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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Children > Animation > TV > SpongeBob Squarepants – The First 100 Episodes (Nickelodeon DVD Set)

SpongeBob Squarepants – The First 100 Episodes (Nickelodeon DVD Set)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: B     Episodes: B+



Who lives in a Plexiglas case on your DVD shelf?  SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!  Actually the first 100 Episodes of Spongebob Squarepants to be exact.  It is hard to believe that an odd little cartoon that some thought never had a chance managed to take the world by storm to become an instant classic.  The series has seemingly garnered a universal appeal with its blend of creativity and solid humor; pulling in a diverse audience of children and adults alike.


The first episode of SpongeBob Squarepants aired shortly after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards; with the series picking up its official run in mid-July of the same year.  The series had a rough start, not finding a solid audience and suffering low ratings, with creator Stephen Hillenburg fearing cancellation; but after Nickelodeon discovered the marketability of SpongeBob talks of cancellation went out the window and the series was quickly renewed for a Second and a Third Season.  The series has just celebrated its Tenth Anniversary; not bad for a series that wasn’t meant to last, right?  It is hard to believe how much that little yellow square has engrained himself into our pop-culture; just start singing that catchy theme song and see what happens.  Like a serene blend of Ren & Stimpy with Rocko’s Modern Life (same creator), SpongeBob has managed to steal both our hearts and minds as it has brought us countless fits of laughter for the first 100 episodes and beyond.


For a long time I was a casual fan of the series, catching it here and there as it was on; but as the Season Box Sets of SpongeBob Squarepants hit DVD I suddenly got hooked.  With each coming DVD set I couldn’t get enough, gobbling up each episode with ease.  As SpongeBob Squarepants has become solid staple of the Nickelodeon lineup there seems to be no stopping the animated nautical giant.  The series falls somewhere between classic Hanna Barbera animation and Adult Swim’s absolute absurdity; dancing the line so nicely that it is awe inspiring.  As I could sit here and spout off all the 100 episodes included in this amazing set; the fact of the matter is that each episode is just as good, if not better, than the one that cam before it.  The set includes all episodes up and through Season Five and at this rate Spongebob is going no where.


I highly recommend this set to everybody.  As previously mentioned the series has universal appeal that will give any viewer hours and hours of comedic insanity.  It is no shock that SpongeBob Squarepants is a bit “off” or weird, but the series creators have made no excuses for their brand of zaniness and in fact it is the constant absurdities that make the series so memorable.


The technical features on this massive (and I mean massive) set are quite good, but for all intents and purposes are merely transfers from the original season releases.  The set is contained in a very thick Plexiglas case that then houses a cardboard box with a separate slipcover that inside contains the 13 discs with the 100 episodes and the 14th disc with all the bonus features.  All in all just from the effort put into creating the massive set, it was clear more good things were to come.  The picture on the 100 episodes is presented in a Full Frame image that has a progressively better quality as the episodes go on; this mainly attributed to the switch from hand cel animation too digital (not to mention a bigger budget).  The colors are consistent and bright throughout with a crisp image that makes for a great viewing experience.  The episodes do have a degree of “blur” and “grain” (as it can best be described) as not all aspects are perfect and do not seem to be remastered in any way.  The episodes were seemingly taken directly from their standard definition broadcast, rather than going back tot the original source material.  With all that said, however, the set is good enough and will please any fan.  The sound is a simple Dolby Digital Stereo that gets the job done, but is far from thrilling as it comes heavily from the front.  The sound is crisp and boisterous, though fans will be disappointed with the lack of 5.1 surround track; which should have been a no brainer for Paramount to complete.


The extras are fun and there is a lot to dig through; as the extras include:


  • Commentary Tracks: 11 in all from cast & crew; with most tracks coming from later episodes [episodes 84-88; 91, 95, 99, 100].  The tracks are very interesting and give great insight where the inspiration for the series comes from.
  • Kick-Wam Pow Music Video
  • Life Lessons from Bikini Bottom Featurette
  • Help Wanted: The Seven Seas Edition Featurette
  • Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob Squarepants Documentary (Originally aired on VH1).  Probably the best feature on the set as it gives fans a glimpse behind the scenes to an inspiring series that has more to offer than most people realize.


I highly recommend this set, once again, as it contains all the first 100 episodes in one nice and massive set.  The price is right, the content is there and will be a nice addition to ANY DVD library.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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