Spongebob Squarepants goes Bollywood for 10th birthday

by Lisa McGarry

The tenth anniversary celebrations of SpongeBob SquarePants, Nickelodeon’s iconic and much loved sea sponge, culminate in the production of this unique live action Bollywood-style two minute film – Bollywood Bob.

The film (also developed in a shorter 30 second advertisement format) will run across the Nickelodeon UK network from 14th November, as part of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBash (with back to back episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants all weekend) and will run across the global Nickelodeon network following UK release.

The 30 second version will run in Vue and Cineworld cinemas nationwide from 13th November 2009 to 1st January 2010 around seasonal releases such as: A Christmas Carol, Planet 51, Where the Wild Things Are, Alvin and the Chipmunks II and St Trinians 2.

Bollywood Bob has been produced by Nickelodeon UK in collaboration with Nickelodeon International and Nickelodeon India creative teams; and represents a global manifestation of the network’s ‘Year of the Sponge’, celebrating SpongeBob’s tenth anniversary on air.

Bollywood Bob tells the story of Rohan, who tentatively enters a magnificent palace in the heart of Bollywood territory (just outside Mumbai) to present a King with a golden sponge. As he accepts the sponge a spectacular dance, involving his entire court, ensues. The dance, choreographed by legendary Slumdog Millionaire choreographer Longinus Fernandes, unveils a newly invented SpongeBob Bollywood dance move. The film is a joyous, feel good antidote to cynicism, drawing upon the core themes of Nickelodeon’s famous and much-loved animation hero.

The music is the SpongeBob SquarePants programme theme tune re-worked in Bangra/Bollywood fusion style, arranged by Akbar Sami & Firoze Patel.

Nickelodeon UK’s VP creative director, Peter Drake, says: “Bollywood Bob is the genuine global culmination of Year of the Sponge. It is the most spectacular expression of regional cultures’ celebration and love of SpongeBob, and furthers his credibility as a lifestyle icon.”

Drake adds: “This unique work pushes the boundaries and challenges the norm, extending SpongeBob appeal way beyond the core Nickelodeon audience. He is one of the few animation characters that can do this so effectively.”