By BRUCE DENNILL
Spongebob Squarepants: Deep-Sea Games / PG
The world’s most famous clothes-wearing (and oddly ubiquitous) invertebrate continues to maintain his high profile in all things televisual with this collection of episodes built around Spongebob, Patrick and company’s involvement in a number of ever more mental sporting competitions. The friends are trying to prove their worth to extreme sports team The Drasticals, whose feats of derring-do ensure them the admiration of anything that crawls, swims or attaches itself to a rock in Bikini Bottom.
This DVD comprises 12 episodes in which increasingly daft pastimes are indulged in and there are generally hints as to what will go on in the episode titles, which include: “The Fry Cook Games”, “Karate Choppers”, “Jellyfishing” and “Musclebob Buffpants”. There’s a certain narrative arc to each segment: ridiculous challenge laid down, Spongebob and Patrick pick up the gauntlet, much pain and humiliation follow and things end with – possibly – a lesson having been learned.
As in most animated series nowadays, the scripts here are designed to appeal to both adults and kids. The problem with most of these episodes is that any vaguely sensible (some would say conservative) parent would, even as they note a sneaky reference or find themselves grinning at a punchline, recognise that much of the material being delivered into their offspring’s nerve centres via this series is at best not edifying and occasionally worryingly violent or otherwise inappropriate.
Folks who don’t mind their eight-year-olds playing first-person shooter computer games won’t have a problem, but if you believe that young children should still be allowed room to be naïve and innocent, Deep-Sea Games should not be first choice entertainment.