the clock to complete food orders for the establishment’s ornery crustacean proprietor. Also, The Chum Bucket will tower 22 feet over a retail area with the kind of knickknacks – both for SpongeBob and Nickelodeon IP cousins like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – one would expect to find will be sold. Additionally, Mrs. Puff’s Boating School will be available for fan photo opportunities; an overall experience that will be enhanced by the presence of costumed characters.
Pertinent to the aforementioned IP cousins, Nickelodeon will hold two panels at the Con. One will, of course, be for “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” which will, as its title suggest, celebrate the franchise’s big 2-0, with a look at the making of SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout! with executive producers Vincent Waller and Marc Ceccarelli. The panel, to be moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s David Canfield, will also feature the presence of voice actors Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy), Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) and Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs).
The other panel, “To Shell and Back: An exclusive TMNT creator panel,” will be a cavalcade of cowabunga, centered on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, at which three generations of creators will appear. There, fans will get to see – and interact with – co-executive producers Andy Suriano and Ant Ward (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), executive producer Ciro Nieli (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and one of the esteemed co-creators of the four Renaissance reptiles, Kevin Eastman. The moderator of this panel will be Den of Geek‘s very own editor-in-chief, Mike Cecchini.
If you’re attending Comic-Con this year, this is a must-visit experience!