A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas! is filmed in a stop-animation style that gives the characters and scenery a slightly different look than in the original cartoon. Expect some physicality among the cast when they're under the influence of a substance that makes them grumpy and mean to those around them, all because of a scheming antagonist who's looking to trick Santa into giving him what he wants. Kids will hear the word "jerk" multiple times in the dialogue and in a song, as well as other insults like "idiot," but the movie's jolly messages about holiday spirit carry through to the end.
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What's the story?
Christmas is just around the corner, SpongeBob's (voiced by Tom Kenny) pineapple is abuzz with preparations for Santa's (John Goodman) arrival, and Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) is hard at work plotting a way to get something besides coal in his stocking this year. What he really wants is the Krabby Patty secret formula, but since it would take a miracle to get his name from the "naughty" list to the "nice" one, Plankton decides to turn everyone else bad by passing out jerktonium-laced fruitcake. With Santa due to arrive any minute, will Plankton's scheme mean he's the only one whose Christmas wish comes true this year?
Is it any good?
This movie ensures plenty of warm fuzzies for your family. The first thing viewers will notice about SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: IT'S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS! is that it foregoes the TV show's animated style for stop-animation inspired by classics like Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. How this change influences your opinion of the movie depends on your loyalty to the friendly sea sponge in his original form.If the new outer trappings don't bother you, then you'll find a lot of silly laughs and holiday tidings at the hands of this spongier SpongeBob and crew.
But in the season of giving, the movie doesn't stop at comedy alone. Behind Plankton's plot is the desire to get something he didn't rightfully earn, and kids will see how his selfishness proves to be his downfall. By contrast, SpongeBob is motivated by spreading joy to others, which makes him immune to the jerktonium and able to save the spirit of the holiday.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters' behavior. Whose actions warrant a place on Santa's "nice" list? Which characters made mistakes but learned from them?
Kids: What did you think of this movie's animation style? How does it change the way the characters and the scenes look? Why do you think the movie's creators made this change?
How do holiday movies relate to your family's traditions? Are there any that you always watch together? What other special things do you do around the holidays?
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