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Paramount Studios presents
SpongeBob SquarePants: Fear of a Krabby Patty (1999-2005)

"With a little more pressure, the sponge will break like an egg. And I will be there to feast on the goo of his shattered psyche."
- Plankton (Mr. Lawrence)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: September 30, 2005

Stars: Tom Kenny
Other Stars: Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Mr. Lawrence, Clancy Brown, Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:35m:30s
Release Date: May 24, 2005
UPC: 097368875548
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

The SpongeBob SquarePants canon has been harvested rather intensely by Paramount over the past few years, with a large number of low-priced 8-10 episode discs getting released. With only three full seasons to pull from, the problem is that there just aren't that many episodes to go around, and duplication started to crop up; this was even more questionable after the release of full season one and two sets.

But Paramount continues to milk it, issuing this 8 episode Fear Of A Krabby Patty collection with just 2 episodes from the current season, and the rest being material from the first three seasons. To further convolute things, the short version is that if you already own the season one and two sets, you're only getting four episodes here you don't already have.

Marketing tactics aside, however, the show is still funny, and there is very little variation in the familiar set of principal characters doing wacky things in 12 minute chunks. SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a lovable sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea with his pet snail named Gary, who acts like a cat. SpongeBob works as a fry cook at The Krusty Krab, under the eye of Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), an oversized lobster who talks like a second-rate pirate who literally has dollar signs in his eyes. A well-meaning but just plain dumb starfish named Patrick (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) and a squirrel (fully outfitted for deep sea diving) from Texas named Sandy Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) are SpongeBob's best friends, and for a comedic foil, Squidward Tentacles (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) is a cranky, sarcastic, clarinet-playing squid who lives next door, in some sort of giant Easter Island head. And then there's Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence), the tiny nemesis of Mr, Krabs, whose sole mission is to steal the secret of the Krabby Patty.

Bright spots here include Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway once again reprising their roles as Bikini Bottom's retired, somewhat senile superheroes in season three's Mermaidman and Barnacleboy V. In this installment, frustrated sidekick Barnacleboy joins the dark side (as Barnacleman), teaming up with villains Man Ray and The Dirty Bubble, which forces SpongeBob, Sandy and Squidward to help Mermaidman by becoming part of the Super Aquaintances. There are some nice jabs at the whole superhero genre, something that always manages to crack me up.

There is quite a bit of Mr. Krabs-centric material on this latest release, so depending on your enjoyment of the character that will either be a good thing or a bad thing. I get a kick out of Krabs inherent cheapness, such as his attempt to sell garbage as antiques (One Krab's Trash) or keeping the Krusty Krab open 24 hours (Fear Of A Krabby Patty). In fact, I'm actually kind of surprised Paramount hasn't taken the repackaging to the next level, and release the various episodes under the banner of "Best of Mr. Krabs" or "Best of Squidward". I'll be expecting a consultation fee, Paramount.

Fear Of A Krabby Patty
Season Four
Original Air Date: 05/05/05

Shell Of A Man
Season Four
Original Air Date: 05/05/05

Season One
Original Air Date: 03/15/00

Neptune's Spatula
Season One
Original Air Date: 04/01/00

One Krab's Trash
Season Three
Original Air Date: 02/22/02

Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy V
Season Three
Original Air Date: 06/01/02

Karate Choppers
Season One
Original Air Date: 12/31/99

I'm Your Biggest Fanatic
Season Two
Original Air Date: 03/07/01

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: All episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullframe, sporting bright, vibrant coloring and well-defined blacks. The transfers here all look quite good, significantly better than broadcast quality, and only some minor shimmer mars an otherwise respectable outing from Paramount.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: As with past releases, the 2.0 stereo audio mix sounds very pleasant, very full-bodied and robust, with all of the musical stingers and sound effects having a warm, resonant punch to them.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
0 Other Trailer(s) featuring Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Fairly Odd Parents, Duel Masters
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Interactive Comic Book
Extras Review: Even the extras are getting weaker on these compilation releases, and it starts with menus. Now it's just a static screen with no music, where previous "best of" discs had animated sequences with sound. There are two Storyboard segments, where episodes are presented in rough pencil drawing format with minimal sound effects and often fill in voice work. It's an interesting concept, and this time it is for Fear of Krabby Patty (12m:44s) and Superfriends (19m:46s). Also included is something touted as a SpongeBob Interactive Comic entitled Above Suspicion, whose only "interactive" requirements appear to be clicking "next" to go to the next set of panels.

There are a handful of trailers, and the disc is cut into 8 chapters, 1 per episode.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

I love the show, but I'd prefer Paramount just issue a full season three set and be done with these compilations.


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