Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Captain Underpants
"No synopsis can do justice to the sense of fun, or the ingenuity of the animation"

The title is a turn off. You know what's coming. Lavatorial jokes for seven-year-olds. Naughty nursery outsourcing. Hey, there's a pissing contest at the back of the games hut!

Cartoon characters that extenuate the repulsive? Sorry, no can do.

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This is the biggest surprise since The Lego Movie, inventive, imaginative, funny ha ha, with original animation that does not conform to the stereotype, with storylines that break the rules and never say sorry.

Two friends, George and Harold, love comic books. They create their own, one doing the graphics, the other the dialogue. They can't be bothered with school. The headmaster, Mr Krupp, is an authoritarian dictator, a fat angry lump of a grownup, who becomes in their minds Captain Underpants, a superlesshero, dressed in ginormous Y-fronts with a cape and no shoes.

In the world of real they meet in a tree house where they work on their stuff, or go to school where they have a reputation for being practical jokers and the bane of Krupp's life. The other kids keep their heads down and avoid confrontation. They avoid everything.

The film mixes the cartoon fantasy with Krupp's determination to have the boys moved into separate classes. With the help of a magic ring from a cereal package they hypnotise Krupp into becoming Captain Underpants who flies about causing chaos and then, with the click of a finger, returns to his nasty natural self.

Krupp's purpose in life, apart from dealing with difficult pupils, is to get rid of laughter and since that is George and Harold's raison d'etre they clash and clash again until madness prevails. And madness is good, despite the interference from Professor Poopypants, another absurdly eccentric character (the less said...).

No synopsis can do justice to the sense of fun, or the ingenuity of the animation. Everyone praised Disney's Frozen for being traditional. Captain Underpants is the opposite. Like its protagonists, it is out of order.

Part of childhood is giggling under the duvet with a friend. Here we go again. This duvet gigglefest is guaranteed to annoy the sleep tight sweet right mummy huggers next door.

Reviewed on: 21 Jul 2017
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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie packshot
A head teacher is hypnotised by two naughty boys into becoming an unconvincing superhero.
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Director: David Soren

Writer: Nicholas Stoller, David Soren, based on the novels by Dav Pilkey,

Starring: voices of Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal, DeeDee Rescher, Brian Posehn, David Soren, Mel Rodriguez, Susan Fitzer, Lynnanne Zager, Tiffany Lauren Bennicke, James Ryan, Leslie David Baker

Year: 2017

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

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