George and Harold have been best friends since kindergarten, pulling pranks left and right and having creative imaginations that lead them to create Captain Underpants. One thing leads to the other and their creation lives to save lives and cause chaos.
Based on the novels by Dav Pilkey, written by Nicholas Stoller with additional writing by David Soren, and directed by David Soren. Together, they create a children’s movie that is all kinds of fun, funny, immature, with heart and epic moments. They take the beloved characters and transpose them to the big screen in a way that has just the right amount of silliness and message. It’s not one of those serious kids films all about the message and lessons, it’s about the fun and excitement which allows it to deliver its message. The film’s characters are a bit on the ridiculous side but that’s perfect for the type of story and setting it has. The jokes in the film do tend to run on the side of the juvenile but it’s not in a gross out way, even though there are poop jokes, they are on the level of kids but not annoying for adults. The two lead characters being children, it makes sense that the point of view and humor be those of children about 4th grade age.
The animation of this film is adorable and full of heart. It has a look that just grabs the viewer, child or adult, and makes them want to watch. There is even a switch in the middle or so where it becomes a completely different genre of animation that is rarely seen in films and that will not be spoiled here. This is a fantastic short vignette that gives the film a boost and shows even more creativity from the filmmakers. The way the different styles of animation are put together works great as it’s about 2 kids with crazy imagination, telling the story themselves, and creating all of what is seen basically.
The cast here also helps the film a ton, it’s composed of a plethora of comedians and funny people, from Kevin Hart to Ed Helms to Thomas Middleditch to Nick Kroll to … they are all there, but none of them seems to be there to be star, their performances let the film be the star, the story shines, the funny be central. It is a kids’ film and kids won’t care about the names attached but they will care if their interpretations ring right, which they do.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a fun and funny movie; it has touching parts and a good message. While it does have potty humor, it’s not annoying or ridiculously childish that adults can’t appreciate the film and some of the humor. The voice cast will appeal more to the adults than the kids, but the look of the film and how it develops should appeal to most people who love fun, imaginative animated films.