Why did SpongeBob and Patrick's death hurt so much?

I first watched The Spongebob Squarepants Movie when I was six years old. At this point in my life, the tv in our home stayed on the channel Nickelodeon half the time. I loved the characters so much that I watched them whenever I got the chance. The movie was something I was extremely excited about, as I was getting new material for one of my favorite things. As I watched the film, it was a bit scary for my age, but it wasn’t the fighting, screaming, and darkest that made me upset; the scene when Spongebob and Patrick died terrified me the most. I didn’t know what that feeling was until I watched this movie because it had never happened to me. Spongebob and Patrick’s death was the first time someone passing away made me feel pain. 

Throughout my childhood, I attended more funerals than I did weddings. I watched numerous shows and movies where the characters had dead relatives. But I did not feel much of anything with those people being dead. Not to come off as rude, it’s just that I did not know those people that well. My family members that died were ones I met when I was a baby, and I rarely saw them outside of family reunions that happened every once in a few years. The programs I watched were where the characters’ dead relatives were rarely shown or talked about. As death was a significant factor in my childhood, it didn’t affect me until it happened to Spongebob and Patrick. 

I felt like I knew Spongebob and Patrick. I saw them every day. They kept me company if I was the only person in the living room, and they were never mean to me. Two characters I adore dying was the last thing I wanted. 

In the scene, Spongebob and Patrick are kidnapped and placed on a table under a lamp with no water so they can dry out and be sold as merchandise. I thought it was over for them when they dried out under the light. At that age, I had no concept of time and assumed that the movie was over at that point in the story. I felt as if I had just lost someone I loved. It was very creative how, in the movie, they showed an audience full of Spongebob Squarepants fans crying, letting you know that wasn’t t alone in this feeling of sudden grief. The team at Nickelodeon was fully aware of how unique this franchise was to numerous people and incorporated it into the film. They wanted to tell you that if you were sad about the death of the two main characters, it’s ok. You’re human; you’re allowed to feel these emotions. 

The two were brought back to life a few minutes after the smoke alarm went off, and they got their water back. The movie's viewers and audience were delighted with this chaotic scene of the person who kidnapped them getting attacked by the animals he was putting up for sale. It was a moment of satisfaction. A moment of happiness because not only did they live, but they were able to escape. Thinking from a human perspective, while it was unrealistic how they survived, it didn’t upset me. 

It didn’t upset me because The Spongebob Squarepants Movie showed children how the death of someone they love could feel. Death is painful, and death is something people often dance around when the subject arises. This movie was direct about how not only is it hurtful, but death is just a part of life. The people we love die, and it’s normal to be devastated about it when they die. 


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