Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

"Very Good"

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review


There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but entertain pretty much everyone in the audience, from kids who like fart jokes to adults who will enjoy the surprisingly sweet exploration of childhood friendship. Indeed, the central thrust of the film is resonant with meaning, which nicely grounds the outrageously colourful silliness.

The buddies at the centre are George and Harold (voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch), pranksters who keep the other students at their school doubled up in laughter. But of course this also makes them the primary nemeses of Principal Krupp (Ed Helms) and the class tattletale Melvin (Jordan Peele). In desperation, Krupp declares that he is moving George and Harold into separate classes. And in a moment of panic, the boys somehow manage to hypnotise Krupp into believing that he's Captain Underpants, the nutty superhero from the comics they draw in their treehouse. But as they're enjoying their power over the principal, a more threatening villain appears in the form of their humour-hating new science teacher, Professor P (Nick Kroll).

While the movie is a little too manic for its own good, there's plenty to enjoy here. Not only does the story work on a variety of levels, but it's animated in a range of visual styles, from the somewhat plasticky main story to more intriguing traditional animation, flip-books, pen and ink, comic strips and even sock puppets. Every scene is packed with unexpected twists and visual invention. Nothing about this movie sits still for long, bouncing through its wacky story without pausing for breath. And the knowing style of humour makes even the most vulgar humour disarmingly hilarious.

Best of all is the way the movie focusses on this friendship, even offering a flashback to the amusing moment they met in preschool. While Helms and Kroll off playful edges to their maniacal characters, Hart and Middleditch give the film a soul by providing George and Harold with both comical timing and sparky camaraderie. These two boys have found partners who see the world through similar eyes, with the same warped sense of humour. This makes everything that much more fun for them, and also for those who are willing to laugh with them and not be threatened by them. So even if the film has quite a few serious things to say, it thankfully says all of that while keeping the audience giggling helplessly.

Watch the trailer for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Animation

Budget: $38M

Production compaines: DreamWorks Animation, Scholastic Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: David Soren

Starring: as George Beard (voice), as Mr. Krupp / Captain Underpants (voice), as Harold Hutchins (voice), as Professor Poopypants (voice), as Melvin (voice), as Edith (voice), Dee Dee Rescher as Ms. Ribble (voice), as Mr. Rected (voice), Grey Griffin as Miss Anthrope (voice), Fred Tatasciore as Mr. Meaner (voice), Mel Rodriguez as Mr. Fyde (voice), David Soren as Tommy (voice), Susan Fitzker as Mrs. Dayken (voice), Lynnane Zager as Mrs. Beard (voice), Tiffany Lauren Bennicke as Sad Girl (voice), as Mime (voice), as Officer McPiggly (voice), Sugar Lyn Beard as Goodie Two-Shoes Girl (voice), as Nobel Moderator (voice), as Nobel Audience Member (voice), Coco Soren as Balloon Girl (voice)

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


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