SpongeBob Squarepants: The Complete Third Season

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Complete Third Season
With the success of his own big screen film last year, SpongeBob seems to be as big as ever, and in many ways the world is a much better place because of his massive popularity. The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie was a delightful 87-minute treat that used all of its regular cast members while introducing new ones for a dependably enjoyable flick that appealed to adults even more than the intended young audience. And that's the thing about SpongeBob: he was clearly designed for children to adore, but after examining a full season — in this case, the third — this television program is much smarter and mature than creator Stephen Hillenburg would like you to believe. With nearly as many "in" jokes as The Simpsons, SpongeBob Squarepants really can't be fully understood by anyone who carries a SpongeBob lunchbox to school. The juvenile antics and wacky animation, however, are certainly within their grasp and obviously what have made this underwater sponge such a big sensation. Season three keeps the bright ideas coming with a plethora of episodes (36 in total), which with short running times of 12 minutes make for easy continuous viewing. Throughout the season, SpongeBob finds himself becoming a lifeguard even though he can't swim, experiencing Communism-like paranoia after watching a scary robot flick, hilariously escaping the violent grapple of the Tattletale Strangler and turning into a "ghost" when he and Patrick abuse a can of invisible spray. The finest episode, however, must be "Rock-A-Bye Bi-Valve," in which SpongeBob and Patrick take on parental roles for an orphaned baby scallop. If that doesn't raise questions as to the validity of the claims that SpongeBob and Patrick are a couple than, unfortunately, the only thing left to witness is bum sex. Included in the special features is the original pilot episode, "Help Wanted," which for some reason the producers missed while organising the first season's DVD. Regardless, it's a nice treat to experience what this show was like before its development and to learn just how SpongeBob earned his stripes in order to work at the Krusty Krab. Compared to the third season, it's a little stagnant and only proves the program has come along way, but still, there is enough charmingly silly humour to keep it afloat. An even better bonus comes in the featurette "How to Draw…" featuring Sherm Cohen, a storyboard artist for the show, who gives simple instructions on how to draw all of the show's primary characters. (Nickleodeon/Paramount)