Courtesy of Nickelodeon

15 boxes of cereal were required to animate the stop-motion 'Legend of Boo-kini Bottom,' airing tomorrow.

Elisabeth Sherman
October 12, 2017

In the new stop-motion SpongeBob SquarePants Halloween special, which airs tomorrow night, there’s a ghost haunting Bikini Bottom. The specter, better known as the Flying Dutchman, hopes to terrify the residents of the tiny underwater town, but SpongeBob isn’t having it—he thinks everything scary is actually funny, a genius outlook on horror that people who scare easily (like me) should really try to adopt. Thanks, SpongeBob!

Anyway, to create the special, Nickelodeon recruited a production company called Screen Novelties, which also worked on the SpongeBob Christmas special in 2012. Creating a stop-motion cartoon is a complicated process—and Variety lays out exactly what goes into it—but among their many accomplishments, the animators used 15 cereal boxes to create the perfect texture for Bikini Bottom's coral reefs, and hundreds more popsicle sticks to build the rollercoaster that Patrick Star and SpongeBob—who is dressed up as, adorably, a flower—ride in the episode. One still image from the show even depicts poor Squidward Tentacles covered in eggs. The animators also used eight pounds of glitter to decorate SpongeBob’s pineapple house, which probably made for one shiny piece of fruit.

That wasn’t the only out-of-the-ordinary food material the crew used to create the episode: One scene required an entire bag of onions—which had the whole team in tears—but you’ll just have to watch to find how the onions come into play.

The episode, much of which was shot under black lights to give it a spooky effect, also features an appearance by SpongeBob’s squirrel friend Sandy Cheeks, and finds Patrick and SpongeBob stopping by an amusement park to ride the aforementioned creepy Halloween-themed rollercoaster. Sounds like a charming way to keep kids from getting too afraid during your upcoming Halloween festivities, and the perfect program for us scaredy-cat adults who can’t handle any of Halloween programming made for people our own age.