Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Captain Underpants)

Critics Consensus

With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 130

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,172
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Movie Info

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Cast

Kevin Hart
as George Beard
Ed Helms
as Mr. Krupp / Captain Underpants
Nick Kroll
as Professor Poopypants
Thomas Middleditch
as Harold Hutchins
Dee Dee Rescher
as Ms. Ribble
Brian Posehn
as Mr. Rected
Mel Rodriguez
as Mr. Fyde
Leslie David Baker
as Officer McPiggly
Sugar Lyn Beard
as Goody Two-Shoes Girl
Lesley Nicol
as Nobel Moderator
Christopher Miller
as Nobel Audience Member
Coco Soren
as Balloon Girl
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News & Interviews for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Captain Underpants)

Critic Reviews for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Captain Underpants)

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (114) | Rotten (16)

Audience Reviews for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Captain Underpants)

  • Feb 19, 2018
    Looks like we're gonna make this an all animated movie weekend over in my household. I was leaning toward this, The Babysitter, 1922 or Gerald's Game. Naturally, I chose the silliest one of them all. I'll get to the other three this week, most likely. But I still feel like I haven't washed off the anger and stress out of being without power for five months. Seriously, try to imagine that for a second. Almost half a year. Yep. Anyway, the best way to get rid of that is to watch silly movies. And this fits that description to a T, quite frankly. As a bit of an aside, I wonder how many friends have started out like Harold and George, where they just create their own comic book super hero. I don't think it's a lot, but there has to be quite a few. In fact, then again this was when I was a senior in high school, me and one of my friends (who's great at drawing) came up with this anti-hero, as it were. I don't remember much of the details, but I know he was gonna be a massive, angry man who died, but came back to 'earth' to avenge those who wronged him. How was he going to get back to earth, you ask? Well, he was gonna rip and angel's wings off (in this universe heaven exists), staple them (or something) to his own body and fly back down to earth. Sounds stupid, right? I don't know if we ever went past that point, but I know that was part of the character's origin. Who knows, maybe I'll revisit the concept one of these days. Not really, but a man can dream, right? A man can dream. Anyway, DreamWorks Animation FINALLY puts out a good animated movie. It's been a while since they've had one of those, something I pointed out in my review for the Boss Baby, which is the last movie I reviewed. Ironically speaking, the lowest-budgeted DreamWorks Animation movie in history, is also the one that has the most unique, if it can be called that, animation style for DreamWorks in quite a while. From what I can see of the books, which is very little honestly, the film seems like a faithful adaptation of that style. I have no idea why, but stylistically speaking, I'm reminded of the Peanuts Movie, even though they share nothing in comparison and were made by completely different studios. That's neither here nor there, of course, but I felt it was worth pointing out. Oh and, of course, I thought The Peanuts Movie was better. I guess the best (and worst thing) I can say about this movie is the fact that it feels like it was a movie made for kids by kids. If you could see into the mind of a child with an overactive imagination, I think it'd look something like this. This is good because I think it's got an energy about it that's difficult to deny. It's bad in the sense that the movie relies on jokes that are only funny to children. For example, there's a scene where there's a whoopee cushion orchestra. This scene contains the aforementioned cushions, armpit farts, squeaky farts, snot shooting out of a kid's nose, etc, etc. And that's just lazy humor to me. I get that Harold and George are at that age where they find that type of stuff funny, but it just doesn't translate well. At least to me. I will say that the aftermath of this orchestra 'performance' was funny. Essentially, the camera pans out to a shot of the kids laughing and applauding the performance, they shine a spotlight on Harold and George sitting together and then blurbs of reviews of the orchestra start appearing on the screen, like they do in film trailers. Someone gave it four and a half stars, other called it phenomenal, there was even a RottenTomatoes rip-off. It's silly, but it was funny. But the examples of potty humor continue. One of the running gags in the film is that the villain's legit last name is Poopypants. Yes, seriously. This motivates his actions of wanting to rid the world of laughter as a result of everyone laughing at his last name. This is bad enough. But, later on, it is revealed that the villain's full name is Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants, Esquire. Holy shit, talk about cringe-worthy. Again, I get that this movie is based on a series of kids' books, but that's still as lazy as it gets to me. For a movie that has some clever moments, the fact that they still rely so much on laziness to get their point across is disappointing. I think that's also one of the things about the movie that, in retrospect, I've noticed. It wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to be clever and subversive while also wanting to fit in as many poop jokes as possible. It just doesn't work. Either stick to one or the other, don't rely on both. It's like Adam Sandler trying to do Punch Drunk Love and Jack and Jill all in one movie, it doesn't fucking work. And it doesn't work here. Having said all that, I still found this to be a breezy and pretty entertaining movie. The animation is good and colorful. The voice acting is also fun. Nick Kroll, like Bill Hader, is one of those guys who'll surprise you with the versatility of his voice. Bill Hader is insane, though. As an example, he was in Turbo (a terrible movie from, you guessed it, DreamWorks Animation) and I didn't even know he voiced the villain until I saw his name in the credits. Didn't recognize his voice at all. Mr. Kroll doesn't quite reach that level, but he's clearly very good. Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch and Ed Helms are all good. Kristen Schaal is always great, even if her role here is a minor one. I can't complain about the animation or the voice acting one bit, even if it's not what I would call truly amazing. Don't really have anything else to say about this. It's a silly kids' movie, emphasis on the silly. The humor is definitely inconsistent in tone but, as a whole, I enjoyed watching this movie. Wouldn't say you need to go out of your way to watch this, but it's a fun enough diversion.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2017
