The Patrick Star Show got a preview at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival in France on Friday. Showrunners Marc Ceccarelli and Patrick Waller gave a detailed look at Nickelodeon's second Spongebob Squarepants spinoff, The Patrick Star Show, and looked back at 20 years of the global hit franchise. The Patrick Star Show will debut on Friday, July 9, followed by the premiere of Nickelodeon's first animated original series in five years, Middlemost Post. The Patrick Star Show, according to the logline, "follows a younger Patrick Star living at home with his family, where he hosts his own variety show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom" as anyone with a spinoff show tends to do.
Also on the panel were VP of animation production Jennie Monica, supervising director Dave Cunningham, color key supervisor Teale Wang, CG supervisor John Cahoon, art director Ernie Gilbert, lead look development artists Brian Ratchford, storyboard artist April Davis, animation writer Luke Brookshier and story editor and writer Kaz Prapuolenis. Nickelodeon VP of current series animation Kelley Gardner and recruitment, outreach, and talent development manager Melanie Young moderated.
"It's a family sitcom mixed with a variety show, at times a talk show and at others, the characters are just on the road having adventures away from the house," Showrunner Waller told Variety. "We travel through time; we even go into fake commercials from within the show's universe."
"We really tried to just do anything we wanted," Ceccarelli added. "We wanted to take the restrictions off our creativity and go to all the weird places our brains took us."
Patrick won't narrate the show, but it will be seen through a "Patrick Star" lens so the show will get as creative and confused as the starfish himself.
"Nickelodeon is diving deeper into Bikini Bottom to give fans a look at our lovable young adult Patrick Star and his entire family with a sitcom only he could imagine up," Nickelodeon's president of animation told Ramsey Naito told Variety. "This second original spinoff allows us to expand our reach, tell new stories and connect with our audience around the world who continue to love these characters."
While Ceccarelli and Waller believe that long-time fans of SpongeBob SquarePants will be thrilled with the new series, they think a few hardcore cannon fans might be ticked off by some of what they see. With a prequel series as off-the-wall as The Patrick Star Show, many rules were bent to the point of breaking.
"We mess with canon a lot," Ceccarelli explained. "I don't know if anybody knows this, but we don't really respect canon just for the sake of itself."
"Yeah, we see it like a jar sitting up on a shelf in the corner with a label that says canon on it, and we recognize that but we also treat every episode like a standalone that can go anywhere in the universe," Waller clarified.
During the Annecy Festival presentation, Ceccarelli further explained that while Patrick may be the host of his from-home Variety show, his 8-year-old sister Squidina, described by Waller as the brightest "Star" in the family, is the one really pulling the strings. Girl Power!
"She's the producer of this fake TV show he's putting on. In fact, the show is actually her idea and she is just using Patrick like one of the toys from her toybox," he said.
It's through Patrick and Squidina's fake show that the stories of The Patrick Star show are told, allowing for the narrative freedom Ceccarelli and Waller were looking for.
"That's something we are all really into in the writers' room. Anything that will free us up to be as creative as can be and take the rigid structure of story and sideline that to make room for more digressions. It frees us up to be more surreal and randomly bizarre with the kinds of things we put out there," said Ceccarelli.
In the series, longtime Patrick Star voice actor Bill Fagerbakke (Coach, How I Met Your Mother) will continue to provide the voice of young adult Patrick, with Tom Wilson (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Cecil Star, Patrick's family-first, fun-loving father, Cree Summer (Rugrats) as Patrick's loving mother Bunny Star and Grandma Tentacles Jill Talley (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Patrick's Squidina Star, and Dana Snyder (The Penguins of Madagascar) as ancient GrandPat Star. Other members of the voice cast include Spongebob Squarepants vets Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants, Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles, Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, and Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs.
"The Patrick Star" show is co-executive produced by Spongebob Squarepants producer Marc Ceccarerlli, Vincent Waller and Jennie Monica. The show was developed by Nickelodeon senior VP of animation development Claudia Spinelli, and Kelly Gardner, VP of current series, animation.
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