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Featured TV on DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas

November 4th, 2012

SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas - Buy from Amazon

It's after Halloween, so it is now acceptable to release Christmas DVDs. This week SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas comes out on DVD. Is it worth picking up? Or is it better to wait for it to be released on a full-season set?

The Show

It's a SpongeBob Christmas is a half-hour TV special, or 24 minutes without commercials. It is also different from most episodes, as it is stop-motion animated. The special begins with Patchy the Pirate and Potty the Parrot trying to get to the North Pole, so that Patchy can deliver his letter to Santa directly to the jolly guy himself. After getting into an accident, he introduces us to the SpongeBob story.

It's Christmas in Bikini Bottom and SpongeBob is going around town witnessing everyone's Christmas rituals. Squidward is making sure Santa stays away. Patrick is trying to trap Santa, so he can have Christmas all year around. Sandy is trying to use science to understand Christmas. (On a side note, stop-motion SpongeBob can survive in the air in Sandy's dome.) While Mr. Krabs is eagerly awaiting all of the gifts he will get. Meanwhile, Plankton is lamenting Christmas, because every year he gets on the naughty list, but not this year. This year he has a plan. Plankton has discovered Jerktonium, an element that can turn even the nicest person into the biggest jerk they can be. He will lace fruitcakes with Jerktonium and give them to everyone in Bikini. If everyone else is a jerk, then he will look good in comparison and he will finally get the one gift he wants.

After baking the fruitcakes, he begins to spread them to the population. Unfortunately for him, the first victim he runs into is SpongeBob, who seems to be immune to the Jerktonium. Frustrated, Plankton gives up his plan, but allows SpongeBob to hand out the rest of the Fruitcakes. It works on the rest of the citizens of Bikini Bottom and it isn't long before nearly everyone is acting like a jerk. Plankton still has one flaw in his plan to overcome. He needs to ruin SpongeBob's good name, so he creates a Robo-SpongeBob to wreck havoc.

Will SpongeBob find a way fix the mess he's caused?

I'm of two minds when it comes to this DVD. On the one hand, this is a really fun special in a number of ways. Seeing the world of Bikini Bottom in stop-motion animation is a great change and with the connection to the Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated specials of the past, it doesn't feel like a gimmick. There are some catchy songs throughout the special, including a children's choir version of the theme song. Finally, I didn't think it felt like an 11-minute short film stretched to fill the full half-an-hour. On the other hand, it is still a half-hour TV special for $10.

The Extras

The extras begin with a seven-minute making of featurette. You can also watch the entire episode in Animatic form with the final form in a Picture-in-Picture frame. There is also a Yule Log and MP3s to download.

The Verdict

SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas is definitely worth checking out for fans of the cartoon. However, at $10, the DVD is a little much. It's probably better to wait till it comes out on TV on November 23rd and see for yourself. Only if you really love the movie and want to see it again and again before Christmas should you pick up the DVD.

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Filed under: Video Review, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Tom Kenny, Carolyn Lawrence