Story

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is an animated movie about the comic creation of two school friends, George (voice of Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch). George and Harold attend the Jerome Horowitz Elementary School, which is run by mean Mr Krupp (Ed Helms), who believes in a very strict style of education. George and Harold are continually getting into trouble for playing pranks. They spend their evenings in George’s tree house, writing Captain Underpants comics. Captain Underpants is a dim-witted super hero who flies around in just his underpants.

When Mr Krupp threatens to separate George and Harold permanently, they have to come up with a plan. George tries out his hypnotising ring on Mr Krupp. It works and so George turns Mr Krupp into Captain Underpants. As a result, Jerome Horowitz becomes a fun school with music, art and a fun fair. Things are going well until the arrival of the evil Professor Poopypants (Nick Kroll), whose main aim is to rid the planet of laughter. The battle is on between Captain Underpants, alternating as Mr Krupp, and Professor Poopypants.

Themes

None of concern

Violence

There is a lot of comic violence in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. For example:

  • George and Harold’s pranks include making things explode and scaring other students with a tiger.
  • Melvin (Jordan Peele) is a clever but humourless boy. He invents a self-cleaning toilet, which he displays in front of the school. George and Harold reset the toilet, and it starts shooting toilet rolls into the audience and then shoots Melvin into the air.
  • George throws darts at a picture of Mr Krupp.
  • Robots start shooting each other, then a giant turtle crashes through the wall, setting fire to everything with a laser beam in his eye.
  • When George hypnotises Mr Krupp, he turns him first into a chicken, then into a monkey, which repeatedly hits its own head on the ground. When George turns Mr Krupp into Captain Underpants, Captain Underpants crashes through the window and falls to the ground. He gets up and is hit by a car. He punches a clown, then helps an old lady to get her cat down from a tree by throwing her up into the tree. He then jumps onto an inflatable gorilla and bounces all over the place. George and Harold chase him in a crane, which causes a lot of chaos. George and Harold knock out Captain Underpants and cart him home in a trolley.
  • Professor Poopypants throws objects around. The objects include an axe, a mace and a chainsaw.
  • Professor Poopypants has invented a machine that can make objects larger or smaller. In one scene he fires his machine randomly at children and objects, making them large and small.
  • Professor Poopypants and Melvin stamp through the town in a giant toilet bowl, zapping children’s brains to remove their sense of humour. Poopypants flushes Captain Underpants down the giant toilet bowl. George and Harold are picked up with giant hands and their brains are zapped.
  • Mr Krupp shoots at a kitten.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Mr Krupp is a scary, large man, who often yells and screams at children.
  • Jerome Horowitz is a bleak, grey school, often shown with flashes of thunder and lighting.
  • Professor Poopypants is a scary character, who appears quite mad.
  • A giant turtle with a red beam coming out of his eye is quite scary.
  • Captain Underpants lands on two robbers, preventing them from escaping. There is the sound of evil laughter and flashes of thunder and lightning.
  • Mr Krupp’s house looks scary from the outside.
  • Captain Underpants often transforms into Mr Krupp and back again. This can be quite confusing.
  • In one scene children inside the school are made tiny. This looks quite scary.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • George’s hypnotising ring makes Mr Krupp’s eyes swirl and then everything in the room starts to swirl.
  • When Professor Poopypants zaps the children, including George and Harold, they all have dull, glazed eyes.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie show some mild flirtation between Mr Krupp and a school assistant called Edith.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie shows the main character, Captain Underpants, dressed only in underpants.

Product placement

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie shows only imitation brands.

Coarse language

There is coarse language in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, including a lot of crude humour and language.

  • The children all laugh at Professor Poopypants’s name and there is mention of diarrhoea.
  • George and Harold laugh out loud at kindy when learning about the planet Uranus.
  • Professor Poopypants’ machine is called ‘Fart 3’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a comic animated movie based on the very popular book series by Dav Pilkey. It’s aimed at school-age children and its frequent toilet humour will probably appeal to this age group. The movie’s underlying message about how grim the world would be without fun is probably right, but it’s taken to an extreme.

There are some scenes and characters in this movie that might scare young children, so it isn’t recommended for children under five years. We also recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-8 years.

The main message from this movie is that everyone needs a little fun in their lives.

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:

  • Is playing pranks on others really fun or does it do more harm than good? When does it become bullying?
  • Mr Krupp is obviously an angry, embittered man, who’s also very lonely. He eventually has a date with Edith, but is he angry because he’s lonely, or is he lonely because he’s a mean, angry person?