I've never understood the phenomenon that is "Spongebob Squarepants", just like I never understood "Pokemon". I guess, as someone who grew up watching reruns of "Tom and Jerry", "The Jetsons" and other animated fare in the 80's, all of these new animated creatures seem a little too hyper, a little too...well, "hyper" actually sums it up pretty well.
Despite all this, I sat down to watch the "Spongebob Squarepants" movie, hoping to figure out what all the fuss is about, and ended up actually finding quite a bit of it pretty funny. The seasons themselves are consistently entertaining, too. The show focuses on SpongeBob (voice by Tom Kenny), who works at the Krusty Krab fast food joint and hangs out with his friend, a starfish named Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke, yep - Dauber from "Coach"). There's also a wealth of odd and funny supporting characters that revolve around Spongebob, including an irritable plankton that competes with the Krusty Krab.
The series may not compare in terms of storytelling to some of the classics of the '80's and prior, but the series certainly does some have some aspects to appreciate, such as the surreal, abstract humor and the rather inspired, amusing world that the characters inhabit.
Some of the highlights of this season include: "Plankton's Regular" (Plankton gets his first regular customer, but Mr. Krabs wants him at the Krispy Krab), "Boating Buddies" (to regain his divind record, Squidward has to attend boating school with Spongebob), "Grooming Gary" (Spongebob gives Gary a makeover to compete in a pet show, and he can't stand the primping), "Penny Foolish" (Mr. Krabs thinks he sees Spongebob pick up a penny from the ground - a penny that should be his), "Normal" (Spongebob becomes "normal" - and boring) and "Patty Caper" (Spongebob and Patrick are on the case when the Krabby Patty secret ingredient goes missing.)
1. House Fancy/Krabby Road
2. Penny Folish/Nautical Novice
3. Spongicus/Suction Cup Symphony
4. Not Normal/Gone
5. The Splinter/Slide Whistle Stooges
6. A Life in a Day/Sun Bleached
7. Giant Squidward/No Nose Knows
8. The Patty Caper/Plankton's Regular
9. Boating Buddies/The Krabby Kronicle
10. The Slumber Party/Grooming Gary
11. SpongeBob vs. The Big One
12. Porous Pockets/Choir Boys
VIDEO: "Spongebob Squarepants" is presented by Paramount in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Picture quality really didn't show any noticable concerns, as the only issue I spotted was a couple of brief moments of shimmering. Sharpness and detail remained perfectly fine throughout, as the episodes looked equal to broadcast quality. Colors remained bright and vivid throughout, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The show is presented in its original 2.0 audio, and sounded great here. The constant sound effects seemed crisp and well-recorded, as did dialogue and music.
EXTRAS: "The Spongebob Squarepants History Song" and 7 animated shorts.
Final Thoughts: This first volume of episodes from the 6th season of "Spongebob Squarepants" quite a few gems for fans. The episodes are presented with nice audio/video quality, as well as a few extras. Recommended.