SpongeBob SquarePants (season 4)
|SpongeBob SquarePants season 4|
Volume 2 DVD
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original run||May 6, 2005– July 24, 2007|
|Home video release|
|Region 1||Volume 1: September 12, 2006
Volume 2: January 9, 2007
Complete set: November 13, 2012
|Region 2||November 3, 2008|
|Region 4||November 7, 2008|
|List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes|
The fourth season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, aired on Nickelodeon from May 6, 2005 to July 24, 2007, and contained 20 episodes, beginning with the episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man". The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The season was executive produced by series creator Hillenburg, while writer Paul Tibbitt acted as the showrunner. The show undergone a hiatus on television as Hillenburg halted the production in 2002 to work on the film adaptation of the series, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Once the film was finalized and the previous season had completed broadcast on television, Hillenburg wanted to end the show but Nickelodeon wanted more episodes, so Tibbitt took over Hillenburg's position as showrunner and began working on a fourth season for broadcast in 2005.
The show itself received several recognition, including the three Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Cartoon from 2005 to 2007. The episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man" were nominated at the 57th Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour). It also received a nomination for its episodes "Bummer Vacation" and "Wig Struck" at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards for the same category. In 2005, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, accused a promotional video, which showed SpongeBob singing to promote diversity and tolerance, of "promoting homosexuality due to a pro-tolerance group sponsoring the video." This incident led to questions whether the character is gay. However, it was denied by creator Hillenburg who considers him as "almost asexual."
Several compilation DVDs that contained episodes from the season were released. The SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Volume 1 and 2 DVDs were released in Region 1 on September 12, 2006 and January 9, 2007, respectively, while the complete set was released in Region 2 on November 3, 2008 and Region 4 on November 7, 2008. On November 13, 2012, The Complete Fourth Season DVD was released in Region 1.
In 2002, Stephen Hillenburg and the show's staff members decided to stop making episodes to work on the 2004 film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, after completing the third season. As a result, the show went into a two-year "self-imposed" production hiatus. During the break on television, Nickelodeon expanded the programming for the third season to cover the delay, however, according to network executive Eric Coleman, "there certainly was a delay and a built-up demand." Nickelodeon announced nine "as-yet-unaired" episodes would be shown during the break.
Once the production on the film was completed, Hillenburg wanted to end the series "so the show wouldn't jump the shark," but Nickelodeon wanted to do more episodes. Hillenburg said "Well, there was concern when we did the movie [in 2004] that the show had peaked. There were concerns among executives at Nickelodeon." Hillenburg resigned as the series' showrunner, and appointed Paul Tibbitt, who previously served as the show's supervising producer, writer, director, and storyboard artist, to overtake the role. Hillenburg considered Tibbitt one of his favorite members of the show's crew, and "totally trusted him [Paul Tibbitt]." Tibbitt still holds the showrunner position and also functions as an executive producer. Hillenburg no longer writes or runs the show on a day-to-day basis, but reviews each episode and delivers suggestions. He said "I figure when I'm pretty old I can still paint[...] I don't know about running shows."
In 2004, Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke and the rest of the crew confirmed they have completed four new episodes for broadcast on Nickelodeon in early 2005, and planned to finish about 20 total for the then-fourth season. In particular, Kenny said "Kids were happy watching them for the 3,000th time. It was the parents who've been busting my chops for new episodes." He remarked that it would be "the same show, the same sponge". On May 6, 2005, the season premiered with the episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man". "Fear of a Krabby Patty" was the first episode to be broadcast after the show's intermission. It was written by C.H. Greenblatt and Paul Tibbitt, while Alan Smart served as animation director.
The fourth season had a cast of six main actors. Tom Kenny provided the voice of the title character SpongeBob SquarePants, and his pet snail Gary. SpongeBob's starfish best friend, Patrick Star, was voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, while Rodger Bumpass played the voice of Squidward Tentacles, an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus. Other members of the cast were Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas, Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money and SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab, and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, a small green copepod and Mr. Krabs' business rival. The season had a number of secondary characters including Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's driving instructor, Lori Alan as Pearl, Mr. Krabs' daughter, and Jill Talley as Plankton's computer wife, Karen.
