Who lives in a pineapple under the sea and loves Christmas? SpongeBob Squarepants – that’s who!
My family has been tuning in the the adventures (or shall I say misadventures) of that quirky little sponge with a heart as big as the ocean for as long as I can remember. The series first debuted in May 1999, the same month my daughter was born. It’s hard to believe the series has been around that long.
I have to admit, when I first heard of SpongeBob Squarepants I thought it sounded really silly. My kids would ramble on and on about him and the other characters who reside in Bikini Bottom. Then my husband started to watch the show and he would laugh so hard he would cry. I finally gave in and watched a few episodes and found myself laughing hysterically too. From that point on we’ve all been fans of the show. The show can still make us laugh until our sides hurt. I can make my husband and kids laugh simply by saying “Chocolate – You rub it on your skin and it makes you live forever” (from the episode Chocolate with Nuts when SpongeBob and Patrick tried to sell chocolate to an elderly lady).
Today (December 6, 2012) at 8:00 PM (ET/PT), Nickelodeon will be celebrating the holiday season with it’s first full length stop motion animation special called It’s a SpongeBob Christmas. Some people might have already caught an airing of it on CBS recently. For those of you who happened to miss it you can catch the special airing tonight. The DVD is also currently available.
It’s a SpongeBob Christmas was inspired by the holiday classics by Rankin & Bass (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, A Year Without Santa Claus…). Stop motion animation is a long, tedious process. Not only do you have to create a three dimensional figures out of clay, but you also have to painstakingly film literally second by second. Frankenweenie and ParaNorman are recent example of stop motion animation.
In this half hour special, Plankton is up to his old tricks. He has just one Christmas wish – the Krabby Patty formula. Plankton devices a plan to feed the residents of Bikini Bottom fruitcake injected with something called “Jerktonium”, which turns people int jerks. Since he’s always on Santa’s naughty list, Plankton wants to me the residents of Bikini Bottom even bigger jerks then he is in hopes it would bump him up onto the nice list and he’ll finally gets his Christmas wish for the secret formula. The plan seems to work except for one problem – SpongeBob!
I’m not going to tell you anymore because I don’t want to spoil the show for you. You’ll just have to tune in tonight and see for yourself. I will say that Santa (voiced by John Goodman) is REALLY creepy looking. I also think they did a wonderful job making the clay SpongeBob look like a real sponge. I’m sure it took a lot of time to create that sponge-like texture on clay.
Here is some additional information you might be interested in.
SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! iTunes Extras edition features over 30 minutes of exclusive behind the scenes footage, a sing along version of “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” a 360 degree SPIN-Tacular Character viewer plus more and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. The special was released October 30, 2012 on iTunes, Xbox Video, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation Network and Vudu.
Nickelodeon will also release the It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Album, available for digital download from online music retailers including Amazon and iTunes. Featuring 11 all new songs and the timeless Bikini Bottom classic, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” the album will be available Nov. 6 and retail for $9.99.
Rounding out the holiday cheer, Nickelodeon will release the Don’t Be a Jerk — It’s Christmas ebook on Nov. 15, with a limited quantity of special edition hard copies available for sale exclusively on www.NickShop.com.
Speaking of the It’s a SpongeBob Christmas album, I happen to have a copy of it. One of my favorite songs is “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas). The song was co-written by Tom Kenny (he’s the voice of SpongeBob and dozens of TV and movie characters) and Andy Paley.
This is the first time in the franchises history that an animated series has spawned a holiday album.
It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! Album features 12 original tracks in tune with the holiday season. The album features the voice of Tom Kenny. Tom also co-wrote 10 of the songs on the album along with producer Andy Paley. Tom and Andy also collaborated on The Best Day Ever album that was released in 2006.
Andy Paley is a veteran songwriter, musician and producer. He’s worked with such famous artists such as The Beach Boys, Madonna, Debbie Harry and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Here are the tracks available on the album.
1. It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Theme (same SpongeBob opening theme but sung by different people and “tweaked” a bit for the holiday.
2. Don’t Be A Jerk (It’s Christmas) (Love it! It’s very catchy! A great reminder to be nice to everyone).
3. Christmas Eve Jitters (My husband says this reminds him of something you would hear from the 80’s band The Stray Cats :-))
4. Santa Won’t Let You Down (This is a very happy little song).
5. Snowflakes (This is a very pretty song – it’s not silly or funny like the other songs on the album).
6. Pretty Ribbons & Bows (This song is sung by Patrick. It has a jazzy/funky feel to it).
7. Wet, Wet Christmas (Another fun song. It has a 50’s do-wop style song).
8. Ho, Ho Hoedown (Sandy sings this song in a country-Western style. For some odd reason it reminds me of something you’d hear in a Disney movie).
