Sandy Cheeks

Sandy Cheeks is a fictional character in the Nickelodeon franchise SpongeBob SquarePants. She is an anthropomorphic squirrel who wears a diving suit and lives underwater. Sandy is voiced by Carolyn Lawrence and first appeared in the episode "Tea at the Treedome" that premiered on May 1, 1999. Sandy was created and designed by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, the show's creator.

Sandy Cheeks
SpongeBob SquarePants character
A light brown smiling cartoon squirrel wears a white airsult with a pink flower on her clear helment.
First appearance
Created byStephen Hillenburg
Designed byStephen Hillenburg
Portrayed byLilli Cooper (Broadway)[1] Christina Sajous (television special)
Voiced by
In-universe information
Full nameSandra Jennifer Cheeks (musical)
SpeciesSquirrel
GenderFemale
OccupationScientist and inventor
NationalityAmerican
Birth dateNovember 17[2]

The character's reception from fans has been positive. Sandy has appeared in many SpongeBob SquarePants publications, toys, and other merchandise. She also appears in the show's three films.

Role in SpongeBob SquarePantsEdit

Sandy is a close friend of SpongeBob SquarePants. She is a proud Texan and speaks in a stereotypical Southern drawl. In order to live underwater, Sandy resides in a bubble-like dome[3] and wears an atmospheric diving suit when outside her house.[4] Inside the treedome, her normal attire consists of a green and purple bikini. Conversely, as revealed in Tea at the Treedome, other characters must wear "water helmets" with opposite functionality when visiting her house. Sandy possesses extraordinary scientific skills such as the ability to construct complex inventions.[5] Sandy is shown to possess a number of tough, tomboyish character traits and interests; she is skilled at karate, engages in bodybuilding,[6] and is a rodeo champion.[7] She is also a close friend of Patrick Star, SpongeBob's best friend and neighbor, though she sometimes gets annoyed by him.[8]

History and developmentEdit

Creation and designEdit

Stephen Hillenburg first became fascinated with the ocean and began developing his artistic abilities as a child. During college, he majored in marine biology and minored in art. After graduating in 1984, he joined the Ocean Institute, an ocean education organization, where he had the idea to create a comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which led to the creation of SpongeBob SquarePants.[9][10][11] In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue a career in animation.[11][12]

A few years after studying experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts,[12] Hillenburg met Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, at an animation festival. Murray offered Hillenburg a job as a director of the series.[11][13][14][15] Martin Olson, one of the writers for Rocko's Modern Life, read The Intertidal Zone and encouraged Hillenburg to create a television series with a similar concept. At that point, Hillenburg had not considered creating his own series, but soon realized that this was his chance.[10][16][17] Shortly after production on Rocko's Modern Life ended in 1996,[18] Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob SquarePants.[10] Sandy has been shown in the episodes about her being in the tree dome.[19] Whenever any aquatic creatures enter her home, they must wear helmets that are filled with water. Sandy works as a scientist, explorer, and inventor. She is also a rodeo champion with a number of athletic interests, such as "sand-boarding" and karate.[20] Originally, in the pitch bible written by Tim Hill and Hillenburg, SpongeBob originally was a romantic interest for her, but this was quickly put out of the show.[21]

VoiceEdit

 
Actress Carolyn Lawrence provides the voice of Sandy Cheeks.

The voice of Sandy Cheeks is provided by Carolyn Lawrence.[22][23] Lawrence got the role of Sandy when she was in Los Angeles at Los Feliz. She met Donna Grillo, a casting director, on a sidewalk. Lawrence was with a friend who knew Grillo, and she said Lawrence had an interesting voice. Grillo brought Lawrence in to audition and she got the part.[24][25]

Before a recording, Lawrence prepares when the crew sends a storyboard. She explains, "I absolutely love that! Not only do I get to read the script, I can actually see what the artists have in mind. It is an amazing process and I feel so fortunate to be able to work that way! [...] I would prefer to let the script come alive in me before a taping."[26]

Sandy Cheeks is normally voiced by Carolyn Lawrence. Presley Williams voiced young Sandy in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.[27]

ReceptionEdit

Film critic A. O. Scott of The New York Times said, in his review of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, that Sandy is one of his favorite characters on the show, along with Squidward Tentacles and Mrs. Puff. He wrote, "I was sorry to see [them] pushed to the margins".[28]

