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 Animation, and Mikros Image Montreal 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 mean-spirited principal, Mr. 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.
The film 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 generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed $123 million worldwide against a budget of $38 million, making it the lowest-budgeted computer-animated feature of DreamWorks Animation’s history. This was the last DreamWorks Animation film distributed by 20th Century Fox, before Universal Pictures will take over distribution in 2019 with How to Train Your Dragon 3.
|Directed by||David Soren|
|Based on||Captain Underpants
by Dav Pilkey
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Edited by||Matthew Landon|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$123.1 million|
In the town of Piqua, Ohio, two fourth-grade friends and next-door neighbors named George Beard and Harold Hutchins are the pranksters at their school, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. They excessively prank the cruel teachers, with many of these pranks directed at their “evil” principal, Benjamin “Benny” Krupp, putting the two at odds with him. The duo also create comic books about a superhero named Captain Underpants, a character who has superpowers and wears underwear and a cape. They sell these to their schoolmates through a comic company called Treehouse Comix Inc., located in their treehouse. George and Harold’s pranks come to an apparent end after they tamper with a toilet invention, the Turbo Toilet 2000, made by the school’s local snitch and intellectual, Melvin Sneedley. This causes Krupp to decide to separate the boys and annihilate their friendship.
To prevent this, George hypnotizes Krupp with a 3D Hypno Ring he received out of a cereal box. The boys see that Krupp bears an odd resemblance to Captain Underpants without his 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 Krupp by splashing water on him and can turn him back into Captain Underpants by snapping their fingers. Believing that Krupp will continue with his plan to separate them, they decide to settle with Captain Underpants but insist that he be dressed up as 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 Pippy P. Poopypants, or as he calls himself, Professor P. Captain Underpants (disguised as Krupp) hires him to be a new teacher, but George and Harold are suspicious of him. 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. He recruits Melvin to help him, as his brain is incapable of having fun.
After Krupp finally separates the boys from a school carnival accident by Captain Underpants, Professor Poopypants tries to take over the town with a giant version of 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. Captain Underpants tries to stop the villain, but due to having no actual superpowers, is effortlessly defeated and thrown into the toilet. George and Harold are captured and nearly turned into zombies, but are able to escape when their laughter damages the Turbo Toilet 2000’s computer, 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, though he escapes shortly thereafter.
Knowing that they can’t control Captain Underpants, George and Harold destroy the Hypno Ring to permanently change him back into Krupp. Feeling that Krupp would be nicer if he had friends, the boys set him and lovesick Edith up on a date, thus making Krupp have a change of heart, returns the comics he took away from George and Harold, and even admits their comics are 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), Mr. Krupp once again becomes Captain Underpants, carrying George and Harold away to help him fight them, much to Edith’s surprise and admiration.
In a mid-credits scene, George and Harold realize that the secretary, who they put on the phone before by faking a contest with a cash prize of $2 billion, has been on the phone for the entire film, so they shut off the call, make the secretary angry, and make a new comic based on her reaction.
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