‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’: Review
Everybody’s favorite childhood series has officially hit the big screen. ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ features an all star cast with some exceptional animation techniques. The film gives audiences a quick-witted visual gags and celebrating the power of youthful imagination.
Enhanced by a stellar voice cast and exceptional animation techniques, “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” delivers quick-witted visual gags at break-neck speed while also celebrating the ingenuity of youthful imagination.
George Beard [Voiced by Kevin Hart] and Harold Hutchins [Voiced by Thomas Middleditch] are two overly imaginative best friends who find satisfaction in pulling outlandish pranks and drawing comic books in their treehouse after school. When their grouchy principal, Mr. Krupp [Voiced by Ed Helms], threatens to place the two in separate classes, they hypnotize him into believing he’s Captain Underpants, their latest comic book creation who enthusiastically saves the world while gliding around in his tighty-whities. Suddenly, George and Harold are saddled with the enormous responsibility of ensuring that Krupp stays out of trouble while under their mind control.
As a young kid in elementary school, I vividly remember the days of reaching inside my desk and reading the “Captain Underpants” books, sometimes when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. But what can I say? I was enamored with Dav Pilkey’s delightfully immature stories about a grown man who fought talking toilets and alien lunch ladies in his underwear while under the hypnotic command of two children. I look back on those books with fond memories of my childhood and now that I’ve matured into adulthood, I’m happy to report that “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” largely succeeds, taking my inner nostalgia out of the equation.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone directed a “Deadpool”-esque parody for children? Well, look no further than“Captain Underpants,” a charming animated feature that doubles as one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in years. It’s near genius how smooth it transitions from literal potty humor into clever social commentary about the sterile learning environment of the modern education system. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only instance in which a children’s movie followed through with an impromptu whoopee cushion orchestration of the “Overture of 1812” and I nearly busted a gut.
Akin to the outstanding animation of “The Peanuts Movie,” the concoction of vibrant CG modeling and hand-drawn sketches brilliantly capture the spirit of Dav Pilkey’s imaginative illustrations, complete with his infamous Flip-O-Rama (flip book) interludes during the action. Krupp, George and Harold distinctly resemble their comic counterparts perfectly, keeping their designs and personalities intact, making necessary changes to further serve the outlandish narrative.
“Captain Underpants” places emphasis on the importance of friendship between George and Harold as their combined imagination is the only thing that gets them through an average school day. They share a childlike innocence in which being assigned separate classes is one of the biggest hurdles in their friendship. You laugh at how seriously they’re taking this possible scenario, but the film wholly understands how absurd it all is. They don’t come across as whiny children, but rather two friends who truly complete one another. Once you come to understand how their dynamic relationship works, you surprisingly feel for them when Krupp would unfairly assign punishments for harmless pranks.
Meanwhile, an impending threat arises in the form of Professor Poopypants [Voiced by Nick Kroll], a delectably mad genius inventor who uses Jerome Horwitz Elementary as his base of operations for a secret evil agenda involving a shrinking ray and mammoth-sized toilets. You know, as your average antagonist often does. Nick Kroll once again continues his winning streak of voicing animated over-the-top villains with exaggerated accents (“Sausage Party”).
This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but when I was watching this movie, I truly felt like a kid again. The characters are delightful, the animation leaps off the screen, and the neverending gags rarely run out of steam. As an added bonus, stay for the credits and you’ll be rewarded with a catchy “Captain Underpants” theme song sung by Weird Al Yankovic himself. Overall, “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” is a charming summer gem that further proves why you should never judge a film by its offbeat premise.
Watch the trailer below and catch ‘Captain Underpants’ in theaters now.