In recent years it seems that all animated kids’ movies have to come with a moral or an uplifting message – be true to yourself, embrace your inner beauty, that sort of thing – so it’s refreshing to find Captain Underpants, a kids’ film that dumps all that navel-gazing in favour of laughs, giggles, and unabashed fun.
Both kids and adults will find themselves chortling through this bright and inventive tale based on the Dav Pilkey books about best friends George (Hart) and Harold (Middleditch). They spend their days pulling pranks to make life at school more enjoyable for their fellow pupils, much to the annoyance of miserable school principal Mr Krupp (Helms).
Things take an unexpected turn, however, when they accidentally hypnotise Krupp into believing he is enthusiastic, dimwitted superhero Captain Underpants – the underwear-clad subject of George and Harold’s self-written comics, come to life. And his transformation comes just as a villain named Professor Poopypants comes to town and gets a job at the school. Will Captain Underpants be able to save the day?
As you can guess from a movie in which the hero wears nothing but big white pants and the baddie is called Poopypants, this is packed with toilet humour (literally – there’s even a giant toilet that pops up in the movie’s climax) that’s innocently naughty rather than rude.
Silly without being grating for grown-ups, Captain Underpants is fresh, fast-paced, and adorably boisterous. There are many moments that will have parents chortling (especially a scene in which the kids are running around high on sugar) but more importantly, it is packed with scenes that kids will adore, and two best friends who are extremely likeable. A real treat for all ages (yes, even little ones) that celebrates all that is great about being a kid. Great stuff.
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