In addition to the regular cast members, the season episodes feature guest voices from various professions, including actors, bands, and musicians. For instance, in the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?", American comedienne and actress Amy Poehler guest starred as the voice of Grandma, a sweet old woman who adopted Gary after he ran away. Musician Stew also appeared as a voice, performing the song "Gary, Come Home". Show writer C.H. Greenblatt made an appearance in the episode "Selling Out" as Carl. Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway returned in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy: VI The Motion Picture", reprising their roles as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, respectively. In "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired", English actor Robin Sachs voiced Sergeant Sam Roderick, a driving instructor who took over Mrs. Puff in teaching SpongeBob. Christopher Ryan, Nigel Planer and Rik Mayall appeared in the episode "Chimps Ahoy" as Sandy's bosses—Professor Percy, Dr. Marmalade and Lord Reginald, respectively. In the entry "Karate Island", Happy Days and The Karate Kid actor Pat Morita guest starred as Master Udon, a scammer who kidnaps SpongeBob to make him buy real estate. Morita died in November 2005, and the May 2006 episode was dedicated to Morita's memory.
The season was well received by media critics and fans. The episodes "Fear of a Krabby Patty" and "Shell of a Man" were nominated at the 57th Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour), but lost to South Park's "Best Friends Forever". The show was also nominated at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards for the same category for the episodes "Bummer Vacation" and "Wig Struck". At the 33rd Annie Awards, C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell and Tim Hill were also nominated for Best Writing in an Animated Television Production for the episode "Fear of a Krabby Patty". At the 2006 Golden Reel Awards, the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?" was nominated for Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated. The show itself received several recognition, including the three Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Cartoon from 2005 to 2007. It also received a nomination at the 21st TCA Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming, but lost to Degrassi: The Next Generation, and at the 23rd TCA Awards for the same category. However, the series did not win.
In his review for DVD Talk, Paul Mavis wrote "SpongeBob SquarePants is first and foremost, unapologetically silly." He said that "Kids love SpongeBob SquarePants's humor that distorts reality, with the repetition of physical gags (SpongeBob's repeated screaming, over and over again to the point of insanity) carried to such an extreme that even they can understand that the conventions of typical cartoon comedy are being perverted for their pleasure. And adults — well, they know that, too." Mavis "highly recommended" the set, saying "[It] is chock-full of great SpongeBob moments, that you won't feel guilty about watching — even if the kids aren't home. You know you like the show, and you've seen it a hundred times." In a separate review for the "Volume 2" DVD, Mavis also "highly recommended" the set and wrote "[It] has ten more classic episodes from a particularly strong season (Karate Island is one of the best SpongeBobs out there). Nothing grabs kids attention like SpongeBob, and you can't go wrong getting these collections for their libraries. And if they're for you — who cares? We won't tell (because we're watching them, too)." In particular, Mavis praised the episodes "Whale of a Birthday", "Chimps Ahoy", "Squidtastic Voyage", "Hocus Pocus" and "Born to Be Wild" as "some particular favorites" on the set. Furthermore, he lauded "Karate Island" calling it "an almost perfect melding of two slacker favorites: sitting on your butt watching cartoons, and sitting on your butt watching karate flicks."
In 2005, a promotional video which showed SpongeBob along with other characters from children's shows singing together to promote diversity and tolerance, was attacked by an evangelical group in the United States because they saw SpongeBob being used as an "advocate for homosexuality". James Dobson of Focus on the Family accused the makers of the video of "promoting homosexuality due to a pro-tolerance group sponsoring the video." The incident led to questions to whether or not SpongeBob is homosexual. In 2002, series creator Stephen Hillenburg denied the issue, despite the fact that SpongeBob's popularity with gay men grew. He clarified that he considers the character to be "almost asexual". After Dobson made the comments, Hillenburg repeated this assertion that sexual preference was never considered during the creation of the show. Tom Kenny and other production members were shocked and surprised that such an issue had arisen.
Dobson later asserted that his comments were taken out of context and that his original complaints were not with SpongeBob, the video, or any of the characters in the video but with the organization that sponsored the video, We Are Family Foundation. Dobson indicated that the We Are Family Foundation posted pro-homosexual material on their website, but later removed it. After the controversy, John H. Thomas, the United Church of Christ's general minister and president, said they would welcome SpongeBob into their ministry. He said "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we".
