SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas!



Comical holiday featurette has glad tidings, some insults.
  • Review Date: November 9, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 22 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

Kids see the follies of resorting to sabotage for your own gain, as Plankton's plans backfire and he's left empty-handed for another Christmas. SpongeBob's unfailing positive attitude accounts for his immunity to the effects of the jerktonium, but his naivety isn't something to be envied. The movie relies on the same silly content and unlikely scenarios that make the original cartoon so humorous but also a bit iffy for young kids.

Positive role models

There are a lot of insults and physical exchanges among the characters, though none ever seem the worse because of it. Plankton's naughty behavior is central to the story's humor, but he gets his come-uppance in the end. SpongeBob is incredibly positive, but also naive and oblivious.

Violence & scariness

When the effects of jerktonium take hold, Bikini Bottom residents take out their frustrations on each other, in some cases hitting and punching them, and breaking objects over each other's heads. A robot breathes fire that destroys its surroundings. A mailman is bound and held hostage in his own There's a moment of peril during which a character's truck spins out of control, but he quickly rights it.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Numerous incarnations of "jerk" in insults, with relation to the characters' mean-spirited actions under the influence of jerktonium, and in one of the show's songs ("Don't Be a Jerk -- It's Christmas"). Other insults include "idiot."


SpongeBob is a huge marketing presence in toys, clothing, accessories, and food products. This movie's release coincides with a Christmas album.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?


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, ensuring plenty of warm fuzzies for your family.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 6, 2012
Cast:John Goodman, Mr. Lawrence, Tom Kenny
Director:Paul Tibbitt
Studios:Nickelodeon, Paramount Home Media Distribution
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Holidays, Ocean creatures
Run time:22 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byFallPumpkin December 24, 2013

Not That Bad

A Spongebob Christmas, while being shallow in the story department is entertaining and jolly, such as the season itself. The stop-motion animation I personally loved, even though it's foreign to the world of Bikini Bottom. The plot is simple, Plankton has been giving out tainted fruit cake (with the help of unaware Spongebob) that transforms people into jerks and strips them of the joy of Christmas. Of course it's up to Spongebob and the gang to remind Bikini Bottom that during the holidays (or any time) you shouldn't be a "jerk" to others. This special is a great treat for the family to watch as they wind down into the holiday season. What should other families know about this?: Positive Messages: Don't be mean to others. Positive Role Models: Spongebob will do anything to spread holiday cheer. Violence: Plankton's invention, Spongbot tries to destroy Christmas and Santa Claus. Language: Excessive use of the word "jerk". Consumerism: Spongebob is a large franchise, there is plenty of product to buy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byLowe's man August 15, 2015

niceness prevails

SpongeBob's kindness more than makes up for his naivety. It's because of his kindness that he's immune to the effects of this fictitious element called jerktonium (Jt). Because he's immune to the effects of jerktonium, SpongeBob is able to stop Plankton from getting what he wants for Christmas- the secret recipe to the Krabby Patty, which doesn't belong to him and which he didn't earn. This teaches kids not to take things that don't belong to them and haven't earned. (As an aside, j is the only letter that's never been used in the periodic table in real life. It is here. (Jerktonium; Jt) That all by itself makes this special memorable for those who'd like to see J get used in the periodic table.)
Kid, 12 years old December 22, 2012

Unmemorable Spongebob Adventure Is Enjoyable

This Spongebob story was enjoyable, but nothing memorable. The whole movie revolves around a fruit cake that makes people jerks. The term jerk is used a lot in the movie because of this, also Sandy calls Spongbob an idiot. People fight at random and the city is in chaos, nothing that violent is shown other than some snowball throwing. Spongebot causes lots of destruction and tries to kill Santa, this may upset young children. Spongebob is a good role model because he has a big heart and loves giving to others and being nice.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide