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Captain Underpants (also known as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie) is a 2017 American computer-animated superhero comedy film based on the children's novel series of the same name by Dav Pilkey. It was produced by DreamWorks Pictures, with Mikros Image Montreal and Technicolor Animation Productions provided animation. It was directed by David Soren from a screenplay by Nicholas Stoller, and stars the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, and Kristen Schaal.

The plot follows two imaginative elementary school pranksters named George Beard and Harold Hutchins (voiced by Hart and Middleditch) who hypnotize their ill-tempered principal, Mr. Benjamin Krupp (voiced by Helms), into thinking he is Captain Underpants, a superhero who fights crime while wearing only underwear and a cape, and the main protagonist of George and Harold's comic books.

Captain Underpants premiered on May 21, 2017, at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, and was released in the United States on June 2, 2017, in 3D and 2D. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics and has grossed $425 million worldwide against a budget of $38 million, making it DreamWorks' lowest-budgeted computer-animated feature. This was DreamWorks' last animated film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox since rights to the entire DWA library, including this film, are now owned by Universal Pictures, following NBCUniversal's purchase of DreamWorks Studios in 2016. With the film's release in Saudi Arabia paired with The Emoji Movie on January 13, 2018, both became the first films to be given official public screenings in the country in 35 years after the removal of Saudi Arabia's cinema ban.

Plot

In Piqua, Ohio, George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two fourth-grade friends and next-door neighbors who are the pranksters at their school, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. They excessively pull numerous pranks on their mean-spirited principal, Mr. Benjamin "Benny" Krupp, which puts them at odds with him. The duo also create comic books about a superhero named Captain Underpants, who fights crime while wearing only underwear and a cape. They sell these to their schoolmates through a comic company called Treehouse Comix Inc, housed in their treehouse. George and Harold's pranks come to an apparent end after they pull a series of practical jokes at the school's football game, since Mr. Krupp reveals to them that he now has a videotape of them preparing their pranks. Finally having solid proof of the boys' antics, Mr. Krupp decides to try to annihilate their friendship by putting them in separate classes.

To prevent this, George hypnotizes Mr. Krupp with a 3D Hypno Ring he received out of a cereal box and Harold replaces the video with one of his little siblings' "Boomer the Purple Dragon" sing-along videos. The boys see that Mr. Krupp bears an odd resemblance to Captain Underpants without his clothes and toupee and command him to be Captain Underpants. The boys soon learn the severity of their actions when "Captain Underpants" begins causing problems around Piqua. To prevent these issues, the boys take him to their treehouse, where they discover that they can turn Captain Underpants back into Mr. Krupp by splashing water on him and can turn him back into Captain Underpants by snapping their fingers. Knowing that Mr. Krupp will continue trying to separate them, they decide to settle with Captain Underpants but insist that he be dressed up as Mr. Krupp under the pretense of a "secret identity," to which Captain Underpants agrees. His sudden personality change even manages to attract the attention (and affection) of the school's shy lunch lady, Edith.

Just when George and Harold believe that their troubles have ended, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School is visited by an odd, German-accented scientist named Professor Poopypants, Esq., or as he calls himself, Professor P. Captain Underpants (disguised as Mr. Krupp) hires him to be the new science teacher, but George and Harold are suspicious of him due to his short-tempered and violent behavior, as well as his résumé's content. As it turns out, Poopypants is seeking to get rid of laughter altogether due to the fact that people have made fun of his name for years and he plans to get rid of the Hahaguffawchuckleamalus, a part of the human brain that allows people laugh. He recruits the school's local snitch, intellectual Melvin Sneedly to help him, as he discovers (after reading a comic book George and Harold made featuring characters resembling them called Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants) that Melvin's brain makes him incapable of laughing or having fun, and does not find his name funny.

Meanwhile back at the school, Captain Underpants (dressed as Mr. Krupp) opens the art room back up for the children with the help of George and Harold. He tries to draw a picture but finds it hard, he observes over what Harold and George is writing about, Captain Underpants then has an idea. After while, George and Harold realize that everyone is gone and as soon as they get outside they see that Captain Underpants has thrown a carnival for all the students, but George and Harold are cautious of him as any game that has something to do with water could turn him back into Mr. Krupp. The boys try their best to protect him and snapping him into Captain Underpants again, but he goes back and forth to Mr. Krupp to Captain Underpants again and after a ferris wheel accident that crashes into the school as Captain Underpants glides down in a parachute, the rain gets to him and he becomes Mr. Krupp again. Upon seeing what has happened, Mr. Krupp angrilly separates George and Harold.

Soon, Poopypants tries to take over the town with an giant version toilet which he named the Turbo Toilet 2000, fueled by the school cafeteria's rotten leftovers left out by Edith, and uses Melvin's brain to turn the children into glum, humorless zombies. Harold and George witness this happen in their separate classes as they both leave into the men's restroom trying to find out what to do, as soon as Mr. Krupp walks in upon seeing George and Harold near each other and was about to reprimand them, George and Harold had no choice but to snap their fingers for Captain Underpants to appear and tries to stop the villain. However, due to having no actual superpowers, Captain Underpants is effortlessly defeated and thrown into the toilet.

