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Featured TV on DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: Season Seven

December 4th, 2011

SpongeBob SquarePants: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon

The latest SpongeBob SquarePants DVD, Season Seven, is a four-disc set loaded with nine hours of SpongeBob and friends. But what episodes are included and is the overall value strong enough to be worth buying?

The Show

The DVD starts with Tentacle-Vision and I Heart Dancing, which I reviewed previously when it was released on Triton's Revenge. Growth Spout, Stuck in the Wringer, Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy, The Inside Job, Greasy Buffoons and Model Sponge were all on The Great Patty Caper, which I previously reviewed. Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful, A Pal for Gary, Yours, Mine and Mine and Kracked Krabs come from Heroes of Bikini Bottom, which I reviewed here. Which leaves us with...

  1. The Curse of Bikini Bottom
    SpongeBob and Patrick decide to explore Squidward's shed and want to play with his lawnmower. Squidward says yes, because he's hoping they will injure themselves. But when they accidentally shave The Flying Dutchman, he curses them.
    There are some good gags here, but overall it meanders too much to be a classic.
  2. Squidward in Clarinetland
    Squidward is in good mood, until a baby drools on his clarinet. He demands Mr. Krabs give him a place to store his stuff. But he has to share his cabinet with SpongeBob, who renovates it with TARDIS technology.
  3. Huh? Seriously. I don't know what happened in that cabinet, but it's a great episode.

    Over on Disc Two, the first short is...

  4. SpongeBob's Last Stand
    Found on SpongeBob's Last Stand, which I apparently didn't review. SpongeBob and Patrick go jelly fishing when they see a sign advertising the future superhighway, which will destroy the jelly fishes habitat. They make it their goal to stop the highway from being built.
    There are a number of funny gags on this double-length short, but it feels padded. It's also heavy-handed. I do like that they have a message to go with the jokes, but it would have been more effective if it were more subtle.
  5. Back to the Past, The Bad Guy Club for Villains, A Day Without Tears and Summer Job were from Heroes of Bikini Bottom, which I reviewed here.

  6. One Coarse Meal
    Plankton attacks The Krusty Krab and he's only defeated when Pearl shows up. (He's scared of whales, because whales eat plankton.) So Mr. Krabs dresses up as his daughter to torture Plankton.
    Unfortunately, this episode is merely good. Plankton succumbing to the effects of Mr. Krabs' torture should be a lot funnier than it is.
  7. Gary in Love
    SpongeBob takes Gary to the Snail Park, where he meets Mary and the two fall in love. But Mary's former boyfriend doesn't like it. Later when Gary goes to meet Mary, SpongeBob thinks he's been Snailnapped and runs to his rescue.
  8. Another episode where the setup is better than the execution. The episode benefits from being something we haven't see a hundred times before, but the originality isn't accompanied by strong jokes.
  9. The Play's the Thing
    Squidward gets a letter delivered at The Krusty Krab from a famed producer. He sent in a play and is convinced this is his acceptance letter and quits on the spot before even opening the envelope. You can probably guess what happens next. Dejected, SpongeBob convinces him to put on the play at The Krusty Krab and SpongeBob gets to be the lead actor.
    Squidward being crushed by reality after getting his hopes lifted is not a terribly unique plot. There are enough jokes that work that it's worth watching, but not among the best the show has to offer.
  10. Rodeo Daze
    Sandy gets a letter saying the rodeo is on and she has to go back to Texas to defend her title. SpongeBob thinks it's too dangerous, so he goes to save her. When no one is willing to go with him to save her, he take drastic measures.
    I love it when they go above water and suddenly everything's live action and this episode takes that running gag and uses it to great effect, first during the rodeo song and then during the finale. So far, it is the best of the previously unreviewed episodes on this DVD.
  11. Grandma's Secret Recipe
    Plankton is visiting his grandmother in her home. How sweet of him. Nope! It's part of his plan to get the Kraby Patty Recipe. He steels his grandmother's false teeth and wig for a disguise. Wow. That's low even for him. His plan hits a snag when he goes to SpongeBob and pretends to be his great-grandmother. SpongeBob falls for it, but SpongeBob's enthusiasm for spending time with the elderly is too much.
    It's a new take on a very old story. However, it works better than it should thanks to the impressively evil plan Plankton uses.
  12. The Cent of Money
    When Mr. Krabs learns Gary is a chain magnet, Mr. Krabs grabs him and abuses his talents, even though each time Gary does it, he gets a little more sick.
    This is a storyline we've seen countless times before and there's nothing new here to make it work.
  13. Moving onto disc three, the episodes start with The Monster Who Came to Bikini Bottom, Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle, The Curse of the Hex, The Main Drain, Trenchbillies and Sponge-Cano , all from Legends of Bikini Bottom, which I've already reviewed. The Great Patty Caper is from The Great Patty Caper, which is one of countless SpongeBob DVD's I've reviewed in the past.

