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DVD Review: SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: BIKINI BOTTOM BASH

Apr 25 Posted by in DVD/Blu-ray, Reviews | Comments

SpongeBob is back with another DVD collection of themed episodes and specials. SpongeBob’s Bikini Bottom Bash includes two 45-minute TV specials (“SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout” and “Truth or Square”), the 23-minute “SpongeBob’s House Party” special, and two 12-minute episodes “Sun Bleached” and The Slumber Party”), all centered around the theme of parties.

Here’s a breakdown of the episodes:

  • SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout (2019 Special, 44:04)
    This latest TV special mixes live action and animation telling two concurrent stories. Sandy is trying to set up a surprise party for SpongeBob’s birthday, and it’s up to Patrick to keep him distracted for the day while she and the others decorate SpongeBob’s home. Patrick and SpongeBob go on a tour of Surface Land, where they witness the human “beach giraffes” in their natural habitat. However, they encounter one danger after the next while exploring this world above the surface. Meanwhile, Sandy is having some issues of her own trying to reign in the party guests who have gotten a bit rowdy while waiting for the guest of honor to return home.
    This is the first time this episode has appeared on DVD
  • SpongeBob’s House Party (Season 3, Episode 11, 22:45)
    This special interweaves the animated story “Party Pooper Pants” along with a live-action framing story featuring Patchy the Pirate. SpongeBob finds a “Plan Your Own Party” kit in the grocery store and decides to throw a party. However, the party is way over-planned and SpongeBob grows increasingly frustrated that his guest are not sticking to the schedule, despite the fact that they seem to be having a good time. Meanwhile, Patchy is hosting his own party, but gets frustrated when he finds out Polly hired a bird band for the entertainment.
    This episode had appeared on many DVD releases previously, including: Tales from the Deep (including a storyboard version in the special features), Complete 3rd Season, First 100 Episodes, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, and more.
  • Sun Bleached (Season 6, Episode 6b, 11:49)
    SpongeBob and Patrick are hanging out at the Goo Lagoon when they see all of the other sea creatures swooning over Craig Mammalton, the tannest man on TV (an obvious reference to George Hamilton). Craig is hosting his annual summer shindig, but SpongeBob and Patrick are too pigmentally challenged to score an invite. The friends try to use Patrick’s tanning bed to get enough color to be let into the party, but SpongeBob stays in way too long, and ends up sun bleached.
    This episode had appeared on many DVD releases previously, including: SpongeBob vs. The Big One, Season 6 Volume 1, Complete Sixth Season, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, Next 100 Episodes, and more.
  • The Slumber Party (Season 6, Episode 10a, 11:48)
    Mr. Krab’s daughter Pearl is hosting a slumber party and wants her father to give her some privacy. He says he’ll stay in his room, but she doesn’t trust him, and so she locks him out of the house. Mr. Krab then enlists SpongeBob’s help to sneak into the party to report back what’s going on, but Pearl sees through all of the ridiculous disguises they attempt.
    This episode had appeared on many DVD releases previously, including: To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants, Season 6 Volume 1, Complete Sixth Season, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, Next 100 Episodes, and more.
  • Truth or Square (2009 Special, 44:26)
    This hour-long TV special also contains concurrent live-action Patchy the Pirate and animated SpongeBob storylines. Patchy is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his SpongeBob Fan Club, and has arranged to film a TV special, “Patchy the Pirates SpongeBob SquarePants Fan Club Big Time Impressive Celebrity Television Extravaganza!”. He’s even arranged for celebrities like Pink! to perform. But when SpongeBob doesn’t show up, he decides to go looking for the guest of honor. Meanwhile, it’s the eleventy-seventh anniversary of The Krusty Krab, and customers are lined up around the block. SpongeBob is excited for work, and Mr. Krab is excited to rake in the money. However, the staff manages to get locked in the freezer, and while they try to figure a way out, flash back to fond Krusty Krab memories (though these flashbacks are not clips from old episodes). The episode features a few new original songs.
    This episode had appeared on many DVD releases previously, including: Truth or Square, Season 6 Volume 1 (includes the uncut version), Complete Sixth Season, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, Next 100 Episodes, and more.

While I found this collection of episodes to be quite entertaining (though I probably could have done without all the live-action Patchy stuff), unfortunately the only new-to-DVD material on this disc is the 44 minute SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout special. The rest is comprised of themed content from the 3rd and 6th seasons that has already appeared on numerous previous DVD releases of the series. Also, there is no supplemental material included for any of the episodes, even though previous DVD releases have included bonus features or uncut versions of these same episodes.

That said, I really enjoyed the new Big Birthday Blowout special. SpongeBob and Patrick’s adventures on the surface are entertaining, and reminded me of the Sponge Out of Water film—though here they remain in their 2D-animated forms. The special has some great live-action guests such as David Hasselhoff in Baywatch gear, Nickelodeon stars Jack Griffo & Daniella Perkins as contestants in a beach game show, and Thomas F. Wilson (Back to the Future) as a dog walker. However, the highlight of the special had to be seeing the main voice cast of the series appearing as human doppelgangers of their characters when the tour bus ends up at The Trusty Slab—a fast food restaurant run by some oddly-familiar characters. This sequence had me laughing throughout.

The episodes are presented in a wide variety of formats. The newest SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout special is the only one to receive a 5.1 audio mix and anamorphic widescreen presentation. Truth or Square, which was the first widescreen SpongeBob episode, is still only presented in letterboxed format like all previous DVD releases of the special—I really wish they would have finally upgraded this to anamorphic widescreen! The remaining episodes are all presented in their original 4:3 full frame format with stereo sound. For the most part the picture looks really good, especially the animated portions. As someone who pretty much only watches HD or 4K programming these days, I found the live-action portions to generally look a bit duller than what I am used to, but still enjoyable. The audio tracks weren’t anything remarkable, but more than sufficient, providing clear dialogue.

I really enjoyed these episodes, but I was disappointed that there was no supplemental material included, especially related to the new Big Birthday Blowout special. I would have loved to have seen the SpongeBob panel from last year’s San Diego Comic-Con included here, or any other material related to SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout. Die-hard fans of the show likely already own most of the content on this disc, and will probably want to wait for comprehensive season 12 release—though that could be a while seeing as the Complete Season 11 DVD was just released a month ago. For casual fans who don’t already own the other episodes, this is a fun party-themed collection that would make for enjoyable family viewing, or once things get back to normal and kids can watch these at a party with their friends.



What’s Included:

Episodes: (2:36:52)

    • “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout”
      • 480i / Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
      • Audio: Dolby Digital English 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0
      • Subtitles: None
      • Closed Captioned
    • “SpongeBob’s House Party”, “Sun Bleached”, “The Slumber Party”
      • 480i / Full Frame 1.33:1
      • Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0
      • Subtitles: None
      • Closed Captioned
    • “Truth or Square”
      • 480i / Letterboxed 1.85:1
      • Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0
      • Subtitles: None
      • Closed Captioned

Extras:

    No bonus material has been included.



Final Thoughts:

My Rating
Episodes:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:
Worth a Look

SpongeBob’s Bikini Bottom Bash is a solid collection of SpongeBob episodes centered around a party theme. However, almost all of the material has been released before on DVD, numerous times. The only new-to-DVD special is SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout. There is also no supplemental material included for any of the episodes. So fans who already own most of this content on previous DVDs may want to wait for a Complete Season 12 release (though that could be a year away), and possibly pick up the special on digital in the meantime. But for those who don’t already own any of these episodes, this is a pretty solid compilation.