Jeffrey P. Dennis, author of the journal article "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons," argued that SpongeBob and Sandy are not romantically in love, while adding that he believed that SpongeBob and Patrick "are paired with arguably erotic intensity." Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Dennis' comments regarding SpongeBob and Patrick as "interesting."
While 2004 film adaptation of the series, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was generally well received by fans of the show, it is also considered a turning point in the show's history, as many of said fans believe the television series has declined in quality since the film's release. While episodes aired before the film were praised for their "uncanny brilliance", ones aired after the film have been variously categorized as "kid-pandering attention-waster[s]", "tedious", "boring" and "dreck", a "depressing plateau of mediocrity", and "laugh-skimpy." Following the film's release, fans also "began to turn away from the show," causing online fansites to "bec[ome] deserted." Some believe the show's ratings decline as of 2012 correlates with the alleged decline in quality, and "whatever fan support [the show] enjoys is not enough" to save it from its ratings slide.
|Title||Animation directors[note 1]||Written by[note 1]||Original air date|
|61a||1a||"Fear of a Krabby Patty"||Alan Smart||C.H. Greenblatt & Paul Tibbitt||May 6, 2005|
|After seeing Plankton's tactic of keeping the Chum Bucket open for 23 hours, Mr. Krabs decides to keep the Krusty Krab open 24/7. SpongeBob can't take it, and suffers a mental breakdown, which Plankton tries to use to get the krabby patty formula.|
|61b||1b||"Shell of a Man"||Tom Yasumi||Mike Bell & Paul Tibbitt||May 6, 2005|
|On the eve of a Naval reunion, Mr. Krabs moults his shell and makes SpongeBob take his place at the event.|
|62a||2a||"The Lost Mattress"||Alan Smart||Mike Bell & Tim Hill||May 13, 2005|
|Mr. Krabs is having trouble sleeping on his old mattress, so Patrick and SpongeBob buy him a new one and Squidward takes the credit. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Krabs' money was in the mattress and SpongeBob and Patrick have to invade the Bikini Bottom Dump to retrieve it as Mr. Krabs has fallen into a coma and Squidward will go to jail if he doesn't come out.|
|62b||2b||"Krabs vs. Plankton"||Tom Yasumi||Tim Hill, Mike Mitchell & Vincent Waller||May 13, 2005|
|After slipping on a wet floor while trying to steal a Krabby Patty, Plankton sues Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob is forced to defend him after the same floor injures Mr. Krabs' high-priced lawyer.|
|63||3||"Have You Seen This Snail?"||Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi||Aaron Springer & Paul Tibbitt||November 11, 2005|
|SpongeBob takes the "Dirty Bubble Challenge" with his new paddleball set and neglects Gary in the process, which causes him to run away and be adopted by a senile old fish who mistakes him for her snail.|
|64a||4a||"Skill Crane"||Alan Smart||Kyle McCulloch, Aaron Springer & Vincent Waller||May 20, 2005|
|SpongeBob wins on a Skill Crane (Recently Installed In The Krusty Krab) Meanwhile, Squidward goes insane trying to win the Skill Crane.|
|64b||4b||"Good Neighbors"||Tom Yasumi||Mike Bell||May 20, 2005|
|Squidward tries to enjoy a peaceful Sunday, but SpongeBob and Patrick are too annoying for him to relax.|
|65a||5a||"Selling Out"||Alan Smart||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Tim Hill||September 23, 2005|
|Mr. Krabs sells the Krusty Krab to a franchise restauranteur and retires, only to return when he is restless in retirement and discover the corner cutting by the new management.|
|65b||5b||"Funny Pants"||Tom Yasumi||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||September 30, 2005|
|Squidward tricks SpongeBob into thinking he broke his "laugh box" after he is annoyed by his laughter one too many times. Only now, SpongeBob can't stop crying.|
|66||6||"Dunces and Dragons"||Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Tim Hill||February 20, 2006|
|After a jousting accident, SpongeBob and Patrick pass out and dream that they are in medieval times.|
|67a||7a||"Enemy In-Law"||Andrew Overtoom||Tom King, Luke Brookshier & Tim Hill||October 14, 2005|
|Plankton falls in love with Mr. Krabs' mother, much to Mr. Krabs' dismay.|
|67b||7b||"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy: VI The Motion Picture"||Andrew Overtoom||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Paul Tibbitt||October 14, 2005|
|After seeing a preview of a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy film that will not include the real heroes, SpongeBob sets out to make the movie himself.|
