Captain Underpants was released 2017. It was written and directed by David Soren. The film is based on the graphic novels by Dav Pilkey. The plot follows the two main characters, Harold and Georg. The film starts out in the comic book the two friends have created. The film then reveals that they are the schools trouble makers. But the school is a bleak place and it seems Harold and George have taken it as their civic duty to to bring joy to the other students. We are also introduced to the principle of the school, Mr Krump, who like in any middle comedy of course is evil. Through their hijinks, Harold and George have clearly made an enemy of Mr. Krump. After a mandatory science fair, the two boys are caught on camera committing their latest prank, sabotaging the project of Melvin, the nerdy kid no one likes. This evidence gives Mr.Krump the power to separate the two boys. In their desperation to stay together, the boys devise a series of plans to prevent this devastating separation. In a final effort to prevent the dreaded signing of their fate, they use a hypnosis ring to turn Mr. Krump into the hero Captain Underpants. The rest of the movie follows the boys as they attempt to keep Captain underpants from causing too much havoc and finally leads them to fighting the main villain of the film, Professor Poopy pants.
If you are a fan of the graphic novel or have some exposure to the source material, you will probably enjoy this adaptation. They do a good job sticking to the source material and even include a scene with Flip-O-Rama. I myself haven’t touched the novels since my youth, but the sentiment was all there. If you are forced to watch this with your kids, I assure you will not have a terrible time.
The voice acting in this film is amazing. Kevin Heart, Ed Helms, and Thomas Middleditch do an amazing job as the main characters. In some kid movies, it is easy to get annoyed by the over the top voice acting but these actors did a great job voicing their perspective characters. The art was spectacular. The film will switch between different styles from CGI to hand drawn comics to puppets and it uses each style appropriately. The transitions between each style made sense and the attention to detail was amazing. I really enjoyed the hand drawn scenes where they gave the feel of the graphic novel.
As the plot goes, it follows the first book pretty closely, so if you have read the books, this is not something you are unfamiliar with. What I liked about this adaptation was how true it stayed with the feel of the graphic novel. Just like the graphic novel, the film goes meta and it constantly breaks the fourth wall to talk to the audience and explain certain plot points in way that worked well in line with the story. It also makes a ton of jokes about the education system that were a little easy, but I appreciated them non the less. Even the moments that are over the top, like when they discover they will be split up, works well with the tone of the film.
Overall, this is a cute film. While I wouldn’t call it a must see because I can see where some might not like, it is definitely not a chore to sit through. If you are looking for a film to watch with your kids, I strongly recommend this because it isn’t offensive or dumbed down as some kid films have a habit of being. It is definitely not annoying. If you don’t have kids and have Netflicks and need something for background noise, check it out. The voice actors are good enough where it wont be distracting.
Overall, I’d give this film a 7 out of 10 because I did zone out a bit and it isn’t engaging enough to recommend to an adult audience. It isn’t really worth seeing unless you are a fan of the graphic novels and want a bit of nostalgia. I liked it because of the connection it had with my child hood, but even then it did lose my attention at parts. So if you don’t have anything to do, or have a kid, check it out.