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SpongeBob SquarePants - Absorbing Favorites
Spongebob Squarepants – Absorbing Favorites is yet another one of the single disc compilations of Nickelodeon's famous and popular cartoon series. As was the case with the last one, the episodes are selected from various different seasons rather than just one like they were with the last release, and things are mixed up a bit in terms of themes and episode selection. Regardless of that issue, it's still a great assortment of nine different episodes from one of the finest animated series of the last ten years. Here's the lowdown on this volume's selection…Ripped Pants: Larry and Sandy have taken up weight lifting and Spongebob, feeling alone without his friends, decides that he should take it up too. When he bends over to lift up the weights his pants tear and he finds that this amuses many people, causing him to intentionally tear his pants on purpose. But of course, being Spongebob, he takes it too far…
Mermaidman and Barnacleboy: Spongebob and Patrick want nothing more than to meet their heroes, the stars of their favorite show of all time, Mermaidman and Barnacleboy! Unfortunately for our two friends their heroes are currently living in a rest home and not necessarily up for the kind of company that Spongebob and Patrick usually provide.
Karate Choppers: Spongebob and Sandy have found a new way to have fun at the work place by karate sparring with each other around the building. Things start off innocently enough but soon the two of them take things just a little bit too far and Mr. Krab is starting to get annoyed with their behavior. Spongebob and Sandy keep pushing though, until Mr. Krab has to think seriously about letting Spongebob go. This episode was also released on the Fear Of A Krabby Patty compilation.
Gary Takes a Bath: Gary's odor leaves something to be desired and so Spongebob takes it upon himself to convince his stinky amigo that it's time for him to take a bath and get himself cleaned up a little bit. Eventually, after all of his efforts, Spongebob ends up in the bath himself, much to Gary's amusement.
Jellyfish Hunter: Spongebob comes up with a new recipe at the Krusty Krab, 'Jelly Krabby Patties.' These become a big hit and so Mr. Krab sends Spongebob out to catch as many jellyfish as he can manage. Spongebob has to rethink things though when it becomes clear that the jellyfish aren't going to be around forever if they keep this up! This episode was also present on the Spongeguard On Duty compilation.
Frycook Games: Once a year, the town hosts the annual Fry Cook Games in which the best Fry Cooks from across the area get together to compete in what are essentially fast food Olympic events with an undersea twist! Patrick and Spongebob end up showing down with each other despite their 'best friends' status. This episode was also presented on the Seascape Capers compilation.
Club SpongeBob: Spongebob and Patrick start their own club and build themselves their very own clubhouse. Unfortunately for Squidward, who really wants to join their club, the clubhouse is too small for a third member. Not going down without a fight, Squidward decides to propel himself into the clubhouse to try and force his way in and he ends up blowing the house across town out into nowheresville…
Plankton's Army: Twenty-five years ago, Plankton made his first attempt at stealing the secret Krabby Patty recipe. And what better way for Plankton to celebrate this anniversary than by making a long delayed second attempt? He puts together a modest sized army of hooligans to help him out and sets into motion his plan to acquire the recipe and rule Bikini Bottom. This episode was also presented on the Spongebob Goes Prehistoric DVD release.
The Sponge Who Could Fly: This is a double length episode (the packaging describes it as a 'lost episode') in which Spongebob decides that he wants to be able to fly around the ocean like the jellyfish do. In order to make this happen, he builds himself a flying machine but he soon finds out that flying around the ocean like they jellyfish do, isn't as easy as they those very same jellyfish make it look.
Seeing as this is a TV show, it makes sense that the image is presented in its original fullframe 1.33.1 format. Just like the rest of the releases in this series, this compilation looks quite nice. Colors are bright and crisp and there isn't any print damage to speak of. There is a bit of edge enhancement and some shimmering effects in a few of the episodes, but other than that, these cartoons look pretty good and none of the video issues take your attention away from the on-screen action.Sound:
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix sounds pretty good. Once again, as with the earlier releases in the series, there's nothing to note in regards to hiss or audible defects. The directional effects are minor at best but the lefts and rights are distinguishable in the mix, and there aren't any problems following the dialogue and the background music is mixed and balanced to fit in with the dialogue and effects quite nicely. There are no subtitles included but alternate Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo dubbed mixes are included in French and Spanish there is an English language closed captioning feature present on here as well..Extras:
While hardly stacked with extra features, at least this isn't a barebones release. Paramount/Nickelodeon have supplied the Bikini Bottom Personality Quiz which is a fun little interactive DVD game as well as Ripped Pants Karaoke which gives viewers the chance to sing along with one of the songs used on this release. Neither are really substantial supplements, but they're moderately amusing and taking the personality quiz is kind of fun.Final Thoughts:
The Spongebob compilations are always fun and this latest one is no exception to that proven rule. If you're not collecting the complete season runs or don't have any of the single disc compilations that this release repeats episodes from, then Spongebob Squarepants – Absorbing Favorites is an easy recommendation based on the strength of the content alone. If you do have some of the other releases, however, chances are you're going to be repeating some of the material with this disc making this one a decent rental.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.