NICKELODEON DEBUTS FIRST FULL-LENGTH STOP-MOTION SPECIAL, IT’S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS!, DEC. 9, AT 7:30 P.M. (ET/PT)
John Goodman Lends His Voice as Santa Claus in Half-Hour Special;
Companion DVD, CD and Ebook to Be Released in November
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2012 – Nickelodeon celebrates the holidays with its first full-length stop-motion animated special, It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, premiering on Nickelodeon Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), following its CBS television premiere (11/23). It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! was inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass specials (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town) and the popular SpongeBob song released in 2009, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),”co-written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley. The half-hour special features John Goodman as Santa Claus.
In It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton turns everybody in Bikini Bottom from nice to naughty by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake all in an effort to get his Christmas wish–the Krabby Patty formula. The Nickelodeon premiere will include bonus scenes featuring a stop-motion version of the character “Patchy,” also voiced by Tom Kenny.
Work began on the It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! special in October 2011 at Screen Novelties production studio, where the artists worked closely with Paul Tibbitt (Executive Producer), Steve Hillenburg (Creator) and Vincent Waller (Creative Director) to insure the two-dimensional cartoon characters were properly translated into three-dimensional puppets. Six sets were going at one time where 60lbs of baking soda was used as snow, 42lbs of glitter added sparkle, 22lbs of wood chips created Sandy’s tree house floor and 20 boxes of breakfast cereal covered the coral rocks.
Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! DVD will be available on Nov. 6 for the suggested retail price of $14.99. The DVD features exclusive content including behind-the-scenes making of the special and interviews with the cast and crew; a pre-color animatic and yule log.
SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a SpongeBob Christmas! iTunes Extras edition features over 30 minutes of exclusive behind the scenes footage, a sing along version of “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” a 360° SPIN-Tacular Character viewer plus more and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. The special was released Oct. 30th on iTunes, Xbox Video, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation Network and Vudu.
Nickelodeon will also release the It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Album, available for digital download from online music retailers including Amazon and iTunes. Featuring 11 all new songs and the timeless Bikini Bottom classic, “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas),” the album will be available Nov. 6 and retail for $9.99.
Rounding out the holiday cheer, Nickelodeon will release the Don’t Be a Jerk — It’s Christmas ebook on Nov. 15, with a limited quantity of special edition hard copies available for sale exclusively on http://www.NickShop.com. Additionally, a limited-edition SpongeBob stop-motion holiday-themed t-shirt will be available for purchase in 900 The Children’s Place stores across the country Nov. 26 – Dec. 3.
SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director on Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. Hillenburg graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a master’s degree in experimental animation and studied marine biology and art as an undergraduate.
Merry Christmas, again! Yesterday, we were glad to share with you the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special and today, on Christmas Day, we want to share you something equally as cool. here’s a selection of some great ads, mostly from when we were kids for toys and cereal and all sorts of good stuff. Enjoy this nostalgia trip!
Merry Christmas from The ‘Tastic! Our first gift to our readers is none other than the 1978 Stars Wars Holiday Special. It’s so bad, it’s awesome. George Lucas says that if he had the time and resources he would personally see that every copy of this is destroyed. Princess ‘Tastic and Lil’ Buddy ‘Tastic watched this the other night and loved it. Can’t blame ’em. Below is the YouTube version and the Google video version. We included both because it was difficult to tell which had the better quality in full-screen. To watch the Google video version in full-screen you’ll have to watch it on the Google video site.
Created by and starring Kiefer Sutherland, The Confession is a story of unique redemption and an exploration of good and evil featuring a hit man (Kiefer Sutherland), and a priest (John Hurt). The story begins on Christmas Eve, when the hit-man enters a church to confess his sins to the priest. Through a series of gripping flashbacks, the Confessor’s journey is revealed – laying out what has brought him to this moment and leading the audience to the dramatic ending where the man’s chances at ultimate redemption hang in the balance. While at first the Confessor seems to be an evil, cold-blooded killing machine and the Priest the ultimate arbiter of good, as the series develops it becomes clear that both characters are much more complicated than either could have suspected. – Hulu
9 out of 10
NOTE: As an added bonus, all links to shows and films in this review link to the actual shows and films on YouTube or Netflix. Enjoy!