|68a||8a||"Patrick SmartPants"||Tom Yasumi||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Tim Hill||October 21, 2005|
|Patrick loses his brain and becomes smart. He talks down to many people including his best friend SpongeBob. SpongeBob needs to give back Patrick's original brain.|
|68b||8b||"SquidBob TentaclePants"||Alan Smart||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Steven Banks||November 4, 2005|
|On the eve of Squidward's big clarinet recital, he and SpongeBob are accidentally morphed together by Sandy's teleportation device.|
|69a||9a||"Krusty Towers"||Andrew Overtoom||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||April 1, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs turns the Krusty Krab into a hotel where he claims they will cater to a customer's every whim regardless of how sensible it is. Squidward and Patrick both take unfair advantage of the situation.|
|69b||9b||"Mrs. Puff, You're Fired"||Tom Yasumi||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Tim Hill||April 1, 2006|
|Mrs. Puff is fired after SpongeBob fails his driving test again, and is replaced by a drill sergeant whose methods are uncommon.|
|70a||10a||"Ghost Host"||Alan Smart||Erik Wiese, Zeus Cervas & Tim Hill||May 5, 2006|
|After his ship crashes and he is forced to live at SpongeBob's, the Flying Dutchman comes to the realization he is no longer scary.|
|70b||10b||"Chimps Ahoy"||Andrew Overtoom||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||May 5, 2006|
|Sandy's benefactors from the surface threaten to pull her from the Treedome if she cannot come up with an invention. SpongeBob and Patrick decide to help.|
|71a||11a||"Whale of a Birthday"||Tom Yasumi||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Paul Tibbitt||May 12, 2006|
|Pearl is turning 16, and warns Mr. Krabs not to give her a cheap party and gifts, like in the past. Mr. Krabs sends SpongeBob out with a credit card to buy presents for Pearl, and she turns out to love her party and gifts.|
|71b||11b||"Karate Island"||Tom Yasumi||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Steven Banks||May 12, 2006|
|SpongeBob wins a trip to "Karate Island", run by a scammer who kidnaps him and forces Sandy to save him.|
|72a||12a||"All That Glitters"||Andrew Overtoom||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Steven Banks||June 2, 2006|
|While preparing a Monster Krabby Patty, SpongeBob's spatula breaks and he needs a new one.|
|72b||12b||"Wishing You Well"||Andrew Overtoom||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||June 2, 2006|
|Mr. Krabs has SpongeBob and Patrick dig a wishing well in another moneymaking scheme.|
|73a||13a||"New Leaf"||Alan Smart||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Steven Banks||September 22, 2006|
|Plankton says he is giving up on his many tries to steal the Krabby Patty formula to turn the Chum Bucket into a store. Plankton even renames The Chum Bucket to The Chumporium, but Mr. Krabs is smart to not believe him.|
|73b||13b||"Once Bitten"||Alan Smart||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Steven Banks||September 29, 2006|
|Gary bites Squidward because of a splinter that is infected, but Patrick tells everyone that it is "Mad Snail Disease", and the whole town panics.|
|74a||14a||"Bummer Vacation"||Tom Yasumi||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Dani Michaeli||October 13, 2006|
|SpongeBob is forced to take his vacation days at work but cannot accept that. When Patrick is hired as his temporary replacement, SpongeBob goes crazy.|
|74b||14b||"Wigstruck"||Alan Smart||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Dani Michaeli||November 17, 2006|
|SpongeBob begins wearing an old ratty wig around town to the ridicule of others.|
|75a||15a||"Squidtastic Voyage"||Tom Yasumi||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Dani Michaeli||October 6, 2006|
|SpongeBob and Patrick cause Squidward to swallow his clarinet reed and they must retrieve it.|
|75b||15b||"That's No Lady"||Andrew Overtoom||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Steven Banks||November 25, 2006|
|After misinterpreting a salesman's pitch, Patrick disguises himself as a woman and immediately becomes the center of attention in Bikini Bottom.|
|76a||16a||"The Thing"||Andrew Overtoom||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Steven Banks||January 15, 2007|
|After Squidward's day is ruined yet again by SpongeBob and Patrick while he is trying to watch public television, Squidward rides his bike into a cement mixer and emerges as a hideous looking creature that SpongeBob and Patrick adopt.|
