DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants (The Complete Seventh Season)

The Flintstones lasted six seasons which was considered a feat since the average animated TV series lasted 17 episodes. Few live action shows surpass the Bedrock measure. It was the gold standard of TV cartoons until the yellow family from Springfield arrived on The Simpsons. Now another yellow animated superstar has streaked passed Fred and Barney. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season lets a little fry cook continue to go bonkers over the little things in life. He’s a prehistoric lifeform that’s now in historic territory.

“Tentacle-Vision” starts the season off right when Squidward gets a jolt when his precious “Fab and Fancy” public access show is yanked by “Zeus the Guitar Lord.” Instead of protesting, Squidward puts on his own TV show called “Squidward Chat.” The talk sinks lower than The Jerry Springer Show when SpongeBob and Patrick arrive. Everybody from the Krusty Krab wants to get face time. Can Squidward restore the classy nature to his show or will be be dragged in the gutter like A&E’s old image?

“SpongeBob’s Last Stand” was rumored to be the finale of the series. That turned out to be another lie found on the internet. The episode deals with a super highway about to pave over Bikini Bottom. Who could be behind such an evil plot? Why it’s Plankton. He’s got that asphalt ready to cover the competition. Only SpongeBob can stop the steamroller.

“Back to the Past” brings back Mermaid Man (Ernest Borgnine) and Barnacle Boy (Tim Conway) as the elderly superheroes. The twist is we get to see them in their prime when Patrick unwittingly uses a time machine stashed in their warehouse. This ruins history when Patrick stupidly allows Man Ray to win his fight against the duo. “The Bad Guy Club for Villains” features a lost episode of “The Adventures of Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy.” Patrick doesn’t ruin this battle between good and evil. It’s always bliss to have the stars of McHale’s Navy reunite under the sea. Also in this season is the theme special “Legends of Bikini Bottom.” These are a bunch of semi-spooky tales. “The Great Patty Caper” is train hijinks as Plankton goes full force to get the secret recipe.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season allows you to hit play all and just let you brain sink down to Bikini Bottom. The show maintains its goofy charms without drastically changing the dynamics to stay current. They haven’t inflicted a bunch of Bikini Bottom Babies into the cast. This is still the simple tale of a fry cook who just wants to make his spatula proud.

The Episodes
“Tentacle-Vision,” “I ♥ Dancing,” “Growth Spout,” “Stuck in the Wringer,” “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Sandy,” “The Inside Job,” “Greasy Buffoons,” “Model Sponge,” “Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful,” “A Pal for Gary,” “Yours, Mine and Mine,” “Kracked Krabs,” “The Curse of Bikini Bottom,” “Squidward in Clarinetland,” “SpongeBob’s Last Stand,” “Back to the Past,” “The Bad Guy Club for Villains,” “A Day Without Tears,” “Summer Job,” “One Coarse Meal,” “Gary in Love,” “The Play’s the Thing,” “Rodeo Daze,” “Gramma’s Secret Recipe,” “The Cent of Money,” “The Monster Who Came to Bikini Bottom,” “Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle,” “The Curse of the Hex,” “The Main Drain,” “Trenchbillies,” “Sponge-Cano!,” “The Great Patty Caper,” “That Sinking Feeling,” “Karate Star,” “Buried in Time ,” “Enchanted Tiki Dreams,” “The Abrasive Side,” “Earworm,” “Hide and Then What Happens?,” “Shellback Shenanigans,” “The Masterpiece,” “Whelk Attack,” “You Don’t Know Sponge,” “Tunnel of Glove,” “Krusty Dogs,” “The Wreck of the Mauna Loa,” “New Fish in Town,” “Love That Squid,” “Big Sister Sam” and “Perfect Chemistry.”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. Strange that after all these years, they haven’t swapped the series to HDTV formatting. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo. You get the full effect of Tom Kenny’s voice work in the mix. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

Back to the Past gives three time traveling teasers: “Time Machine” (0:34), “Lessons Learned” (0:35) and “And Krabs Saves the Day” (1:03).

SpongeBob’s Last Stand gets promoted with three educational teasers: “Jellyfish Fields PSA” (0:35), “Jellyfishing Safety Tips” (0:35) and “Trauma!” (1:22).

Legends of Bikini Bottom builds the tall tales with “Things to Do When Encountering Legendary Creatures” (0:36), “Dance Break” (0:36) and “The Legend of SpongeBob” (1:06).

The Great Patty Caper gets a sleuthing series of promos with “Spongeholmes” (0:36), “The Porter Reveal” (0:36) and “Gumshow Squarepants” (1:05).

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season keeps the aquatic weirdness at high tide. SpongeBob shows no sign of slowing down. He’s just not wired for mild.

Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon present SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season Starring: Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke and Rodger Bumpass. Boxset Contents: 50 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released on DVD: December 6, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.

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