9. Christmas Is Mine (Plankton sings this song. Listen to the lyrics – typical Plankton!).
10. Hot Fruitcake (This is the shortest song – only 45 seconds. Guess there is not much to say about fruitcake. LOL!).
11. Santa Has His Eye On Me (this is my FAVORITE song on the entire album! I find myself singing it often).
12. A Holiday Message From SpongeBob (this is a holiday message, not a song).
I really love the song Santa Has His Eye On Me. It’s a really fun song! Many of the characters sing their own little sections throughout the song. Patrick’s part is really funny. I wish they had this as a ring tone. I would use it on my phone.
Tom Kenny also offered his thoughts on the soundtrack.
Don’t Be A Jerk (It’s Christmas) – “The message of this song is simple. Christmas is the perfect day to put aside any ‘jerk tendencies’ you might have and just be nice”
Christmas Eve Jitters – “Remember as a kid when you were so wired on Christmas Eve you were bouncing off the walls in anticipation? This is an homage to Elvis Presley whose Christmas Album is a fave of ours. SpongeBob is a rockabilly cat at heart!”
Santa Won’t Let You Down – “SpongeBob talks (or in this case sings!) his pals down when they start to doubt Santa’s ability to complete his global rounds in one night. We’ve got Plankton, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Patrick and Squidward aboard for this one and Santa himself, too. A supergroup if ever there was one!”
Pretty Ribbons & Bows – “We took a psychedelic garage rock approach for Patrick’s number, an ode to shiny objects and beautifully-wrapped packages. SpongeBob’s pink pal is aided by Blondie’s Leigh Foxx on bass and the great Jonathan Richman on lead guitar.
Wet, Wet Christmas – “And May all your Christmases be WET…” with apologies to Irving Berlin, this is SpongeBob extolling the virtues of a subaquatic Yuletide in a vintage street corner R&B East L.A. doo-wop setting. Happy New Year! ‘Ring it in Wring it out!’”
Ho, Ho Hoedown – “Sandy brags about what makes a typical Christmas in rootin’ tootin’ Texas. Listen carefully and you’ll hear us name-drop some of our favorite Texas-born musicians.. Bob Wills, Flaco Jimenez, Freddie Fender, Doug Sahm, Ronnie Dawson, Ernest Tubb, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.”
Christmas Is Mine – “Plankton is our very own Grinch and we set his evil rantings against a sweet Carpenters-esque backdrop for maximum contrast.
For the record, I REALLY wanted to interview Tom about this album and the holiday special. I have been looking forward to interviewing him about this since the Spring when I interviewed him about his involvement with a Popsicle campaign. When I met him at the Frankenweenie after party I mentioned it to him again. I wanted to set something up but “Life” has a way of throwing you off track. Case in point, all the health concerns with our daughter.
I have been looking forward to interviewing him for so many months, ever since I learned about the stop motion animation holiday special. Hopefully I’ll be able to interview him again about some of his upcoming projects. Tom Kenny is more than just the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants. He’s also voiced characters in Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Handy Mandy, Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers (animated series), and even a character in one of my favorite movies, Winnie the Pooh (2011). He voiced the part of Rabbit. This is just a very small sampling of the things Tom Kenny has appeared in. You should check him out on IMDB.com (International Movie Data Base). You’d be shocked and amazed and all he’s done.
I was also super excited to meet him in person at the Frankenweenie after party. I was more excited to meet him than the film’s producer, Tim Burton (sorry Tim! :-)).
Over all the movie is a lot of fun to watch and the soundtrack would make a great addition to your family’s collection. It might not become a classic like It’s a Wonderful Life, or more recently Elf, but it’s enjoyable enough to watch it whenever it airs. We happen to have the DVD so I know we’ll add it to our family’s holiday movie line up each year.
I have the soundtrack on my desk and I’ve been listening to it just about every day. All the tunes are very “happy” which helps to perk up my mood.
Don’t forget to watch It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! tonight on Nickelodeon (check your local TV listings for channel). The DVD and soundtrack are available where ever movies and music are sold.
*I received a free sample copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.