SpongeBob and Patrick are in Jellyfish Fields blowing bubbles. Patrick tries to take pictures of the bubbles but they keep popping before the picture is taken. SpongeBob decides to blow a bubble that would last all day. SpongeBob blows a bubble that engulfs them both, and carries them into a nearby cave. The bubble suddenly pops as it makes impact with an ancient piece of gold. Eager to discover what exactly it is, they take it to the Bikini Bottom Museum where they (literally) run into Squidward. At first, Squidward thinks that SpongeBob and Patrick were planning on stealing the first half of the amulet which is housed in the museum, but upon attempting to return it to its spot realizes that what Patrick and SpongeBob had was in fact the missing half. At this point, both Mr Krabs and Sandy join them. The pieces of gold are then reunited which summons a luxurious bus (or 'van' as Squidward calls it) piloted by a robot and fueled by "song." During the song to fuel the bus, it is revealed that Plankton has stowed away in a compartment at the front of the bus and plans to control the lost weapons of Atlantis. Once they arrive there,(accidentally crash-landing in a topiary garden) they meet Lord Royal Highness who shows them the riches, knowledge, and art of Atlantis. Meanwhile Plankton escapes from the compartment and sneaks into the vault storing the weapons. After looking around at theapons, he chooses to commandeer a tank (seemingly at random) to start off his diabolical scheme. While this is happening, Mr. Krabs enjoys the money vault, Sandy enjoys the science lab, and Squidward enjoys the hall of art (the rooms each had been planning to see). In the money vault, money, gold, and prized objects are found and mostly stashed in Mr. Krabs's pants pockets. In the science lab, Sandy enjoys the devices, a biomass converting device that turns any household object into ice cream (a bug the Atlanteans haven't worked out), a germ-fighting, interactive, micro video game, and makes an automatic feeding device. And in the Hall of Arts, Squidward journeys through paintings, gets modeled by artmakers, and even makes his own painting, claiming to have learned more about art in his short time in Atlantis than he did while at college. But everything goes wrong when SpongeBob and Patrick are left alone with the World's Oldest Living Bubble. The flash from Patrick's camera when he takes a picture of themselves with the bubble causes it to burst, and the pair go to dinner and insist on leaving. When Patrick reveals their mistake, Lord Royal Highness tells them that the bubble they popped was a prop, but when he shows them the real bubble, Patrick takes a picture of it and it also pops. The Atlantean is furious and summons the Royal Guard to seize the gang, but Plankton appears. He fires the tank at SpongeBob, the gang, and the Atlantean Royal Guard, but is foiled when it is revealed that the weapon he had chosen only shoots ice cream. He jumps out of the tank and in frustration kicks it, injuring himself. However, Lord Royal Highness seems delighted - a talking speck will make a great replacement for the bubble. Finally, the Atlantean king loads SpongeBob and his friends back onto the bus and removes the amulet, giving it to one of his soldiers to dispose of to ensure no more "visitors like these". SpongeBob is the only one eager to return to Bikini Bottom and sings, His friends get sad and cry, but SpongeBob ignores and sings all along.
Patchy the Pirate Plot
Patchy is stuck in traffic at the US 101. Then, his cell phone rings, and Potty warns that he's going to miss the new SpongeBob episode. Patchy yells at the guy driving behind him for honking at him because he is trying to talk to his parrot. Patchy tells Potty to record the episode, but Potty tells him that he threw the Betamax mashine in the trash, making him mad. His super rare 8 track also breaks. Then, the traffic lines moves, but suddenly, he finds himself nowhere, and yells out "Encino, it's gone.......NOOOOOOO!" Then, he cries that this isn't the only time a Lost-City had occurred. Then, he tells us that the episode is what we should watch instead of watching him suffer. Then, Patchy gets his 8 track fixed, but not for long when it explodes again and produces smoke. Patchy later gets hallucinations, and he finds Tom Kenny dressed in a tall SpongeBob outfit who cries out that he is SpongeBob in real-life form. Then, Potty wakes him up after he thought he is back in Encino, which is all just a dream. Patchy begins to eat a sandwich, that Potty brings to him, but he finds mayonnaise on it. After this, he finds Encino shrunk to a very small size. Then, he finds Three Aliens which explain that their son Norbluckfive was playing with his Shrink-A-Tron again. Patchy yells at them that he wants his town back in full size, and he keeps saying There's no place like home!. Sympathetic by Patchy's crying that he wants to go home because he missed the entire story, Norbluckfive's mother gets the Shrink-A-Tron given from her son, and she presses the big red button control, making a tornado disaster to fix it up. Then, Patchy is glad to be back in Encino, but soon, a giant Potty the Parrot crushes him into the house, realizing that now Norbluckfive had once again played with the shrinkatron making potty grow huge.
: Reviews Tom Shales, a television critic for The Washington Post, lambasted the movie in a November 12, 2007 review. In the review, titled Squeezing The Life Out of SpongeBob, Shales wrote that "the funniest thing about the film is its title" and "a typical episode has about as many laughs as this inflated version does". Shales criticized the amount of musical numbers in Atlantis SquarePantis, calling them "numbing". He concluded the review with the statement that the episode was "flat" and "unimpressive". However, Atlantis SquarePantis recorded nine million viewers, beating every 8pm show on broadcast television that night except Dancing With the Stars. But most of all, the movie was criticized for being only 45 minutes and the big ending was a hugely criticized by fans.
