This year, Nickelodeon decided to add some spice to their celebration of Halloween by providing a half hour stop motion special. The folks at Bikini Bottom are celebrating Halloween this time, and rather than the iconic wacky two dimensional style, we’re given a brand new spin, with some hilarious results. The stop motion by Screen Novelties is quite excellent, lending the series a sense of whimsy that you would find in something like “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” There is even a great homage to “The Haunted Mansion” Disney Ride, which is both dazzling and screams Halloween.
Say what you want about Spongebob Squarepants and its waning quality over the years, but they do the holidays right. “The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom” is one in many really entertaining and funny specials that finds Spongebob becoming an inadvertent hero once again. Despite the inherent joy in the holiday, Spongebob isn’t scared of anything for once. In spite of many of the characters, including Plankton, showing Spongebob their Halloween festivities and trying to scare his squarepants off, Spongebob remains largely unaffected, laughing instead of being frightened. This annoys the evil Flying Dutchman who is intent on scaring Spongebob for the holiday.
He does this by using his magic to kidnap all of his friends, taking the literal life out of them as a means of keeping them prisoner. You would think that the comic timing would be ruined by the switch in animation mediums, but the special is still pretty darn funny, and the voice work is as enthusiastic as ever, especially by Tom Kenny and the great Brian Doyle Murray. It’s stunning how much “Spongebob” has become the long lasting icon for Nickelodeon. Over the years, the crew behind the series has had to re-invent the series and keep it fresh for a new generation. While the series certainly isn’t as great as it once was, they know how to ring in the holidays as well as heavyweights like Charlie Brown and Garfield. I very much enjoyed “The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom,” and I think the fans will, too.