Last month we told you about the new, ten-part web series called The Confession starring Golden Globe and Emmy Award Winning Kiefer Sutherland (24, The Sentinel) and two-time Academy Award nominee, John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Midnight Express) in which a hitman (Sutherland) in a confessional has a metaphysical (it’s defnitely more metaphysical than theological, despite the show description) debate with a priest (Hurt) about right and wrong, good and evil, faith and doubt and the existence of God. We had high hopes for this because it looked just so damned juicy and of course, simply look at the players involved. How can one not be excited?
An Evil Jack Bauer? Fascinating...
The Confession has completely exceeded our expectations as far as suspense, intrigue and production values are concerned. “The Hitman” (that’s the actual name of Sutherland’s character as Hurt’s is “The Priest.”) is literally the Jack Bauer from the alternate universe form the original Star Trek episode, Mirror, Mirror. It’s as if Jack Bauer had two choices in life: go work for the government and use his particular brand of emotionless professionalism to protect his country and kill bad guys or become a dispassionate sociopath who works in organized crimes and kills random people for a living. This Jack Bauer chose the latter. I really can’t emphasize enough just how similar the two characters are so if you ever wondered how Bauer would be as a villain, here he is.
But, holy crap does this work. The Hitman is cold, calculating and half of the adventure is just trying to figure out what his ulterior motive is, because we know he has one. He wants to understand faith, but that’s not all, and we learn about his life through a series of flashbacks, each more contradictory than the last. Hurt is brilliant in playing the role of the parish priest who starts out this conversation out of fear for his life and the lives of his parishioners but eventually it’s clear that The Priest is as fascinated with how this man became who he is and if he can help in find redemption. It also becomes quite clear that The Priest is no more what he seems to be on the surface than The Hitman is. This Yin and Yang back and forth is beyond compelling. Simply imagine if Jesus and Lucifer sat down in a coffee shop and had a conversation and Jesus is trying to convince Lucifer to come home. It is simply amazing how good this series is at captivating its audience for eight minutes at a time, once per week.
And this is the only thing we hate about this show and we took a point off because of it. We want more. Playing out more like a full length feature film shown in segments, this eight minutes at a time business is just not cutting it and then after the eight minutes is up, we have to wait another week? The upside is that we waited for the first seven episodes to air before we watched it so we got to see them back-to-back. The downside is that we still have three more episodes to go and we may pull our hair out in between episodes. We hope when this is released on Blu-Ray that they’ll combine the ten parts into one episode.
With Emmy Award winning Sean Callery (24) providing the soundtrack to put the cherry on top, The Confession is one show that you can’t miss and we believe it’s going to revolutionize the concept of episodic dramatic television. We just hope that the next series like this on the Interwebs gets some major financing and actually gives us full 45 minute episodes. Note to the networks: if it’s as good as this we will watch the flippin’ commercials!
Watch full length episodes of The Confession, here, but be warned; you’ll wish you had waited until all of the episodes had aired so you could watch them in sequence with no gaps.
ABC: No Ordinary Family – September 28, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)(Full Review Here!)
ABC Studios brings to life “The Incredibles”, the story of the Powells, an every day american family, who are too busy to spend time together. So they decide to take a trip as family as a way to reconnect, but on the way, their plane crashes. Now there’re back to their normal lives, but something seems to be happening to each one of them… they have superpowers. – ABC
Shawn: First, let’s give credit to ABC for not only acknowledging right off-the-bat the most obvious criticism of this show – that being that it looks like Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles – but outright OWNING it. That’s the way to beat them at their own game! And why wouldn’t Disney try to capitalize on their property in a prime time, live-action drama (for those of you that are unaware, Disney owns ABC)? Screw the nay-sayers, this show looks like a lot of fun and is my choice for sleeper hit of the season. The concept is great and it’s not just a show for the family but it’s a show focused on the family as much as it is on their super powers. Casting always tells me a lot about a show and No Ordinary Family is no different. You’ve got Michael Chiklis as the dad (The Shield), Julie Benz as the mom (Dexter), Romany Malco (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) as the best friend and sidekick and lo and behold, Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) who appears to be our Lex Luthor-type. I don’t care if I sound like a 10 year-old fanboy, I can’t wait to watch No Ordinary Family and apparently based on the amount of merchandising I saw over at the official site, ABC is pretty confident that they have a hit on their hands as well.
