LOS ANGELES -- How does It's a SpongeBob Christmas! squeeze even more fun out of our porous little hero and the Bikini Bottom gang? By turning the animated characters three-dimensional for their holiday special.
In a tribute to classic fare such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the SpongeBob crew members have been re-imagined as puppets and put through their comedy paces for stop-motion photography.
In the special, the denizens of Bikini Bottom are suddenly rude because of exposure to jerktonium, a plot by naughty Plankton to get on Santa's (voiced by guest star John Goodman) nice list.
Plankton "wants to put everyone on their worst behaviour when they should be on their best behaviour, and zany mayhem ensues," show creator Tom Kenny said.
It's a SpongeBob Christmas! debuts 8:30 p.m. Nov. 23 on CBS, followed by an encore on the show's home network, Nickelodeon, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.
The first-time foray into stop-motion is a welcome change for the 13-year-old SpongeBob, Kenny said.
"It's fun that after all these years we can still do stuff that's a little different. It's like reinventing the wheel a little bit -- if you can refer to a square character as a wheel," he added, unable to resist the quip.
-- The Associated Press