George and Harold are captured and nearly turned into zombies, but are able to escape after Poopypants mentions the planet Uranus, reminiscing the joke which caused them to be friends (mentioned when George and Harold introduced themselves), causing the boys to laugh and damage the Turbo Toilet 2000's computer because they have a large Hahaguffawchuckleamalus, restoring the children back to normal. Upon consuming the mutated leftovers, Captain Underpants acquires superpowers and, with George and Harold's help, defeats and shrinks Poopypants.

Poopypants easily escapes on a bee shortly thereafter (while swearing future revenge at Captain Underpants once he have his normal size again), while Melvin is arrested by the Piqua police officers for his part in Poopypants' plan, and the Turbo Toilet 2000 is sent to the junkyard for scrap, while George, Harold and Captain Underpants flee the scene going back to the treehouse. Knowing that they cannot control Captain Underpants, George and Harold destroy the Hypno Ring to permanently change him back into Mr. Krupp.

Feeling that Mr. Krupp would be nicer if he had friends, the boys set him and lovesick Edith up on a date, making Mr. Krupp have a change of heart and return the comics he confiscated from George and Harold, while even admitting their comics to be funny. However, the toxic waste from the Turbo Toilet 2000 transforms all the toilets into vicious monsters which attack the restaurant at which Mr. Krupp and Edith are dining. Upon snapping his fingers (accidentally) trying to call for help, Mr. Krupp once again becomes Captain Underpants, carrying George and Harold away to help him fight them, much to Edith's surprise and admiration.

Voice cast

  • Ed Helms as Mr. Benjamin Krupp/Captain Underpants
  • Kevin Hart as George Beard
  • Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins
  • Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants
  • Jordan Peele as Melvin Sneedly
  • Kristen Schaal as Edith the Lunch Lady
  • Grey Delisle-Griffin as Edith Anthrope (uncredited)
  • Dee Dee Rescher as Tara Ribble
  • Brian Posehn as Mr. Rected
  • Mel Rodriguez as Morty Fyde
  • Fred Tatasciore as Jacob Meaner (uncredited)
  • David Soren as Tommy
  • Susan Fitzer as Ms. Dayken
  • Lynnanne Zager as George's Mom
  • Tiffany Lauren Bennicke as Sad Girl
  • James Ryan as Mime
  • Leslie David Baker as Officer McPiggly
  • Sugar Lyn Beard as Goody Two-Shoes Girl
  • Lesley Nicol as Nobel Moderator
  • Chris Miller as Nobel Audience Member
  • Coco Soren as Balloon Girl

Production

Music

Soundtrack

"Weird Al" Yankovic wrote and performed the theme song for the film, which was featured in a lyric video. It currently stands at over 11 million views (as of May 2018). Andy Grammer wrote another original song for the film, titled "A Friend Like You". The film also features music from Adam Lambert, Cold War Kids member Nathan Willett, and Lil Yachty. An 11-track soundtrack album was released digitally on June 2, 2017, by Virgin Records and Deep Well Records.

Track listing

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Captain Underpants Theme Song" "Weird Al" Yankovic 2:14
2. "A Friend Like You" Andy Grammer 3:40
3. "Saturday (cast version)" Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch 0:48
4. "Think" Adam Lambert 2:59
5. "1812 Ofarture" The Students of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School 1:08
6. "Hallelujah" Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms 0:39
7. "Oh Yeah[Note 1]" Lil Yachty 2:51
8. "Saturday" Nathan Willett 3:29
9. "Comic Book Opening" Theodore Shapiro 1:54
10. "Saving the Day" Theodore Shapiro 7:22
11. "The Prank for Good" Theodore Shapiro 5:38
Total length: 32:42

Score

The film score was composed by Theodore Shapiro. A soundtrack for the score of the film was released on June 9. It features 24 pieces of music, and an exclusive digital booklet on iTunes. Three of the scores are also available on the soundtrack (those being "Comic Book Opening", "Saving the Day" and "The Prank for Good").

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Comick Book Opening" 1:54
2. "Treehouse" 1:03
3. "Bromance Origin Story" 1:58
4. "Annihilate the Friendship" 2:13
5. "Tuna Casserole" 0:59
6. "Snooping" 1:47
7. "Power of the Hypno Ring" 1:57
8. "A Hero is Born" 4:14
9. "Mad Genius Inventor" 0:53
10. "Bringing Mr. Krupp Home" 2:20
11. "Two Blue Eyes" 2:10
12. "Brain of a Child" 1:54
13. "Hallelujah, His Name is Poopypants" 1:37
14. "The Nobel Prize" 3:02
15. "Anti-Humor Boy" 1:49
16. "Art Class Liberation" 1:57
17. "Carnival Conniptions" 2:17
18. "Separation Anxiety" 1:32
19. "Poopypants Has No Gas" 1:36
20. "A World Without Laughter" 2:53
21. "Flip-O-Rama!" 1:24
22. "Really Silly Names" 1:23
23. "Saving the Day" 7:22
24. "The Prank for Good" 5:38
Total length: 55:42

Release

Reception

Box office

Critical response

Home media

Accolades

Television series

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