'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run' Arrives On Netflix Today – Except In The U.S. And Canada

While the rest of the world gets to see the new SpongeBob movie on Netflix today, the beloved talking sponge is on the run far away from the U.S. and Canada. Paramount Animation's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run hits Netflix today, November 5, in all countries except for the U.S. and Canada, with Americans having to wait until next year when The SpongeBob Movie hits the States...on premium VOD.

Cartoon Brew reminds us that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run makes its Netflix debut today...except in the U.S. and Canada. It's particularly frustrating for U.S. fans of the yellow ukelele-playing sponge, who will have to wait until next year when the film – which is the first-ever fully-CGI SpongeBob feature – hits premium VOD. And then even longer until the movie is exclusively streaming on CBS All Access, Paramount's subscription VOD service, which is soon to be rebranded as Paramount+. At least Canadians got the chance to see the film when it opened theatrically last August.

It's a highly unorthodox rollout that only became like this due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which blocked the film's original U.S. release date of May 22, 2020. But after the pandemic hit, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, was shuffled around the theatrical release calendar before ultimately going to streaming. Netflix and CBS All Access both scored pricey deals for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which reportedly covered the $60 million budget for the Paramount film.

However, while the studio may be satisfied, the film's director is not. Tim Hill told Looper of the streaming deals:

"It's terrible. I was hoping for a big fanfare and a great premiere and seeing all the people I worked with, and doing a cast and crew screening, being able to at least thank people, which never happened. It was just what we're doing now, like, 'Bye. Movie's over.' It didn't feel natural, for sure."

Here is the synopsis for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run:

This Memorial Day weekend, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event. After SpongeBob's beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there's nothing stronger than the power of friendship.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will have a premium video-on-demand and CBS All Access release in the United States in early 2021.