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Captain Underpants/Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie


Stars: Voices: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal, DeeDee Rescher, Brian Posehn.

Director: David Soren

When one of the key characters in this deliberately low-to-no-taste animated comedy – the evil chemistry professor aspiring to be a world dominator – is named ‘P. P. Diahrreastein Poopypants’ – you can be certain that most youngsters are likely to enjoy the ensuing tsunami of cheerfully juvenile toilet humour and, of course, the now must-have genre trope of fart jokes galore..

Stoller’s lunatic screenplay (derived from the series of best-selling books by author/illustrator Dav Pikey) centres on the chaos created by rascally schoolboy pranksters George and Harold who, after spending time in their tree house “where the magic happens”, create comics featuring the eponymous underwear-sporting superhero (surely destined for an Oscar for ‘Best Support’) and then proceed to hypnotize their hard-arse headmaster - using a ring given away with a cereal packet and transform him into their bombing Y-fronted superhero.

(Incidentally the headmaster's desk bears the notice “HOPE DIES HERE” which should help endear schoolkids everywhere to an essentially all-American-set story).

The head's transformation unexpectedly turns out to be a good thing when Captain Underpants drolly goes where no superhero has gone before to bring down the increasingly evil Professor Poopypants after he and his giant mobile toilet set out to sort out Mankind and bring humankind to book…

Soren’s direction makes the most of the splendidly surreal silly show, the animation (especially maverick youngster Harold whose overdone golden hairdo outdoes even Trump) and vocal character casting is spot on.

(And – and I have little doubt that you probably expected it – there’s a low, regrettably funny verbal joke involving “Uranus”!).

It might be worth persuading (bribing?) your kids to take you with them to see it. Bad taste has never tasted this good in a long, long time.

Alan Frank

USA 2017. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour.
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 24 Jul 2017