CBS: NCIS – September 21, 2010
Shawn: NCIS enters its eighth season and is still one of the most watched shows on television and the highest rated drama. I’ve been there from the beginning since it was a spinoff of J.A.G. and the show has gotten increasingly better each season and I don’t see any signs of it jumping the shark any time soon. At first glance, NCIS would appear to be your standard fare, formulaic cop show that I regularly rail against and during the first couple of seasons, that’s exactly what it was. But, the cast and the characters were compelling enough to keep me around until season 4 when it really came into its own with multi-episode, cloak and dagger story arcs and complex character development. You simply can’t go wrong with NCIS.
(Sorry, but no video on this one. I was completely unable to find any trailers for season 8 on YouTube or anywhere else)
FOX: Glee – September 21, 2010
Shawn: Glee is great. Everyone should be watching this. It is funnier than any other sitcom on TV with the exception of Modern Family, has wonderfully heartwarming drama and the musical numbers are creative and fantastic. I challenge you not become moved during the musical numbers on Glee.
CBS: NCIS Los Angeles* – September 21, 2010
Shawn: The only reason I’m putting NCIS Los Angeles (now in its second season) in this preview is to clarify why I recommend NCIS but not its spinoff. Simply put: I just don’t like it. I was very excited last year about the possibility of an NCIS spinoff but I only lasted six episodes into the first season. The show makes no sense at all. The premise is unbelieveable, the plotlines are boring and formulaic, and the characters are clichéd and have absolutely zero chemistry. I like Chris O’Donnell a lot. He’s very talented and I appreciate the fact that he dropped out of the business to raise a family and be a father to his 103 children. There’s nothing more noble than being a father and a husband. Unfortunately, his talents are being wasted on this safe, simplistic and dry show. On principle, I don’t recommend this show, but I may watch the season premiere just to see if they’ve fixed any of the mess that is NCIS Los Angeles. I’m always willing to give a show a season to work out the bugs and if they do, I’ll report back with the good news.
(Again, no trailer for this show either… blame CBS)
FOX: Raising Hope – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
Raising Hope is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household. At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton) and his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt). Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter. – FOX
Shawn: I didn’t think it was possible but Rasing Hope has given me whole new reason to hate sitcoms. You see, what’s pissed me off thoroughly is the lie perpetuated on show’s Official Page that I posted above. It’s leaving out a crucial detail and the omission is by design. The little baby’s mother, isn’t just a wanted felon, she’s a serial killer and her big joke in the trailer is that they would never execute a mother of a seven month-old baby. Then, they cut to a scene with Jimmy sitting on the other side of the glass with the baby on his lap watching her get electrocuted and about halfway through the process he covers the baby’s eyes. I’m sorry, and you can call me old-fashioned, but a baby being separated from its mother and then forced to watch her get executed in an electric chair is not exactly what I would call charming or endearing. FOX has been doing a very good job of hiding that little piece of information on their website and their regular TV spots for this show. Gee, I wonder why? What I saw is not nearly as bad as the fact that they are trying to hide it.
The latest series for the Stargate franchise has Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) as part of a group that is transported to Destiny, a self-guided spaceship used to place stargates around the universe.
Shawn: SGU starts its second season and I am loathed to admit it, but I like this show and I really shouldn’t. It is a complete rip-off of Star Trek: Voyager and Battlestar Galactica with the quest to get home and the incessant, holy-crap-we’re all-going-to-die-by-the-end-of-the-episode-but-somehow-we-are-miraculously-saved-at-the-last-minute crisis of the week, but still, somehow, it manages to work. The characters are OK and are becoming more developed every episode and the special effects and action do work well. SGU also succeeds because you don’t get the feeling that you have to know the entire Stargate Anthology in order to get the show. If you like space-based Sci-Fi, this show is definitely for you, if it’s not your thing, you can pass on this and your life won’t be any less fulfilled.