|76b||16b||"Hocus Pocus"||Alan Smart||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Steven Banks||January 15, 2007|
|SpongeBob thinks he accidentally turned Squidward into an ice cream cone with a magic set.|
|77a||17a||"Driven to Tears"||Andrew Overtoom||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick passes his driving exam and it goes to his head, which makes SpongeBob furious.|
|77b||17b||"Rule of Dumb"||Tom Yasumi||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Dani Michaeli||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick is revealed to have descended from "King Amoeba" and is thus now King of Bikini Bottom. He quickly becomes tyrannical until it is revealed that in fact Gary the Snail is the true heir.|
|78a||18a||"Born to Be Wild"||Tom Yasumi||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||March 31, 2007|
|SpongeBob finds a patch from a biker's jacket in Jellyfish Fields and immediately becomes frightened.|
|78b||18b||"Best Frenemies"||Alan Smart||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Dani Michaeli||March 31, 2007|
|After a smoothie stand selling "kelpshakes" opens near the Krusty Krab and the Chum Bucket, Plankton and Mr. Krabs work together to stop it.|
|79a||19a||"The Pink Purloiner"||Tom Yasumi||Luke Brookshier, Tom King & Steven Banks||February 19, 2007|
|There is a migration of many exotic jellyfish species. SpongeBob and Patrick bring their nets to catch them. However, SpongeBob's jellyfish net is missing and he thinks Patrick stole it.|
|79b||19b||"Squid Wood"||Andrew Overtoom||Casey Alexander, Chris Mitchell & Dani Michaeli||July 24, 2007|
|After Squidward won't play with him, SpongeBob makes a miniature wooden puppet version of Squidward that becomes much more popular than the actual Squidward.|
|80a||20a||"Best Day Ever"||Larry Leichliter||Nate Cash, Tuck Tucker & Steven Banks||November 10, 2006|
|SpongeBob wants to have the best day ever. He keeps a list of pasttimes, including working at the Krusty Krab, jellyfishing, karate, and watching Squidward perform. However, many problems prevent him from doing them.|
|80b||20b||"The Gift of Gum"||Alan Smart||Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese & Dani Michaeli||February 19, 2007|
|Patrick gives SpongeBob a huge wad of bubble gum on Best Friends' Day.|
The first ten episodes of the fourth season were released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada on September 12, 2006. The "Volume 1" DVD release features bonus material including animatics and featurettes. The remaining ten episodes of the season were also released under the title "Volume 2" in the United States and Canada on January 9, 2007. The DVD release also features bonus material including music videos, shorts and featurettes. In Region 2 and 4, the DVD release for the season was a complete set. On November 13, 2012, The Complete Fourth Season DVD was released in Region 1, five years after it had completed broadcast on television.
|SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Volume 1|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|September 12, 2006||November 3, 2008||November 7, 2008|
|SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Volume 2|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|January 9, 2007||November 3, 2008||November 7, 2008|
- Information regarding story development, storyboard artists and animation directors is taken from the opening credits of each episodes.
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- SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Vol. 1 ("Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy: VI The Motion Picture" credits) (DVD). United States: Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon. September 12, 2006.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Vol. 1 ("Mrs. Puff, You're Fired" credits) (DVD). United States: Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon. September 12, 2006.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Vol. 2 ("Chimps Ahoy" credits) (DVD). United States: Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon. January 9, 2007.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 4, Vol. 2 ("Karate Island" credits) (DVD). United States: Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon. January 9, 2007.
- Staff (July 15, 2005), "Emmy nominees", The Star-Ledger: 060
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- Mavis, Paul (December 30, 2006). "SpongeBob SquarePants - Season 4, Vol. 2". DVD Talk. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
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