Before we start, I would just like to say that I do not, repeat, DO NOT consider Nickelodeon’s idea of “Spongebob Merrypants” to be a Christmas Special. Including Santa Claus in an episode does not make it a Christmas Special by default
Now, today as a tribute to Stephen Hillenburg, the man who created their most popular cartoon, Nickelodeon ran an 8-hour marathon of SpongeBob. Some of the best episodes from the first three seasons of SpongeBob (AKA what fans call “The Golden Age”) running from noon to 8. Since I hadn’t watched a holiday special yet today, I decided to cap off the night with a SpongeBob Christmas special.
I was tempted to do the first special, “Christmas Who?”, but I wanted to save that for another day. So instead, I did the more recent one, “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!”
I had always loved SpongeBob, but once I reached a certain age, I moved on to new shows. Plus I had to worry about school more. I kept up with the show, but it didn’t entertain me as much as before. Then I saw the stop-motion SpongeBob Christmas Special and fell in love all over again!
This special has all the trappings of the legendary stop-motion Christmas Specials of the 1960s and 70s. Several songs about Christmas? Check. A problem that threatened to ruin Christmas? Check. An appearance by Santa Claus himself as Christmas is saved? Check! And as an added bonus, Patchy the Pirate even plays a mailman delivering mail to Santa. Well, more like he steals a mailman’s truck to get his letter to Santa
The whole special revolves around Plankton’s attempts to ensure that he finally gets on Santa’s nice list. Rather than be nice, though, he decides to turn everyone else in Bikini Bottom into jerks using a convenient new element called Jerktonium. It turns everyone who ingests it into jerks, so he laces fruitcake with it, and tricks SpongeBob into feeding it to everyone in Bikini Bottom.
Pretty soon everyone in town is mean and grumpy. Except for SpongeBob, whose love of the holidays makes him immune. It also means he’s the only one who can save Christmas. One Christmas Song later…
It works, though Santa nearly writes off the whole town as naughty. Thankfully, Plankton’s Plan B (release a robot SpongeBob to ruin his good name) backfires when tries to kill Santa.
SpongeBob ends up saving Santa and everyone gets back on their rightful place on Santa’s list, but I’m confused at how Plankton thought this would work. It was two days before Christmas. How could everyone being jerks in two days put them on the naughty list so easily, or get Plankton off it?
Well, it doesn’t really matter. I liked this special. It was original, it captures the spirit of the original SpongeBob Christmas Special, and it hearkens back to some of the specials that my parents grew up on. It was an excellent way to cap off a day dedicated to the memory of the man who helped make my childhood. RIP Stephen Hillenburg! And to all of my readers, happy holidays!