So what we have here is Season 4, Volume 1 – i.e. the first 20 episodes of the season. I’m not sure I’m wild about this new trend to trap us into shelling out our hard-earned dollars into buying TWO box sets per season, but there you have it. None of which is to take away from the actual qualities of the show. Either I’m growing softer in the head with age (an entirely likely event) or the series just keeps growing funnier. Everything here is funny, but some are epically so, forcing you to r…wind (after a bout of painful-to-the-ribs laughter) to confirm that you really saw what you think you did. “Mermaidman & Barnacleboy VI – The Motion Picture” is a case in point. Here SpongeBob and Patrick make a movie with their heroes, and the final result is as concentrated a does of rapid-fire, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hilarity as I have seen in recent years.
The situation here is essentially the same as with all the other SpongeBob releases. The audio is in 2.0, and certainly has a cheerfully big and enveloping sound. The surround aspects, however, are limited to the score. This is felt more acutely in sequences where surround FX would have been most welcome, as in the scene of mass panic and destruction that opens “Enemy-in-Law.”
As bright and cheery and boppy as our hero. The colours, as one might hope, are brilliant. The image is extremely sharp, and there is no grain or aliasing. I mention this last in particular since that has been an issue in the past. If it popped up here, I missed it. The transfer looks as colourful as one would want.
Minimal, when you get right down to it. You have complete animatics for two episodes (“Fear of a Krabby Patty” and “Dunces and Dragons”) that play with a PIP of the episode itself, and a featurette on the voice acting. That’s it, apart from a plethora of ads.
My reservations about half-seasons and the lack of extras aside, this is pure cartoon comedy gold.
Special Features List
- Behind the Scenes Featurette