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Paramount Studios presents
SpongeBob Squarepants: The Seascape Capers (1999)

"Hold that thought, Squidward. I'm due in the parking lot for early morning litter patrol. May Neptune shine brightly on my harvest."
- SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: February 04, 2004

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

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:54m:58s
Release Date: January 06, 2004
UPC: 097368795549
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Ah, Bikini Bottom! Despite having already released a full set of the first season, Paramount continues to issue these low-priced 10-episode collections, such as this one, which consists primarily of Season Two and Three titles. Still, a first season classic like Bubblestand has found its way onto The Seascape Capers, so it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to buy it again this time around if you've already picked up Season One.

SpongeBob Squarepants (voiced by Tom Kenny), for the uninitiated, is a rather nerdy man/boy sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea and has a pet snail named Gary. SpongeBob eeks out a living as a fry cook at The Krusty Krab, under the money-grubbing eye of Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), an oversized lobster who talks like a second-rate pirate. 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.

The hook for SpongeBob junkies this time around is the presence of two, (as of yet, I believe), unaired season three episodes: SpongeBob Meets The Strangler and Pranks A Lot. The Strangler ep is easily the better of the two, and finds our favorite young sponge marked for revenge by the infamous Tattletale Strangler. Some real laugh-out-loud hijinks ensue when SpongeBob hires a bodyguard that happens to look an awful lot like the guy he is trying to hide from. Pranks has a couple of decent chuckles, and centers on a trip to The House of Pranks and a can of invisible spray.

Sprinkled throughout the rest of these ten episodes are a handful of minor classics like The Fry Cook Games (a nice Olympic parody that pits SpongeBob vs. Patrick), Krab Borg (a late night movie gives SpongeBob visions of a robot-dominated world) and Artist Unknown (poor Squidward has just one over-eager student in the art class he's teaching, and it's SpongeBob).

There is a kind of manic innocence to the antics of SpongeBob, and creator Steve Hillenburg has managed to capture a kids cartoon that can cross generations on the simple weight of its inherent silliness. Hillenburg is taking the big screen plunge with a SpongeBob movie in late 2004, and that may well serve as the swan song for this consistently funny series that is often too good to be just for the youngsters. It's always a good thing to leave them wanting more, and though Nickelodeon runs the show frequently, the likelihood of seeing any new material before the feature film is close to nil. By then, it is likely we will have had all three full seasons released, and the packaging and repackaging of these compilations will have run its course.

The Fry Cook Games
Season Two
Original Air Date: 09/28/01

Season One
Original Air Date: 07/17/99

Squid's Day Off
Season Two
Original Air Date: 11/02/00

SpongeBob Meets The Strangler (aka The Litter Bug)
Season Three
Original Air Date: Not Yet Aired

Pranks A Lot
Season Three
Original Air Date: Not Yet Aired

Artist Unknown
Season Two
Original Air Date; 09/21/01

Grandma's Kisses
Season Two
Original Air Date: 03/06/01

Krusty Love
Season Three
Original Air Date: 09/06/02

Krab Borg
Season Three
Original Air Date: 03/29/02

The Smoking Peanut
Season Two
Original Air Date: 03/08/01

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: As expected, all ten episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The color palette is properly bright and vibrant, balanced by solid blacks, which lends itself to a generally all-around nice looking transfer. A bit of shimmer here and there, but there are no major compression issues evident.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: As with all of the other titles in the series, audio is provided in beefy 2.0 stereo. It is a surprisingly full mix, with significant directional panning to give the presentation some depth, and things like music and bubbly effects have a pleasing resonance to them. Character voices are clear and discernible at all times.

Really, no problems here.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Rugrats Go Wild, The Wild Thornberrys Movie
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Holy fishpaste! It seems that Paramount is noticeably skimping somewhat on the quantity of extras on each progressive compilation, and Seascape Capers seems to follow suit. The only bonus feature here is the Grandma's Kisses episode, which shows the entire segment in black-and-white pencil sketch storyboard format, with no sound effects or music, only rough voice work. This type of thing has been included before on previous SpongeBob titles, and while it's fun to see the very early stages of a particular episode, that is really the only supplement found here.

In addition to the usual handful of Nickelodeon-themed trailers, the disc is cut into 10 chapters (one per episode).

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

On any given day SpongeBob is always worth a few dozen good laughs, and unless you're holding out for the inevitable upcoming second and third season sets, you can't go wrong with yet another of these fun, budget-priced compilations from Paramount.

Despite the skimpy extras, this one is an easy recommendation for SpongeBob-aholics.


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