Paramount // 2005 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // August 31st, 2005
High seas hijinks with everyone's favorite absorbent hero!
SpongeBob SquarePants is at it again in eight nautically nutty adventures featuring his best starfish friend Patrick, the grumpy and often molting Mr. Krabs, the anal-retentive Squidward, and a host of other underwater goofballs just as wacky as SpongeBob. Included on this disc are the following episodes (as described on the DVD):
* "Fear of a Krabby Patty"
Plankton attempts another Krabby Patty Formula theft. And this one might just be what the doctor ordered!
* "Shell of a Man"
Mr. Krabs has a reunion to go to, but he's molted. So he disguises SpongeBob as himself and sends him instead.
Mr. Krabs convinces SpongeBob and Patrick to join him on a treasure hunt.
* "Neptune's Spatula"
SpongeBob pulls a mythical spatula from a vat of ancient grease, giving him claim to the title of "World's Greatest Fry Cook."
* "One Krab's Trash"
Mr. Krabs sells SpongeBob a novelty hat for $10, only to find out it's a priceless collectable.
* "Mermaidman and Barnicleboy V"
When Barnacleboy turns evil, Mermaidman turns to Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, and SpongeBob for help.
* "Karate Choppers"
SpongeBob and Sandy's constant karate sparring gets in the way of the Krusty Krab, threatening SpongeBob's job!
* "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic"
SpongeBob tries to join an exclusive jellyfish club.
I will not claim to be a SpongeBob SquarePants aficionado. In fact, I can safely boast that before watching SpongeBob SquarePants: Fear of a Krabby Patty, I didn't have a clue what the show was about. Oh sure, I knew it had something to do with a yellow sponge-like character with buck teeth the size of Chiclets -- multiple rows of bed sheets, bath toys, toothbrushes, video games, DVDs, boxer shorts, soap holders, and shower curtains sporting the character's image at Bed, Bath & Beyond told me that. Otherwise, I was in the dark.
Friends, I am in the dark no more! I now know who these characters are over whom children and adults drool! And frankly, I don't get it. After watching these cartoon shorts I don't really understand how the show is discernible from the many others running on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Is it humorous? Sure, in a few spots, but no more and no less than any other tyke programming on television these days (if you really want some funny animated entertainment, pick up Cartoon Network's irreverent Aqua Teen Hunger Force on DVD).
Some of the cartoons made me smile. One involving SpongeBob pulling a magic spatula from an ancient vat of grease was amusing -- especially after he challenged a magic underwater God to a burger creating contest. Others just showcase SpongeBob and Patrick's witty banter, which I presume is funnier to ten-year-old children than nearly thirty-year-old men. However, I have to admit that SpongeBob's laugh -- something that I've heard in dreams involving evil clowns on a bender of helium -- is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Of all the characters, I enjoyed Mr. Krabs the most (voiced to perfection by actor Clancy Brown, The Shawshank Redemption). Brown delivers a goofy and abstract personality that fits the salty lobster perfectly. Other supporting characters on the show -- including a slightly dorky starfish named Patrick (voiced by Coach star Bill Fagerbakke) -- make the show better than it ought to be. Kids will most certainly get a kick out of these episodes, as will adults who like their humor with a dose of the bizarre.
Each episode on SpongeBob SquarePants: Fear of a Krabby Patty is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The animation on the show is mediocre at best, and these transfers show every imperfection and piece of grain on the animation cels. That said, overall, these transfers are adequate for a Saturday morning TV show -- in other words, your kids won't know the difference.
The soundtrack for each episode is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Much like the video transfer, there isn't a heck of a lot exciting in these mixes -- each is very front heavy without any major hiss or distortion in the mix. No alternate soundtracks or subtitles are included on this disc.
Extra features are slim. Included on this disc are a few storyboards for the episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Mermaidman and Barnacleboy V," as well as the SpongeBob interactive comic "Super Suspicion" from Nick Magazine.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Nick Magazine "SpongeBob SquarePants" Interactive Comic Book