Judge Roy Hrab can only shake his head in disappointment at the latest offering from Bikini Bottom.
Our reviews of Spongebob Squarepants: Season 5, Volume 1 (published December 12th, 2007), SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (published November 10th, 2003), Spongebob Squarepants: Season 5, Volume 2 (published November 27th, 2008), Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Third Season (published February 8th, 2006), SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season (published December 11th, 2011), SpongeBob Squarepants: 10 Happiest Moments (published September 19th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Fear Of A Krabby Patty (published August 31st, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Friend Or Foe? (published August 29th, 2007), Spongebob Squarepants: Home Sweet Pineapple (published January 19th, 2005), SpongeBob SquarePants: Legends of Bikini Bottom (published December 12th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Nautical Nonsense / Sponge Buddies (published March 19th, 2002), Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge For Hire (published February 9th, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob Vs. The Big One (published March 16th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: Spongicus (published April 9th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: The Great Patty Caper (published March 13th, 2011), SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seaside Capers (published March 13th, 2004), Spongebob Squarepants: To Love A Patty (published February 6th, 2008), Spongebob Squarepants: To Squarepants Or Not To Squarepants (published July 27th, 2009), SpongeBob Squarepants: Triton's Revenge (published September 11th, 2010), Spongebob Squarepants: Truth Or Square (published November 20th, 2009), Spongebob Squarepants: Where's Gary? (published December 14th, 2005), Spongebob Squarepants: Who Bob What Pants? (published November 13th, 2008), and Spongebob's Runaway Roadtrip (published September 25th, 2011) are also available.
"I never realized how sad and empty my life was until my friends pointed it out." -from "Pest Of The West"
SpongeBob needs no introduction, so I won't bother with one. On this release, we get seven episodes from Season 5 of the ultra lucrative SpongeBob SquarePants franchise:
"Pest Of The West": In this mostly flashback episode, our little yellow friend discovers that he is the descendent of the famous SpongeBuck SquarePants. Buck brought justice to Bikini Bottom (formerly Bikini Gulch) by taking down the malevolent Dead-Eye Plankton. The old-west themed episode contains nods to Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone, and a touch of Blazing Saddles. It also features the extremely idiotic (and not in a funny way) "Idiot Friends" song.
"The Krusty Plate": SpongeBob becomes obsessed with removing a stain from a plate. His increasingly extreme cleaning attempts lead to a variant on the famous "Don't cross the streams" line from Ghostbusters.
"Pat No Pay": Mr. Krabs thinks he can make a ton of cash by feeding the starving Patrick. Unfortunately, Patrick lacks the cash, so Mr. Krabs puts him to work. This turns out to be a big mistake. What a surprise!
"The Inmates of Summer": SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally board a boat full of felons heading for an island prison. The duo seem to think the experience is really fun, much to the chagrin of the warden, voiced by Full Metal Jacket's R. Lee Ermey in gunnery sergeant mode.
"To Save A Squirrel": SpongeBob and Patrick are jealous that Sandy is going on a survival-training camp. So, they sneak aboard her jeep, but accidentally fall off and find themselves lost and hungry. Paranoia and attempted cannibalism ensues.
"20,000 Patties Under The Sea": SpongeBob and Patrick find a buried submarine. Mr. Krabs has them turn it into a mobile Krusty Krab. As they try to sell food they encounter Plankton and a hungry Sea Monster, voiced by Gene Simmons (Gene Simmons Family Jewels: The Best Of Seasons 1 and 2).
"The Battle Of Bikini Bottom": SpongeBob and Patrick fight over whether it is better to be clean or dirty.
Oh, my. What can I say about this? There was a time when I would run across an episode of SpongeBob while channel surfing and find myself laughing pretty hard. Those days are long gone. However, I don't think it's because I have lost my sense of humor. No, it's not that. SpongeBob has changed, not me.
In my review of SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 5, Volume 1, I commented that "adults will be disappointed, but the latest installment of SpongeBob SquarePants delivers a lot of silly and good-natured fun for the kids and there's nothing wrong with that." This time around, adults will be disappointed further, but, more importantly, I think kids (except for the very young) will be less then impressed. Without question, the energy and imagination level of the show has dropped precipitously. The random surreal and silly comedy that appealed to children and adults alike has given way to tedious repetition and uninspired stories. I can recall less then a handful of memorable lines over the seven episodes on this release and most of them come from Plankton in the "20,000 Patties Under The Sea" episode.
The minimal extras included are the animatic for "Pest Of The West" and four western-themed shorts. They are all forgettable.
The video is flawless. The bright and multi-colored Bikini Bottom looks excellent. The audio is clear and crisp.
Your kids will probably hate you for not satisfying their desire for instant gratification, but I suggest that, if you must make a purchase, you save yourself some money and wait until the inevitable release of SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 5, Volume 2.
Guilty. Whither SpongeBob?
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Scales of Justice
• "Pest of the West" Original Animatic
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