Many have considered this episode bad and a huge disappointment, because of misleading commercials, the songs being pointless, and it being a ripoff of Willy Wonka.
LRH is voiced by singer David Bowie, yet he does not have a musical number in this episode (something many viewers were displeased by).
Z to A Countdown
In the weeks prior to the premiere of the episode, fans voted online for their favorite episodes. They world premiere in a marathon, starting on November 12, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. Each episode corresponding to a letter of the Alphabet. Starting with Z, for Plan Z, the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. It will end with A, for Atlantis SquarePantis. Additionally, a countdown clock would appear on the bottom right corner of the screen, displaying the amount of time left until the premiere of Atlantis SquarePantis.
Without the Patchy plot, theme song, and end credits, the TV movie is only 31 minutes long.
When Patchy finds Encino gone, the background is nothing. Then the next time we see Patchy he is in the desert. In the alienpart, it is nothing again.
A video game based on this episode was released on December 3, 2007.
One of the paintings in the museum in the background is "The Scream" but instead of a man, it is a fish.
Sandy Cheeks has talked about the event from "Pressure."
In the videogame "Mission Start: The Germ Warrior", you can see a code that says 1991 @ Nickelodeon Inc., an Entertainment Rights group company. The title screen (and title) are most likely a parody of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. This is the third time copyright is mentioned, the first was Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture and the second was Have You Seen This Snail .
When everyone is in the video game, it says Nickelodeon at the bottom. It also says the game was published in 1991 (debut of Nick's first Nicktoons: Doug, Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy). This was the second time it was used, the first time was in Have You Seen This Snail?
Many fans complained that there was a lot of talk of this episode being "The first ever SpongeBob TV movie", because it was only 45 minutes long.
In the original airing, only the SpongeBob plot was aired, all subsequent airings show the Patchy plot, alongside the SpongeBob plot.
Patchy mentions he is stuck in traffic on US 101. US 101 really does pass through Encino and is a major commuter route for drivers going to or from Los Angeles.
On the premiere of this episode, Patchy was seen at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas. This wasn't shown on later showings.
The way Sandy warps into the video game is similar to the way some of the characters in the Megaman franchise of video games enter or exit levels.
The story board showed Patrick eating the old living bubble, but it was changed by taking a picture of it and pops.
Running Gags: Whenever Patrick takes a picture of the bubble it pops. Patchy trying to use old technology and keeps breaking down.
The premiere of the special drew 8.8 million viewers, the highest audience in the history of the show.
The citizens of Atlantis bear a striking resemblance to the Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine.
In the beginning, SpongeBob wants to make a bubble that lasts all day. However, in Bubble Buddy, SpongeBob makes Bubble Buddy, who lasts a lifetime. This means this episode is before Bubble Buddy.
During Squidward's song, SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog all make cameo appearances.
Just like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, whenever a character spots an area of Atlantis that has things that he/she loves, they go to the area and start playing in it. Also during that time, the character sings a song about it, just like the Oompa-Loompas do in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And, each time the character goes there and does all those things, and their song is over, the other characters move on, leaving one character behind each time, while the group grows smaller and smaller until there's only one character left. This is another parody of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Some old technology that Patchy used are Betamax, 8 Track, and phones that drop calls.
Nickelodeon aired this without the Patchy Plot for the first and only time.
Netflix has this TV movie on Instant Queue with the Patchy Plot.
This is the second time Sandy is referred to as "Sandra." The first was Patrick SmartPants.
When Squidward jumps into the painting, it is a parody of Super Mario 64 when Mario jumps through the painting to go to worlds.
When Sandy fights the germs, it is a parody of Dr. Mario.
When Sandy is dancing with a germ, the moves she does is a parody of Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance.
Warp pipes appear in Sandy's song. Warp pipes appear in most of the Mario games.
When Sandy ground-pounds on a germ, she does it the same way how Mario ground-pounds in games.
Mr. Krabs' "I Hate Mondays" Shirt is a reference to Garfield the Cat's catchphrase.
When the fanfare plays during when SpongeBob and friends arrive at Atlantis, Lord Royal Henis falls which is like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) when the Golden Ticket winners arrive at the Chocolate Factory and Willy Wonka tumbles over.
When Patchy taps his peg leg to his other shoe stating, "There's no place like home", it's a parody of The Wizard of Oz.
In the title song, it is similar to Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
Lord Royal Highness was the ruler of Atlantis. However, in Neptune's Spatula, King Neptune is the ruler of Atlantis.
When Mr. Krabs is trying to put gas in the bus, there's no exhaust pipe and they're told the bus uses singing as their fuel. However, Plankton mentions the exhaust pipe.
When everyone is at the window after Squidward says "Look its Atlantis". SpongeBob's left leg is missing and Mr. Krabs' legs are missing and he is unusually tall. Also in the shot after the window is shown. Sandy is next to Mr. Krabs and behind Patrick and SpongeBob is in front of both Mr. Krabs and Squidward. in the shot before Sandy was Behind Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob was next to/in front of Mr. Krabs.