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Rest in Peace Stephen Hillenburg

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Rest in Peace Stephen Hillenburg

Spongebob continues to live under the sea.

Spongebob continues to live under the sea.

Angie Johnston via Pixabay

Spongebob continues to live under the sea.

Angie Johnston via Pixabay

Angie Johnston via Pixabay

Spongebob continues to live under the sea.

Haleema Waheed, Copy Editor

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The creator of Spongebob Squarepants, Stephen Hillenburg, passed away on Nov. 26. Spongebob SquarePants plays a vital role in the childhoods of those who belong to Generation Z. The first episode aired May 1, 1999 and has aired since then.

Cartoonists, though many may not know it, play a major role in children’s lives. They create shows that many kids spend most of their time watching, some even going as far as picking up the character’s habits. Such case is shown in Spongebob SquarePants, which is known for being one of the most iconic animated shows in it’s time, winning a total of four Emmys in animation and becoming the fifth longest-running American animated television show in history.

Aimee Peters, head of the art department at Pleasant Valley High School stated, “Animation plays an important role in the entertainment industry. With different kinds of characters and storytelling, they can mold the primary focus of what kids learn today.”

Stephen Hillenburg suffered from ALS, short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, meaning those with ALS will suffer from a loss of motor skills, paralysis, and at some point death. The majority of those with ALS will live for three to five years after symptoms first occur, only 10% living for ten years or more.

Erin Balzer, a current senior who plays a big role in the art department stated, “Spongebob really helped to shape my sense of humor today. It was a really great show and teaches some important lessons with their characters.”

Spongebob Squarepants is the number one viewed animated show for the ages 2 to 11, which is the age where a child’s personality begins to develop further. However, about one third of Spongebob’s viewers are adults ranging from ages 18 to 49. This showcases Spongebob’s flexibility in their audience range and how people from varying ages enjoy the show.

Many mourn the death of Stephen Hillenburg, but his legacy will never be forgotten. He left behind quite a big mark in current society and reformed modern day animation. He continues to inspire people of all ages.

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Rest in Peace Stephen Hillenburg