As part of a massive refurbishing to both its interface and lineup, streamer CBS All Access has announced that it will claim exclusivity of the previously Nickelodeon-bound prequel series, titled Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years. With the series having passed its original July 2020 Nickelodeon premiere window, it is now set for a streaming premiere on CBS All Access in early 2021 on a date to be revealed.
The streaming move is merely the latest from chimerical corporate parent ViacomCBS of relocating Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob offerings to the network streaming platform, having recently altered the release strategy of threequel The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run from its COVID-derailed theatrical plans toward a streaming premiere on CBS All Access, similarly set for early 2021; a move for which the prequel show’s migration will undoubtedly serve to complement. Moreover, while the platform has gained a Star Trek-centric reputation since its launch, CBS All Access has also taken up the mantle of being a de facto “Nickelodeon All Access.”
Thus, the SpongeBob news is merely the squishy tip of a sizable iceberg of changes to the streaming platform, which, in addition to a fancy—purportedly more ergonomic—interface, is touting the addition of 3,500 more episodes of television shows culled from Viacom-owned channels BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Smithsonian Channel and (pertinently,) Nickelodeon, bringing to its already-sizable lineup to the cited total of 20,000 episodes and movies, along with expanded sports coverage. Indeed, as implied, the streamer’s Nickelodeon library in particular will not only see the addition of all prior seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants, but will be joined by full-series access to shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rugrats, along with seasons of Danny Phantom, The Legend of Korra and Sam & Cat that were previously available.
Migration notwithstanding, Kamp Koral will ultimately manifest with an inaugural 13-episode outing, showcasing CGI animation that will maintain the television franchise’s 2D traditions. The plot will follow the exploits of a 10-year-old SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) during his time at the eponymous summer sleepaway camp. Yet, despite the earlier era and shift away from the familiarity of Bikini Bottom, the series will maintain its signature voice cast and characters, with Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) all set to be featured, joined by the supplementary characters viewers have come to know and love.
As Ramsey Naito, Executive Vice President, Animation Production and Development, Nickelodeon, described of the cast dynamic in a February statement about the now-nixed Nick premiere:
“When our younger characters first meet in Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, there is an instant chemistry among them that could only be conveyed by the incredible talents who have lived and breathed them every day for the last two decades. We are so excited to have the original SpongeBob cast join our new series, which is incredibly inventive and funny, and visually stunning in CG.”
Indeed, the streaming move to CBS All Access—both for the prequel series and movie threequel—stands as an intriguing chapter in the now-21-year legacy of the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise, which shows no sign of slowing down.
Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years Release Date
Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years doesn’t have a specific release date set as of yet, but we do know that it’s bound for a CBS All Access streaming premiere in early 2021.