Captain Underpants Review

As a kid, I wasn’t interested in Captain Underpants, so as an adult, I wasn’t excited to hear DreamWorks was turning it into a movie, but I somewhat changed my mind when I saw the trailer. It had a great art style and I laughed at some of the jokes. Now let’s see if Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie lives up to its trailer.

Overview: Two mischievous fourth-grade boys draw comics about a superhero called Captain Underpants. When their school principal threatens to place them in separate classes, they hypnotize him and turn him into their comic book creation. Together, they battle a supervillain called Professor Poopypants.

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Review: The way the movie translates 2D characters into 3D versions is adorable. It reminds me of what Blue Sky did with The Peanuts Movie, which I loved. Interestingly, the animation for Captain Underpants was outsourced to Mikros Image as part of a new DreamWorks strategy to reduce costs. The movie uses inventive animation tricks to make up for the lack of expensive visual effects. The hand-drawn sequences, varied transitions, and fourth wall breaks infuse the final product with a fun dynamism.

I can’t stand toilet humor, so I’m not the target of this movie, but at the very least it was upfront about the type of humor it offered. It doesn’t sneak up on you, it’s the brand. It’s supposed to be the sort of humor two unruly 9-year-olds would dream up and it’s best left as something that belongs to the kids. I think the filmmakers tried to do something different, and whether that pays off should be measured by the amounts of laughs gotten out of kids. Adults can enjoy the more absurdist jokes, but not much of the story.

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Rating: 3melons

Fun facts:

  • The budget for Captain Underpants was just $38 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Here’s how to say “Captain Underpants” in other languages:
    • Spanish: Capitán Calzoncillos
    • Portuguese: Capitão Cueca(s)
    • Danish: Kaptajn Underhyler
    • Finnish: Kapteeni Kalsari
    • Swedish: Kapten Kalsong
    • Polish: Kapitan Majtas
  • George and Harold were both diagnosed with ADHD when they were in 2nd grade.
  • Harold marries a man when he’s older.

That’s it for today! Check out my article about comic books turned into animated films.

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