Behind the Business of ‘SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout’

Behind the Business of ‘SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout’
Nickelodeon’s hit “SpongeBob Square-Pants” moved out of its own adolescence earlier this year when the animated series turned 20 in May. But the celebration of the modern classic about under-the-sea adventures is continuing well into next year as a “love letter” to the show’s creator, says Ramsey Naito, Nickelodeon executive vice president of animation production and development.

“Time flies,” says Naito. “I remember meeting Stephen Hillenburg in 1998 when we were both getting coffee at a coffee machine when he was just starting.”

Hillenburg, who was a marine biology teacher before stepping into the world of animation, created “SpongeBob” based on some of his own experience seeing children’s awe at sponges and starfish. The series became Nickelodeon’s first original Saturday morning cartoon, debuting in May 1999. Hillenburg unfortunately passed away from complications from Als in November 2018 at age 57, before getting to see his beloved series hit this milestone — festivities
See full article at Variety »

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