Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie: Good for a Giggle or Two

Movie Review: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)
Version: Library borrow

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is as juvenile as you might expect it to be. Well, it is a movie for juveniles. But it is juvenile in a fun and upbeat way, so if your kids want to see it, you really don't have to worry. It's fun for them and you should get a few laughs out of it, too. It's full of enthusiasm and over-the-top kid pranks that kids can appreciate but are unrealistic, so don't worry that yours will get any crazy ideas. And it's great animation.

The gist of the story is that the two main characters, George and Harold, pull pranks at school because principal Mr Krupp makes school so miserable it's the only way to survive. And they pull epic pranks, mostly at the expense of Mr Krupp. Now, Mr Krupp doesn't like anything that kids like, especially arts programs, and especially the comic books the George and Harold write and draw involving a superhero named Captain Underpants. Mr Krupp's act of revenge against George and Harold is to assign them to separate school rooms, at opposite ends of the school, threatening to end their lifelong friendship. Sneaking into his office, they discover a drawer full of objects they have owned that Mr Krupp has taken from them, including a plastic hypnotizing ring, which they accidentally use to hypnotize Mr Krupp into believing he is and acting like Captain Underpants. And so the fun begins, as the belligerent Mr Krupp becomes the benign but blundering superhero of their dreams at the command of their every whim. Their only problem comes when Captain Underpants acts beyond their control to hire Professor Poopypants (I told you this was juvenile!) as the new science teacher, who then becomes the evil genius out to remove laughter from every student at school.

The only name I recognize among the voice actors is Kevin Hart as George. But everyone else delivers good performances in this entertaining ensemble cast: Thomas Middleditch as Harold, Ed Helms as Mr Krupp and Captain Underpants, and Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants. The animation is well done, too. Nothing is done in proportion, which is usual in animation, but this is taken to extreme, which if you think about it, is appropriate for "the first epic movie". Everything technical about this kid-friendly film makes it a fun romp, and all kids, except perhaps the serially serious, will love it. And even the serially serious have a character they can appreciate: Melvin, who doesn't get any of George and Harold's jokes and pranks. Be careful of him, he becomes Professor Poopypants's accomplice!

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is based on the popular book series, but you don't really have to have read the books to enjoy the movie. Cuddle up with your little ones some cold evening and enjoy a giggle or two.

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