    Based on a children's book series of the same name which I've never heard of (no surprise). The first epic movie? So are there going to be sequels? If not then this title will look kinda silly no? The plot: George and Harold are best friends and a pair of practical jokers in their school. At school you would have the usual array of characters such as the bully, nerd, jock, princess etc...Well these two were the pranksters. Their target being their grumpy principal Mr Krupp. One day after meddling with a fellow students invention Krupp decides to separate them which destroys the boys lives basically. In order to reverse this decision the duo hypnotise Krupp with a 'hypno ring' from a cereal box. They instruct Krupp to be more like Captain Underpants, a comicbook character they themselves created. For a time everything is going smoothly with the boys controlling Krupp as Captain Underpants. That is until a German scientist called Professor Pippy P. Poopypants arrives at the school. It seems that the professor is trying to rid the world of laughter (because he's fed up with people mocking his name). So now its up to Captain Underpants to save the world, but will the boys keep the Captain or reverse him back to Krupp? So as I'm sure you can tell from the character names here, this movie is inherently a kids feature (with names like Professor Pippy P. Poopypants I'm sure that's not a surprise). The whole idea of a superhero character running around in his underpants is of course an old joke passed down over the generations that (I believe) stems from Superman and his outfit. You know because Superman has those red pants on his outfit which look like underpants, which kinda look like they should be under his outfit. So since that very first incarnation there has always been this silly gag about superheroes and underpants which kids have always enjoyed. Whether or not this quirky character has anything to do with that I don't know, but its a safe bet. So the movie is extremely childish, because its aimed at young kids. The main protagonists spend their days drawing comicbooks in their treehouse and playing pranks. There's loads of school references (albeit more American) that kids will love to hate. Lots of kiddie toilet humour. And the mcguffin they use to hypnotise Krupp is from a cereal box, a cereal box! I remember the days when hunting for little collectible toys in cereal boxes was part and parcel of my childhood, an important part of the breakfast ritual. Literally everything the duo get up to is aimed squarely at kids because they will relate to it fully. Adults will most probably receive ripples of nostalgia but will possibly find things a bit too Saturday morning cartoonish. The real treat comes in the form of the movie visuals, something us adults can appreciate. The entire film is mainly CGI naturally but it has that claymation look to it. Everything is big round and solid with few edges, as if everything was made out of solid balloons. Its basically the same visual style as the 'The Peanuts Movie' but much much more colourful and vivid. You kinda wanna eat what you're seeing on the screen, it all looks deliciously edible. But next to that we also get snippets of other animation forms such as hand drawn, cutout, flash and a wicked little sock puppet sequence. Yes we've seen this type of thing before but its definitely a winning move. It all adds a really cool blend of dynamic visuals and imagination into the mix. Not that this movie lacks imagination, hell no, but its just really cool to see other forms of animation (one lasting plus point of the 'The Simpsons'). After doing a bit of research I was also impressed at how close to the original source material the visuals were. They really did stick to the book and capture that, dare I say, crude hand drawn style which is obviously mimicking children's drawings. All they did was make it pop in colourful CGI, kudos. Now I think about it the movies visuals also had a kind of Nintendo vibe about them I think (especially Poopypants giant toilet). An early 80's NES vibe about it, it could almost be a Mario movie if you use your imagination. I could easily see the Mushroom Kingdom being brought to life with these visuals. So whilst the visuals were terrific the plot was a rollercoaster for me. The movie starts out good enough with the boys doing what they do and then discovering how they can bring Captain Underpants to life, so to speak. That was all relatively relatable and jolly. But everything just gets way too crazy and off the wall when Poopypants turns up. Not having read the books I can't comment on how accurate it all was, and being an adult I'm not the target audience here. But the entire zombie thing had me rolling my eyes, because that isn't the go-to option for virtually everything is it. And Poopypants giant toilet invention is basically [b]too[/b] off the wall frankly, its almost [i]South Park[/i] levels of absurdity. Its all just a bit too weekday cartoonish for me, and probably other adults. But yeah, its stupid, its silly, its enjoyable, its for kids. Simple as that really.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2017
    The film starts off very strong but falls short on the finale. The voice cast does an excellent job but the film is a little over the place. I'm sure kids will find something but if you are a little older the film loses pace around the half way point. The film probably won't receive a sequel due to the film not getting the audience, it isn't a bad film, just struggled during a poor year for filmmakers. I thought the film could've sustained the humour for the duration but it does run out of steam and never captures it again. 15-10-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2017
    I get why a Captain Underpants movie was made. The climate is pretty much as ripe for superhero parody as it's ever going to be, Captain Underpants has enjoyed moderate achievement in terms of being a household name, I even remember more or less enjoying the books as a kid. But Captain Underpants is pretty bad. Not in any unexpected ways, it's reasonable to expect a certain level of humour from a film whose titular hero has "Underpants" in the name, but in my honest opinion, The "First" Epic Movie, should probably be the last one too.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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