And here we go again with some 37 stories of inspired stupidity. Among the crazed storylines we find the classic sitcom scenario of Plankton swapping lives with Mr. Krabs and discovering he can’t take the heat, Squidward being drawn willy-nilly into a plastic conch shell-worshipping club of SpongeBob and Patrick, the non-swimmer SpongeBob becoming a lifeguard with disastrous consequences, and so on. It’s all bright, cheerful, unobtrusively self-aware, and refreshingly silly in a way that har…ens back to classic cartoons of yore. A vital part of this generation’s cultural heritage.
The audio is the usual thing for SpongeBob releases: a serviceable, but unspectacular, 2.0. the sound is clear and free of buzz or other distortion, and the music (which will not leave your head once it has penetrated) comes across well, but it is also virtually the only surround element.
The colours of the Bikini Bottom inhabitants are extremely bright and cheery, and the picture is completely free of grain. It is not free, however, of some unfortunate artifacting around the edges. Quality control alert: one of the discs in the set under review freezes up. If you pick up the set, make sure everything plays as it should.
Still not as many features as on some earlier releases, but there is some decent stuff here. There are amusing and informative pop-up trivia tracks for three of the episodes (“My Pretty Seahorse,” “No Weenies Allowed” and “Krusty Krab Training Video), a bonus episode in the form of the pilot, and “How to Draw SpongeBob SquarePants and His Underwater Buddies” – a neat little featurette that takes things one very clear step at a time. The menu’s main screen and intro are animated and scored.
The series is in full stride here. A total delight.
Special Features List
- Pop-up Trivia Facts
- Bonus Episode
- “How To Draw SpongeBob SquarePants & His Underwater Buddies” Featurette