In other mediaEdit

Sandy has been included in various SpongeBob SquarePants-related merchandise, including board games, books, plush toys, and trading cards. She is also a playable character in several SpongeBob games like Battle for Bikini Bottom. [29][30][31] Sandy also appears as a playable character in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.[32] The Sandy's Blasting Bronco rollercoaster opened alongside the American Dream Mall's Nickelodeon Universe theme park in 2019. This ride is the first attraction to be named and themed after the character. The ride-vehicle is themed to Sandy's rocketship, from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Sandy's Rocket."[33]

Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks MovieEdit

A CGI/Live-action hybrid movie starring Sandy titled Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie is currently in production for Paramount+. This film is one of three character-centric SpongeBob movies in development for the streaming platform. The film was initially announced in May of 2021, and its title was revealed on November 26, 2022.[34][35]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Walker, Sam (July 11, 2018). "Now on Broadway: SpongeBob ChauvinistPants". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  2. ^ SpongeBob SquarePants Annual 2014. Egmont Books Ltd. 2013. ISBN 978-1405267625.
  3. ^ "Sandy - Nickelodeon Sweden". MTV Networks Europe. Viacom International. Archived from the original on October 18, 2005.
  4. ^ Brown, Arthur (2008). Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Cartoons!. USA: Arthur Brown. p. 85. ISBN 978-1435732483.
  5. ^ Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Steven Banks (May 5, 2006). "Chimps Ahoy". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 70b. Nickelodeon.
  6. ^ Writers: Ennio Torresan, Jr., Erik Wiese, Mr. Lawrence (September 25, 1999). "MuscleBob BuffPants". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 11a. Nickelodeon.
  7. ^ Writers: Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Richard Pursel (February 6, 2010). "Rodeo Daze". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 7. Episode 138b. Nickelodeon.
  8. ^ "How SpongeBob & Patrick First Met (& How the Story Changes)". Screen Rant. July 11, 2021.
  9. ^ "Welcome to the Ocean Institute". ocean-institute.org. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Wilson, Thomas F.(Interviewer); Hillenburg, Stephen (Interviewee) (May 29, 2012). Big Pop Fun #28: Stephen Hillenburg, Artist and Animator–Interview (Podcast). Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original (mp3) on December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  12. ^ a b Banks, Steven (September 24, 2004). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Gregg Schigiel (Illustrator). New York City, New York: Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-689-86870-2.
  13. ^ Murray, Joe (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  14. ^ Neuwirth 2003, p. 50
  15. ^ "Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor interviews Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life," The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ
  16. ^ Hillenburg, Stephen; Murray, Joe; Drymon, Derek; Coleman, Eric; Hecht, Albie (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  17. ^ Banks, Steven (September 24, 2004). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Gregg Schigiel (Illustrator). New York City, New York: Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-689-86870-2.
  18. ^ "Rocko's Modern Life". JoeMurrayStudio.com. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants | Hogan's Alley". cartoonician.com. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  20. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants: Meet the Gang!". Nickelodeon (Australia and New Zealand) Australia. Viacom International. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008.
  21. ^ Hill, Tim; Hillenburg, Stephen (January 17, 1997). SpongeBoy. p. 27.
  22. ^ "Carolyn Lawrence: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  23. ^ Basile, Nancy (March 29, 2006). "Voice Behind Sandy Cheeks on SpongeBob". About.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Carolyn Lawrence Exclusive Interview". The Star Scoop. September 17, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "REFANB Interview: Carolyn Lawrence, A.K.A. Ashley Graham". Resident Evil Fan. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  26. ^ Basile, Nancy. "Carolyn Lawrence Sandy Cheeks on 'SpongeBob SquarePants'". About.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  27. ^ "Sandy – Nickelodeon Sweden". MTV Networks Europe. Viacom International. Archived from the original on October 18, 2005.
  28. ^ Scott, A. O. (November 19, 2004). "Absorbency Plus Frivolity, a Blend the World Needs". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  29. ^ Onyett, Charles (September 10, 2008). "The Game of Life - SpongeBob SquarePants Edition Review".
  30. ^ "Sandy Cheeks Plush - ShopNickU". store.nickelodeonuniverse.com. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  31. ^ "Spongebob Squarepants: Deep Sea Duel (2003)". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  32. ^ "Every Character Confirmed for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl". Screen Rant. July 13, 2021.
  33. ^ "American Dream". American Dream. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  34. ^ Leston, Ryan (February 15, 2022). "Three More SpongeBob SquarePants Movies Are In the Works For 2023". IGN. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  35. ^ "'SpongeBob' Exec. Producers Tease SpongeBob's 25th Anniversary Celebrations in 2024". Retrieved November 27, 2022.