FOX: Running Wilde – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
Will Arnett stars as a Beverly Hills jackass who ends up falling in love with Emmy Kadubic (played by Keri Russell), a charitable tree hugger, who hates his lifestyle and moral code.
Shawn: “What… the… fudge… was that?” You see, those are the words that came to mine when I watched the extended trailer for this show, except for the fact that just like Ralphie from a Christmas Story I didn’t use the word fudge. Unlike Ralphie, however, I didn’t have a bar of Palmolive handy to cleanse my soul from what I had just seen. Obviously, the geniuses at television development at FOX are the same people in charge of player development for the New York Mets. I have it on good authority that the roundtable discussion for filling the 9:30 hole on FOX went something like this:
Writer 1: OK, we want to go with something recycled along the lines of The Nanny and Dharma & Greg and every couple-based sitcom from the last twenty years that involves two people from extremely different worlds.
Writer 2: Well, I brought a hat full of a bunch of paper slips with different subjects on them. Let’s shake it up and pull out the first ten and apply it to your lame-o premise.
Writer 3: Um… I brought pot.
OK, so I completely made that up, but seriously, after watching the trailer below, does it not seem like that’s exactly how they came up with this show? It’s typical FOX suckitude for sit-coms. Running Wilde is a perfect bookend to Raising Hope. Both these shows look awful individually but together they qualify for “making-me-puke-in-my-mouth” status. But, fear not. TV-Tastic predicts that both of these shows will be cancelled before Thanksgiving replaced with re-runs of Bones or House.
ABC: Detroit 1-8-7 – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
In this ABC crime drama project, a fictional documentary filmmaking crew goes inside Detroit’s homicide division. – ABC
Shawn: “Once in a generation, a cop show comes along that re-writes the rules.”
That is seriously said in the voice-over at the beginning of this trailer. It may be true, but that show was The Shield, not Detroit 1-8-7 (which sounds more like a the title of an N.W.A. album than it does a dramatic television series). Sorry, but this show re-writes nothing. It’s the epitome of why I don’t watch formulaic cop shows anymore. It’s all the same thing but this one is trying to be clever by combining the rawness and the grittiness of The Wire and to an extent Homicide: Life on the Street and the pseudo-documentary style of… The Office. That’s right, The Office. The difference is that The Office actually is consistently shot like a documentary. The style of this show is all over the place. I’m sorry, but if you want to convince us that the show is being shot by a documentary camera crew, your shots cannot include shots only possible if filmed while a cameraman is sitting on the hood of a moving car (that’s in the trailer).
Beyond, that, though Detroit 1-8-7 doesn’t look awful, it just looks ordinary and typical. I’ve seen this cop show before, and I can tell I’m not alone in thinking this way.
“The detectives are well-developed and easy to follow… There are relationships worth investing in.”
– Mekeisha Madden Toby, Detroit News
“…promises to be a mighty fine ride…smartly cast urban crime drama’s gutsy, gritty allure.”
– Matt Roush, TV Guide
First, notice the ellipses that permeate both quotes like bullet-holes, indicating that ABC cut a lot out. Second, knowing that, this is really the best ABC could come up with to promote critical acclaim for the show? Seriously, that Matt Roush quote is just embarrassing, but honestly, I really don’t expect much from him anymore. I think he just has too much on his plate so unless he really likes something a lot, he just whips out the TV reviewer’s thesaurus and gives us “mighty fine ride,” “smartly cast (which is kind of like sensible shoes),” “gutsy” and “gritty.” As far as Makeisha Madden Toby is concerned, I think she got the memo that if you write for a Detroit Newspaper and live in L.A., it’s in your better interest to be pleasant when discussing a drama set in the city you don’t live in but is responsible for your paychecks. I’m sorry, but, “The detectives are well-developed and easy to follow…” and “There are relationships worth investing in,” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.
I’m sorry but there’s just too much good TV this Fall for me to waste my time with this. I may catch the pilot or an occasional episode, but this isn’t appointment television by an 8-mile.