Wonder Woman isn’t the only superhero film coming out in theaters this week. Lifted straight from the pages of Dav Pilkey’s series of children’s novels, Captain Underpants makes his big screen debut with Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. It’s a charming film that’s fun for the entire family.
Best friends George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) have built their friendship over the years out of schoolyard pranks and drawing comic books in their backyard treehouse/headquarters. Unfortunately for them they take their pranking a bit too far one day and are caught by Principal Krupp (Ed Helms), who threatens to move then to different classes and thus break up the friendship. Left with no other options, they hypnotize him with a cereal box prize ring and convince him that he is no longer a principal but rather the superhero from their comic books, Captain Underpants.
Captain Underpants doesn’t shy away from its origins but rather fully embraces the pages it comes from. The cast is wonderful, and everyone fits their characters to a tee. Hart and Middleditch are perfect together as best friends who just want to have fun. Helms is especially impressive as he manages to perform two separate personalities for both Principal Krupp and Captain Underpants. I also enjoyed Nick Kroll as the villainous Professor Poopypants, as outrageous as he character may be. You can tell by their performances that it sounds like everyone is having lots of fun doing the voices for the film.
The animation style is also top notch. It reminds me a lot of The Peanuts Movie from 2015. They also mix things up a bit with hand-drawn animations that match the novels and even throw in a sock puppet scene as well. It’s all rather fun and does a good job at keeping the film interesting when the humor doesn’t always work.
Adults might find most of the humor to be childish and immature, but I found that it oftentimes straddled the line. Yes, the humor is simple; there’s nothing complex about Professor Poopypants and his giant robotic toilet monster. It doesn’t matter though because kids will still burst out laughing, and that’s all that really matters.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is surprisingly fun. I wouldn’t necessarily call it epic in any sense, but wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a second or even third movie down the line. Not all superhero films need to be Marvel or DC. And not all superheroes need to wear clothes, either.