Kid review: 8/10 stars, Parent review: 4/10 stars
The Captain Underpants franchise has been a very popular one for many reasons and has universal appeal especially among our young readers for the last 20 years. It is a funny graphic novel series written by Dav Pilkey that helps encourage even reluctant readers to pick up the books for a bit of a laugh. This genre has only grown to include “Diary of a Whimpy Kid” and several off shoots. It was only natural that these books would be made into a movie which has been brought to us by Dreamworks and will be opening to the general public on 2 June 2017!
We were invited to an advanced screening of the film over the weekend and the kids loved it. This is the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold. They like to create comics about the superhero they created named “Captain Underpants” – George tells the stories and Harold is the illustrator. At school they are dealing with a soul crushing principal who threatens to put into separate classrooms. With these fears mounting they decide to take action and hypnotize Principal Krupp into thinking he’s their ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero. What they don’t realize is that they will need his help in defeating Professor P.
I loved the animation and the overall look and feel of the movie and it boasts an all-star cast for the voices. Ed Helms, Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch are the voices of Principal Krupp, George and Harold respectively. The story is kind of all over the place including lots of humor a little bit of suspense, a bit of flirting, lots of laughter and overall goofiness. The main characters are silly and smart and love to laugh and I love that different people are shown throughout the movie. There is a good deal of problem solving shown, which I always love my kid to see in different formats. The overall message of the movie is one I can get behind as well: laughter is the best medicine! My son also really loved the fact that Weird Al Yankovic wrote the theme song (he is a BIG Weird Al fan!).
All of the kids in the theater were gigging through many parts of the film. There was some smart humor, but the big laughs revolve around the toilet humor, which when you consider the movie revolves around a character called “Captain Underpants” you have to expect it. It is PG rated in the US for mild/toilet humor (in Canada it is rated G). There are a few scenes where the children’s sense of humor is taken away and where a giant robotic toilet is shooting toilet paper and such, but there is very little I would be concerned with in the film.
This was definitely made for younger age groups and that is why their movie rating was higher. The humor and story was right up their alley. For my husband and I, we just didn’t feel like this movie had as much content in humor and story for the adults. Neither of us grew up reading these books and it didn’t hold the nostalgia that it might for younger adults. For us it just didn’t hold up to what we have gotten used to with other animated movies we have seen as well. We just didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the kids did – for us it felt like longer than the 89 minute run time.
Overall, the kids are going to love it and it will be a popular movie for the younger set this summer.
Disclaimer: We were given complimentary entry to the movie. All opinions expressed are always my own and we were not required to leave a positive review.