I’m at a complete loss for how to start this review; I’ve never watched the series, nor have I ever had any interest in it, and this DVD is nothing but a collection of episodes from the series. Exactly where am I supposed to start with a series such as SpongeBob Squarepants? It’s cult following is intimidating and even reviewing it at this point in time seems futile. It’s SpongeBob–everyone knows him (or of him, at least) and reviewing him would be like reviewing Scooby Doo or The Smurfs: nigh impossible without some sort of backlash being thrown at you or people just rolling their eyes at yet another person writing down their feelings on a cult icon that they have their own feelings about.
In SpongeBob’s Atlantis Squarepantis, SpongeBob and Patrick discover an ancient medallion that help them get to the lost city of Atlantis. It is here in Atlantis that the oldest living bubble resides and when Patrick accidentally pops it, SpongeBob and pals are on the run from the Atlantean Guards. Combined with this two part episode for this DVD release are six other episodes, “Money Talks”, “SpongeBob vs. the Patty Gadget”, “Slimy Dancing”, “The Krusty Sponge”, “Sing a Song of Patrick” and “Picture Day.”
I can’t say there was anything too impactful in any of these episodes that stood out to me. The two-part “Atlantis Spuarepantis”, aside from having a hilarious name, seemed like the other episodes on the disc to me, only being twice as long as a normal episode. The episode did sport some quirky character designs that weren’t present on other characters in the “normal” episodes, but aside from that it was just another episode in the SpongeBob universe from what I could tell.
The antics and humor in the show were a definite treat to me, as I’d never seen this show prior to this DVD. The superb use of sound effects for character expressions and even just the voices themselves are hilarious to listen to. With the humor sliding somewhere akin to the original Ren and Stimpy, it’s easy to see why this show has such a loyal following and legions of fans: unlike most animation on television, this show is clearly written for both children and adults in mind. For that reason alone the show is Recommended.
This latest SpongeBob DVD isn’t the first “collection” set that Paramount’s released and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Packed with eight episodes from the series, the DVD comes in a standard amaray case with disc art that mirrors the cover art and an insert advertising other SpongeBob merchandise, as well as a contest to win a vacation to Atlantis. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and are fully animated. Video and audio for this release is what you expect from a cartoon release: some interlacing, but overall a clean and clear transfer for both the visual and audio elements of the series.
The extras on this disc include the aforementioned six episodes as well as a sneek peak into the SpongeBob animation studios in Korea and a “Behind the Pants” of “Atlantis Squarepantis.” Both the animation studio and “Behind the Pants” extras are well worth watching, as they give a rare glimpse into the actual animation studios used for the series. The “Behind the Pants” extra features cast and crew interviews that give a nice picture of how the story for “Squarepantis” came about.
As a newbie to the Spongebob universe, I’ve no idea what the current release schedule for the DVDs are or if the season that the episodes on this disc are on is even being planned for release, so I can’t really recommend either way to pick up or skip this disc. Fans will know in the end what they want, however, so if you can’t wait to re-watch these episodes, then by all means…pick up the disc. Or at least rent it.
SpongeBob’s Atlanis SquarePantis is now on DVD.