DVD Review: SpongeBob Squarepants (The Complete Ninth Season)

For the longest time, kid cartoons didn’t have much of an original lifespan before they found themselves rerun forever on TV. Sure Scooby-Doo claims it’s the longest running cartoon in TV history, but think of how many ways the show has been retitled and repackaged since it debuted as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and that original run only lasted 25 episodes. SpongeBob Squarepants has been on the air since 1999. It’s about to last 19 years and over 200 episodes without any major alteration like SpongeBob Babies or SpongeBob Space Cadet. SpongeBob Squarepants: The Complete Ninth Season represents 26 episodes that took five years to air.

Nickelodeon green lit the episodes back in 2011 for season 9, they probably didn’t expect it would take so long to get them all produced and aired, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water came in the middle. “Extreme Spots” with guest star Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) aired on July 21, 2012. Remember back then? The show did change since it was finally being made in widescreen 16:9. Which gave us more Bikini Bottom on the left and right of the screen.

The star of this extended season is Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap & Better Call Saul) with two different roles. First in “License to Milkshake,” McKean voices the hardcore Captain Frostymug. He runs an academy that teaches restaurant cooks to make the perfect milkshake. Turns out SpongeBob has let his skills go to waste and it’s up to Frostymug to whip him into shape. The episode teaches kids that milkshake machines are dangerous. McKean returns in “Sharks vs. Pods” and brings friends. When SpongeBob plays a ’50s songs while night cleaning the Krusty Krab, he attacks four greaser sharks in leather jackets. They want to recruit the sponge to be a part of his crew. And why wouldn’t he join since the sharks are voiced by David Landers and McKeon (Lenny and Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley reunited) and led by Henry Winkler (the Fonz on Happy Days. This had to be the coolest voice booth in Nickelodeon history. Things get bad when the Sharks get ready to rumble with bad Octopi. This is a fun episode and an amazing reunion of Milwaukee ’70s stars.

There are quite a few guest stars on the boxset. Price Is Right legend Bob Barker is Bob Barnacle legend in “One Snail Sponge.” Betty White and Aubrey Plaza pop up shopping in “Mall Girl Pearl.” Biz Markie takes a break from “Yo Gabba Gabba” to play Kenny the Cat in “Kenny the Cat.” In “Goodbye Krabby Patty,” Mr. Krabs needs the marketing help of Don Grouper to launch a frozen version of the tasty treats to the grocery store. Who is this genius Don Grouper? Why none other than Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm reprising his role in an aquatic form. This isn’t just a name spoof.

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Complete Ninth Season might have taken five years to complete, but it has plenty of treats worth the wait. You get Jon Hamm and Henry Winkler semi-reprising their iconic roles. Such joy from deep under the sea.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The image looks crisp and it’s nice that after so long, the series is 16:9. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. Things sound smooth especially the guest stars. There’s also French and Spanish dubs. The episodes are Closed Captioned.

Frozen Krabby Patty Commercial, More Feeling, What Else Can A Krabby Patty Do?, Krabby Patty Report and Krabby Patty Jingle are short segments from the time when they tried to make the Krabby Patty a hit at the grocery store.

Nickelodeon & Paramount present SpongeBob Squarepants: The Complete Ninth Season. Starring: Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown & Mr. Lawrence. Boxset Contents: 26 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released: October 10, 2017.

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