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Friday, October 06 2017 23:41

#31DaysOfHalloween: Nickelodeon's SpongeBob Squarepants goes Stop-Motion for Halloween...

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He may not know it, but SpongeBob Squarepants is my nemesis. Actually, if we're being honest, he's just one of my nemeses, but for years Mr. Squarepants has been on that shortlist of undesirables, and I can't pick a singular reason for it. I don't like his voice... his animation... in fact, I can't find a single redeeming quality in SpongeBob, and I know I've pointed that out before. Still, many of you enjoy his antics, and that's why I continue to keep tabs on what they're up to down in Bikini Bottom. This Halloween, Nickeloden will be treating viewers to a spooky stop-motion special with the premiere of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom, on Friday, Oct. 13, at 7p.m. (ET/PT). This new holiday special spins a tale of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Doyle-Murray) coming to Bikini Bottom to make sure everyone in town is scared--especially SpongeBob, who seems to be unflappable in his belief that spooky things are actually funny. See the trailer below!

From the Official Announcement: Inspired by the visual style of classic stop-motion animation TV specials, Bikini Bottom is decked out for Halloween and features Sandy’s treedome as a mad scientist’s lab, including a giant remotely operated Acorn Monster; Mr. Krabs’ restaurant as “The Horrors of the Chum Bucket,” displaying scenes of Plankton torturing food; and Plankton’s restaurant as “The Horrors of the Krusty Krab,” telling the story of Mr. Krabs turning customers into Krabby Patties and more.

The characters wear Halloween costumes, with SpongeBob as a flower, Patrick as a knight, Sandy as a mad scientist, Mr. Krabs as a dollar bill, Plankton as a devil, Squidward as himself, and Karen as a cat. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom features an original song, "The Scare Song," written by Mr. Lawrence, music by Eban Schletter and performed by the Flying Dutchman’s crew of pirate ghosts. 

The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom was produced at Screen Novelties, a Los Angeles-based stop-motion animation production company, where miniature puppets and sets brought Bikini Bottom to life in three dimensions. The production featured 27 unique sets, across five stages, where 15 boxes of breakfast cereal were used to create texture on Bikini Bottom's coral reefs; eight pounds of glitter were used to decorate SpongeBob’s Halloween pineapple house; hundreds of popsicle sticks created the planks of the rollercoaster track that Patrick and SpongeBob ride; and “black lights” were used to create a fluorescent glow across the puppets and sets.

The special features various production techniques including: stop-motion puppet animation, marionette puppeteering, hand puppets and 2D hand-drawn animation designed by Sally Cruikshank.

Marc Ceccarelli and Vincent Waller are co-executive producers on SpongeBob SquarePants. The special was written by Mr. Lawrence, with Brian Morante serving as the storyboard director and Jennie Monica as producer. The special is being directed by Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh, and produced by Chris Finnegan of Screen Novelties.

This is the second time Nickelodeon has partnered with Screen Novelties on a SpongeBob SquarePants stop-motion episode. SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! debuted December 2012 and featured Plankton turning everybody in Bikini Bottom from nice to naughty.

SpongeBob SquarePants is voiced by Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants, an incurably optimistic sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea; Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star, SpongeBob's silly best friend; Roger Bumpass as Squidward, an aloof cashier of The Krusty Krab and SpongeBob’s neighbor; Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob's boss and greedy owner of The Krusty Krab; Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, Bikini Bottom's only resident rodent aquanaut and scientist; and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, owner of the Chum Bucket and chief rival of Mr. Krabs.

When my wife and I took the girls to Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America a couple of years ago, they were really excited to meet SpongeBob in person. Me? Not so much:

The Rock Father vs. SpongeBob

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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