  14. That Sinking Feeling
    When Squidward forbids SpongeBob and Patrick from being on his property, they dig countless tunnels under his property. It isn't long before he can hear them playing again, but while he can hear them, he can't see them, which is even worse.
    Hey look, they are playing Minecraft. It's mostly a good episode, but runs out of steam in the middle.
  15. Karate Star
    Patrick saves SpongeBob's life and to make it even Patrick asks SpongeBob to teach him karate. While Patrick has very low dexterity, his strength is amazing and he can chop through just about anything. Will he be able to control himself? Of course not.
    Watching Patrick first abuse his power and then see his power take control is quite funny. But it is also something of a familiar theme.
  16. Buried in Time
    When the Krusty Krab runs out of tarter sauce, Mr. Krabs decides to turn it into a time capsule and residents of Bikini Bottom can place whatever they want into it, for a fee, of course. In the end, SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward get buried in the capsule, along with a copy of the Krabby Patty recipe.
    A good episode. I like Squidward's testing of donations, as well as their visions of the future.
  17. Enchanted Tiki Dreams
    Squidward can't taking living next to SpongeBob and working with SpongeBob and just being near SpongeBob 24 hours a day. He's snapped and gone into a catatonic stupor. SpongeBob decides to try and do something nice for him by building him the perfect paradise right outside his front door.
    This episode started out with a theme we've seen far too many times, but it went in a good direction. I like the reality of what SpongeBob and Patrick did for Squidward blending in with his insanity.
  18. The Abrasive Side
    SpongeBob and Patrick are going to Glove World. At least that's the plan, but people keep asking SpongeBob for help and that makes him miss his big fun day. Patrick tells him he needs to stand up for himself, so he gets an abrasive side (like the kind kitchen sponges have). There's no way this will backfire.
    It's not a bad episode and there are some funny bits, like Squidward's reaction to the more abrasive SpongeBob, but it is something we've seen before.
  19. Earworm
    SpongeBob hears a new song called "Musical Doodle" and he can't get it out of his head. It's so bad he can't even get to sleep and he's nearly late for work. And when he gets to work he can't concentrate.
    If that song gets stuck in my head, there will be hell to pay. Otherwise it's a great episode with a particularly deranged SpongeBob taking center stage.
  20. Disc Four begins with Hide and Then What Happens? and Shellback Shenanigans from Runaway Roadtrip, which I reviewed just a few months ago.

  21. The Masterpiece
    There's a new restaurant that is taking a lot of his customers and Mr. Krabs wants SpongeBob to check it out. The restaurant isn't anything special, but they have a massive statue out front. So Mr. Krabs demands Squidward makes a statue of him for The Krusty Krab.
    There a good mixture of themes here, including the greedy Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob taking his job way too seriously and Squidward trying to be artistic. They are all pretty common themes, but they mix rather well.
  22. Whelk Attack
    While chasing Jellyfish, SpongeBob and Patrick are attacked by Whelks. Think a cross between a snail and a Dhole. What's causing them to attack? And will anyone in Bikini Bottom be around to stop them?
    This short has more action than most and that helps it stand out.
  23. You Don't Know Sponge
    SpongeBob and Patrick take a best friend quiz, but when Patrick fails to answer a single question correctly, SpongeBob thinks they are not true friends. Then when SpongeBob sees Patrick with Larry the Lobster, he thinks he's been replaced.
    This short has a pretty good setup, but ends a little abruptly.
  24. Tunnel of Glove
    SpongeBob and Patrick finally make it to Glove Land together, but while Patrick decides to eat fatty food, SpongeBob worms his way into Pearl's ride on the Tunnel of Glove. What's worse, the ride jams and they get stuck. Fortunately, Patrick is there to rescue them. Ho boy.
    Pearl rarely gets this much attention in an episode. The two parts of the episode, Pearl & SpongeBob stuck on the ride and Patrick trying to rescue them and making things progressively worse, are a nice compliment to each other and it's a fun episode.
  25. Krusty Dog
    SpongeBob create a new menu item, the Krusty Dogs. But when they prove really popular, Mr. Krabs discontinues the Krabby Patties. How will he survive?
    The setup had potential, but the way SpongeBob fixed the problem seemed rushed. Like the writers didn't know what to do and just ended it.
  26. The Wreck of the Mauna Loa
    While playing tag, SpongeBob and Patrick stumble upon the wreck of the Mauna Loa. When Mr. Krabs learns they found the Mauna Loa, which is loaded with treasure, he will stop at nothing from getting it.
    It's a common theme, Mr. Krabs' greed getting the best of him, but at least there's a couple twists here.
  27. New Fish in Town
    Patrick decides to rent out his front room, and the new guy, Howard, sounds perfect to Squidward. Unfortunately, Howard doesn't like Jellyfishers or bubbleblowers, so as soon as he meets Patrick and SpongeBob, he's going to move away for sure. Squidward can't let that happen.
    Squidward nearly has a good day after meeting someone he should get along with. Again, not exactly a unique theme.
  28. Love That Squid
    Squidward falls in love with a woman he meets while working at the Krusty Krab. However, it's been so long since he's been out on a date, he asks SpongeBob to help him out. He really is desperate.
    This has a similar theme as the previous episode, Squidward meeting someone who should make him happy, but it goes a different route to find the humor, and it works because of that.
  29. Big Sister Sam
    Patrick's sister comes for a visit. His big sister. His big, dumber sister.
    Not much of a plot. Just Sam shows up and smashes things. But there are some fun gags to go with the destruction.
  30. Perfect Chemistry
    Plankton converts himself into a gas in order to steal the secret recipe. Well, he calls it gaseous form, but he smells bad and makes farting noises whenever he moves. This plan doesn't work, but he floats into Sandy's lab while she's working on a transporter with SpongeBob. He plans to combine the two machines to steal the secret formula. SpongeBob is dejected, because he's no longer needed. However, Sandy informs him he has the most important job of all: test monkey.
    This has got to be one of the most immature episodes of the season. It is also one of the funniest. It takes a very common theme, Plankton trying to get the recipe and adding a lot of new elements to it, including what I think is the first time Sandy and Plankton interacted. It was definitely the introduction of Sandy and Karen.

The Extras

Just some promos.

The Verdict

SpongeBob SquarePants: Season Seven contains more than a dozen episodes or two dozen shorts that I believe hadn't previously been released on DVD. That means the price-per-minute of just the new stuff is lower than a lot of single-disc releases. Some of the episodes do feel less than fresh, but overall there's enough here that it's worth picking up, especially if you don't have all of the previous releases.

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