Written By: Artur Galvao
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie was a movie that I thought was going to be cash-grab on nostalgic memories of the people that grew up reading the book. Full disclosure, I was excited to watch this movie with one of my friends, but since I couldn’t, it was much harder to watch. So even before watching this movie I was already going to hold it to a higher regard despite the tone that was to be expected (aka toilet humour). But I am glad to say, not to only the readers but also to my friend whom I could not watch it with, that this was a movie that he would have thoroughly enjoyed just as I did.
This movie is based on the classic children’s novel by Dav Pilkey, the first novel in the Captain Underpants series. Published on September 1, 1997, it became a hit with children ages 6–8 across North America. No wonder a comic about poop, underwear, and farts ended up being compelling to its audience. Now, the movie takes a step in a different direction – it appeals to both children and adults. This is satisfying because it’s not a mindless reconstruction of the comics. You can tell that behind the scenes, the filmmakers (Writer: Nicholas Stoller, Director: David Soren) were having a lot of fun constructing the script and that fun translates towards the audience. What I state next might be obvious for why they did it, but I am glad that DreamWorks Studio decided to make the movie animated. It’s a natural transition from page to film that it makes you wonder why studios don’t just maintain that format instead of going the live-action route. And this is where this Review begins, with the analysis of the animation.
The animation is important because if the scene is badly drawn or poorly animated, viewers will find it distracting and it might even disrupt the flow of story and stagnate the pacing of the movie. So, with animation being so important, I can pleasantly say that the animation in this film is perfect. Scenes are well-lit and objects, no matter how far into the background, are finely detailed. Throughout the film animation staff took their time to make the animation the best it could be, explaining the highly detailed backgrounds. This movie also has several scenes of physical comedy with little to no dialogue and it’s purely on the cartoon to deliver the joke. If you know anything of Captain Underpants it is that Principle Krupp when hypnotized and, at the snap of a finger, becomes Captain Underpants and with splash of water he reverts to Krupp. The latter becomes a running gag throughout the entire movie but because of the 3-D animation, the joke is always shown in a unique way which keeps it from becoming stale and unfunny.
Just to give a brief synopsis of the movie: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. However, the themes of friendship and laughter transcends story to a higher level. Captain Underpants could have easily turned out to be a toilet-humour filled piece of garbage like other films within that genre such as Norm of the North but thankfully it lands in and around The Lego Movie area. The film does an impressive job in developing a movie that is equally appealing to both children and adults. Children will appreciate the action, animation and humour. While, adults can appreciate the story, the heart and the loveable juvenile humor. The screenplay is self-referential, lighthearted, and inventive, finding innovative ways to make often the same set of jokes work over and over again. The movie caters successfully to wide audition which it provides a better financial income for this film.
Lastly, we look at the performances of the movie. This movie stars: Kevin Hart as George Beard, Ed Helms as Krupp/Captain Underpants, Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants, Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins and Jordan Peele as Melvin. From a first glance this cast look fantastic, and they do an excellent job with the script their given. The stand-out performances come from Ed Helms, Kevin Hart and Nick Kroll. All their voice acting keeps the movie grounded in a much-needed way. There are multiple times where it seems the movie might dwell into rapid-fire delivery which can prove more exhausting than inspired but thankfully, the voice acting keeps it from not doing so.
Now it might seem like I’m sucking this movie’s dick too hard but I assure this movie does have faults. Although, none of these faults are not that noticeable and does not take away from the charm of the movie. Some reviews might state that this movie does not reach the emotional levels or intellectual insight that could make it one of the all-time animated greats. However, you should keep in mind that it’s a kid’s movie based entirely around potty humor. You shouldn’t be expecting a Pixar classic. Most importantly, this isn’t trying to be anything bigger than what it is. The writers knew exactly what they were going for and it paid off in the end.
In conclusion Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is fun, exciting and deserves to get a sequel so please give this movie all the moneys.
Artur’s Rating: 7.7/10
Nick’s Rating – 7/10
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