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SpongeBob SquarePants - Season 2 Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   3/10

I love my sponge friend
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
10/14/2004

Spongebob Squarepants premiered on Nickelodeon in July of 1999. The creation of a marine-biology teacher, SpongeBob SquarePants is the story of a likable, rather naive sponge living in Bikini Bottom with his friends. SpongeBob is a cook at "The Krusty Krab" where he works with his neighbor, and sometime-friend, Squidward the squid. Patrick, the starfish, and Sandy the squirrel join SpongeBob in his many adventures. SpongeBob SquarePants attracts 10 million kids between 2 and 11 each week, making it the most popular cartoon for that age group.

Paramount continues with their dual release strategy for SpongeBob with the release of the second season DVD set. The show originated with "best of" DVD titles, then season 1 was released last October. Since then there have been more "best of" releases for parents and kids, while the season sets are geared towards the collectors and adult fans.

Video

The video on this release is pretty nice, and is presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Colors are nice and vibrant, as they should be on an animated release. The picture looks better than some of the material that appeared on the first season set. The first season contained some soft shots, while the material here is crystal clear. There's some slight compression during high-motion scenes. There's a "Play All" option for each disc, a needed option when there are so many episodes on each disc.

Audio

There's a decent stereo surround track on this release. It sounds like the broadcast version of the show, if not a little cleaner. There are some nice directional effects used in these episodes (I'm a sucker for directional audio). It's not going to blow you away, but it represents the original material nicely. You have the option of either English or Spanish audio, and the episodes are closed captioned.

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary Tracks
The commentary tracks are interesting, though there are some gaps in the dialog as the participants get caught up in watching the episode.
"Something Smells" - Aaron Springer and Carl Greenblatt (writers and storyboard artists).
"Big Pink Loser" - Shawn Dempsey (animation director) and William Reiss (writer & storyboard artist).
"Pre-Hibernation Week" - Aaron Springer and Carl Greenblatt.
"Survival of the Idiots" - Aaron Springer, Larry Leichliter (animation director) and Carl Greenblatt.
"Shanghaied" - Aaron Springer, Frank Weiss (animation director) and Carl Greenblatt.
"Welcome to the Chum Bucket" - Andrew Overtoom (animation director), William Reiss and Eric Weise.
"Sailer Mouth" - Andrew Overtoom, William Reiss and Eric Weise.

Storyboard for "Christmas Who?" (17:39)
The entire episode plays as animated storyboards.

Storyboard for "Mermaidman & Barnacleboy III" (13:05)
The entire episode plays as animated storyboards.

Around the World With SpongeBob SquarePants (1:11)
The opening of the show plays in various languages. This is pretty cool.

Nick DVD Game Demo
A poor trivia game. You're asked a question, then have to come up with the answer yourself and press the button to view the answer. It's not multiple choice, and it's pretty boring.

Summary

I love singing along to the theme song. There, I said it. I wasn't a huge fan of SpongeBob when I first saw it, but it's really grown on me, and it's gotten to the point where I look forward to hanging with the little sponge-dude.

If you take away the commentary tracks then this set has nothing worthwhile. The first set had some commentary tracks, various interviews, songs, drawing tutorials and more. This set has commentary tracks, storyboards and a lame game demo. Couldn't they have come up with something more?


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