Nickelodeon: ‘It’s A Spongebob Christmas,’ Nick’s First Ever Stop-Motion Animated Special Coming In December

Via Press Release:

NICKELODEON DEBUTS FIRST FULL-LENGTH STOP-MOTION SPECIAL,
IT’S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS!, DEC. 9, AT 7:30 P.M. (ET/PT)

John Goodman Lends His Voice as Santa Claus in Half-Hour Special;

Companion DVD, CD and Ebook to Be Released in November

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2012 – Nickelodeon celebrates the holidays with its first full-length stop-motion animated special, It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, premiering on Nickelodeon Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), following its CBS television premiere (11/23). It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! was inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass specials (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),”co-written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. The half-hour special features John Goodman as Santa Claus.

In It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton turns everybody in Bikini Bottom from nice to naughty by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake all in an effort to get his Christmas wish–the Krabby Patty formula. The Nickelodeon premiere will include bonus scenes featuring a stop-motion version of the character “Patchy,” also voiced by Tom Kenny.

Work began on the It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! special in October 2011 at Screen Novelties production studio, where the artists worked closely with Paul Tibbitt (Executive Producer), Steve Hillenburg (Creator) and Vincent Waller (Creative Director) to insure the two-dimensional cartoon characters were properly translated into three-dimensional puppets. Six sets were going at one time where 60lbs of baking soda was used as snow, 42lbs of glitter added sparkle, 22lbs of wood chips created Sandy’s tree house floor and 20 boxes of breakfast cereal covered the coral rocks.

Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! DVD will be available on Nov. 6 for the suggested retail price of $14.99. The DVD features exclusive content including behind-the-scenes making of the special and interviews with the cast and crew; a pre-color animatic and yule log.

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° SPIN-Tacular Character viewer plus more and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. The special was released Oct. 30th 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 http://www.NickShop.com. Additionally, a limited-edition SpongeBob stop-motion holiday-themed t-shirt will be available for purchase in 900 The Children’s Place stores across the country Nov. 26 – Dec. 3.

SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director on Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. Hillenburg graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a master’s degree in experimental animation and studied marine biology and art as an undergraduate.

Retro Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller

Nine gripping stories based on famous myths and legends (and starring Brenda Blethyn, Sean Bean, Miranda Richardson, Gabrielle Anwar, Michael Gambon, Jane Horrocks and Derek Jacobi) are presented here. John Hurt stars as the Storyteller, who, with help from his cynical dog, narrates these beautifully constructed fables that will entrance your entire family. Special effects come courtesy of the Jim Henson Creature Shop. – Netflix

Matt

9 out of 10

I was only 9 years old when this came out, and my family never had cable, so I missed this HBO series created by the genius Jim Henson, whose characters range from Sesame Street’s Big Bird to the iconic Kermit the Frog.

Henson could also take on some very ambitious projects, like the film “Labyrinth.” This show has loads of great production value with great talent, like the academy award nominated actor John Hurt, who plays the narrating storyteller. The puppetry is amazing, as are the sets, design, directing and even costumes.

But what truly sets this Emmy Award-winning series apart is the phenomenal stories that were chosen for this nine-part season. These are dark fairy tales, as they were meant to be. There is no Disney shine put on these stories. They are mean, gloomy and visceral at times. However, they are also smart, funny, and extremely engaging. Most of the stories chosen to be recreated in the series are obscure to Westerners. I only knew one of the stories.

This series is available for instant streaming on Netflix, and I highly recommend checking it out. Not friendly for very young viewers. I’d say 10 and up should be fine.

Enjoy this sample from Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: