The making of "It's a SpongeBob Christmas" stop-motion episode

If you're a fan of Rankin Bass style Christmas Specials like I am, you should tune into SpongeBob Squarepants on December 9th [UPDATE: the special will now air tomorrow, 12/6 at 8pm] to watch "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" (which Jason posted about here in November). I watched a screener and they perfectly captured the look and feel of those delightful old stop motion specials.

Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh directed "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," which features the beloved iconic character SpongeBob Squarepants animated in stop-motion for the first time. The half-hour holiday special will air on Nickelodeon Sunday, December 6th at 8:00pm (ET/PT). 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 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!" in October 2011 at Screen Novelties production studio, where the Mark, Seamus and Chris Finnegan (Producer) worked closely with Paul Tibbitt (Executive Producer), Steve Hillenburg (Creator) and Vincent Waller (Creative Director) to ensure the two-dimensional cartoon characters were properly translated into three-dimensional puppets.

Inneresting facks about the making of "It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!"

• 60 lbs of baking soda was used to make snow (tried to truck in real snow but it all melted) to create the Patchy the Pirate Winter Wonderland scenes!

• Palm fronds from a tree in a school yard were used to create SpongeBob's Pineapple house!

• 38 different types of foam were used to build the character’s bodies, heads, set pieces, props, ground, mountains, coral… all sorts of fun places!

• 1970's shag carpet was used for the floor of Sandy's house!

• 22.92 pounds of wood chips were used for Sandy's Tree!

• 3 discarded Christmas trees were used for Patchy the Pirate’s Winter Wonderland scenes!

• 1 actual starfish was used in the production!

• 20 boxes of fruit flavored, gluten-free breakfast cereal were used for the coral rocks!

• 6 boxes of chocolate-flavored puff cereal were used to create the "fruitcake" pieces going through SpongeBob's tastebuds!

• 6 months worth of old time Christmas music was played to keep the production in the spirit, which included 83 versions of the "Nutcracker Suite!"

• 21 pounds of googly eyes were used for rivets, texture pieces, knobs etc!

• 42 pounds of glitter were used for the special…basically where you see ground, you see glitter!

• 24 bunches of craft flowers were used to create the parade float!