Culture&Arts

'Captain Underpants' delights with humor for all

'Captain Underpants' delights with humor for all

Hart has truly become a household name. For the author and illustrator of the bestselling "Captain Underpants" books - a series that has been delighting kids and occasionally horrifying their parents for 20 years - every public appearance involves a bit of a roll of the dice.

"Captain Underpants scampers around in stretched-out tighty-whities and speckled cape, performing good deeds of staggering imbecility". The books, first launched by Scholastic in September of 1997, tell the story of two mischievous kids, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who hypnotize their school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, Captain Underpants.

Fans have been awaiting the Captain Underpants movie since it was first announced way back in 2011. George is the writer, Harold the artist, and this creative outlet is a sanctuary from the tyranny of their school, which Principal Krupp runs like a prison. The visual fun doesn't stop there as Captain Underpants presents a mesh of slapstick, surreal, and fourth-wall-breaking shenanigans to evoke a variety of comedic instances as well as clear parody of comic book exposition. In fact, the film's strongest takeaway message isn't that kids should defy adults or get into trouble, but that creativity and humour are essential to enjoying childhood. Essentially, it's a film about the childhood experience.

"Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie", a Twentieth Century Fox release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for "mild rude humor throughout".

In 2015, after initial director Rob Letterman left the project, David Soren stepped in to take the helm.

Soren and his animators soften the hard-plastic look of the characters' CGI faces with a rubbery kind of humanity. Of course, making an entertaining film full of juvenile humor that isn't mind-numbing is very challenging. There are some pacing issues in the film's final act and flat subplots that plague the film, though.




Captain Underpants is in theaters now.

For his part, Stoller continues to prove himself an expert in how comedy works, for all types and ages and senses of humor, and that really shows in this celebration of potty humor. At the same time, the gags will come in as fast as a kid on Red Bull.

The real heart and soul of the film lie with the voice cast of the film, though. Features the voices of Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch and Kristen Schaal. It unbelievable how much tangible comedic chemistry Hart and Middleditch have together.

It's such a simple concept for starters - it's classic wish fulfilment about these two best friends, wildly imaginative kids who hypnotize their bad principal and turn him into their comic book creation. Not to mention, the duo is so endearing too. You'll never snicker at his name again.

DreamWorks Animation's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is nearly perfectly critic-proof for a number of reasons, the biggest being that you can't say that this movie is stupendously juvenile, extraordinarily silly, and resolutely lowbrow in its sense of humor without sounding like you're criticizing it for those things.


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