I couldn’t decide between the two Spongebob specials, so I decided to make them both #10. But they’re very different, and I think, equally good. This one is their tribute to the Rankin-Bass specials, which, by the way, we’ll be seeing later.
While Patchy tries to get to the North Pole in a stolen mail truck, Spongebob prepares for Christmas, Patrick tries to build a trap for Santa, and Plankton schemes to manipulate Santa into giving him the Krabby Patty Secret Formula by drugging Bikini Bottom with Jerktonium. The idea is that they’ll all end up on the Naughty List. It doesn’t work on Spongebob, though, so he sets an evil Spongebob robot loose. Meanwhile, a jerky Sandy realizes that the fruitcake is contaminated and finds that music is the only antidote. Not before admonishing Spongebob.
“You took food from Plankton and fed it to everyone in town?” (Uh-huh.) “You’re an idiot.”
Uh-huh. Anyway, while the music works on everyone– except Squidward, who is just a jerk– but it seems too late. Santa turns up and informs them that they are all on the Naughty List. Fortunately, the robot Spongebob shows up, Santa realizes he’s been had, and Plankton is punished with coal. Patchy is also punished for stealing a mail truck, and everyone all lives happily ever after.
I know the Rankin-Bass style animation was unpopular with some people, but it works. The look is different, but very funny, especially when the Jerktonium makes the fish grow stubble, and when Pearl starts spraying people with her spout. The songs are great– Plankton actually sings quite well– and having John Goodman lend his voice to Santa was genius.
Again, I can’t really say which Spongebob special was better– they’re both very different and have a lot to recommend them. Just watch both and judge for yourselves. I’d love to hear what readers’ preferences are.