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Captain Underpants:
The First Epic Movie
Film poster showing Captain Underpants, standing on top of a building. A moon showing a silhouette of an underwear.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Soren
Produced by
  • Mireille Soria
  • Mark Swift
Screenplay by Nicholas Stoller
Starring
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Editing by Matthew Landon
Studio DreamWorks Animation
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 21, 2017 (2017-05-21) (Regency Village Theater)
June 2, 2017 (2017-06-02) (United States)
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $38 million
Money made $125.4 million

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a 2017 American CGI-animated superhero comedy film based on Dav Pilkey's children's novel series of the same name, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by David Soren from a screenplay by Nicholas Stoller, and stars the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch and Nick Kroll. The plot follows two imaginative elementary school pranksters named George Beard and Harold Hutchins who hypnotize their cold-hearted principal, Mr. Krupp, into thinking he is Captain Underpants, a superhero who fights crime while wearing only underwear and a cape, thinking he has superpowers.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie premiered on May 21, 2017, at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, and was released in the United States on June 2, in 3D and 2D. The film received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the animation, goofy yet charming humor, faithfulness to its source material, and voice acting, particularly from Helms. It grossed $125 million worldwide against a budget of $38 million, the lowest budget for a DreamWorks computer-animated feature. A Netflix television series, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants was released on July 13, 2018.

This was the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, as the rights to the entire DreamWorks Animation library, including this film, are now owned by Universal Pictures, following NBCUniversal's purchase of the company in 2016.

Plot

In Piqua, Ohio, George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two fourth-grade friends and next-door neighbors who often bring joy to their school, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, by excessively pranking the cruel school staff. The duo also creates comic books about a superhero named Captain Underpants, a character who has superpowers yet merely 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 end when they are caught tampering with a toilet invention, the Turbo Toilet 2000, made by the school's local snitch, the intellectual Melvin Sneedly. This gives their mean-spirited principal Mr. Benjamin "Benny" Krupp a chance to put the boys in separate classes and annihilate their friendship.

To prevent this, George hypnotizes Mr. Krupp with a 3D Hypno Ring he received out of a cereal box; the boys see that Mr. Krupp bears a resemblance to Captain Underpants without his toupee and command him to be so. The boys soon learn the severity of this when Captain Underpants begins causing trouble around Piqua and thus take him to their treehouse. There, they discover that they can turn Captain Underpants back into Mr. Krupp by splashing water on him and back into Captain Underpants by snapping their fingers. Realizing that Mr. Krupp will continue trying to separate them, they decide to settle with Captain Underpants yet 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 and German-accented scientist named Professor Peepee Diareashtein Poopypants esq., whom Captain Underpants (still disguised as Mr. Krupp) hires to be the new science teacher, but George and Harold are suspicious due to his short-tempered and violent behavior. As it turns out, Poopypants is seeking to get rid of laughter altogether due to the fact that people never took him seriously for years due to his name.

With Captain Underpants as principal, the school is a more lively place with a funfair being set up in the yard. However, a rainstorm occurs and Captain Underpants turns back into Mr. Krupp, who finally finishes the paperwork to put George and Harold into separate classes. Meanwhile, Professor Poopypants recruits Melvin into his plan, as he has no sense of humor and doesn’t find his name funny. Soon, Professor Poopypants tries to take over the town with a giant version of Melvin's Turbo Toilet 2000, fueled by the school cafeteria's toxic leftovers left out by Edith, and uses Melvin's brain as the power source to a zombie-ray to turn the children into glum, humorless zombies. Captain Underpants tries to stop the two, but due to having no actual superpowers, is effortlessly defeated and thrown into the toxic pool. George and Harold are captured and turned into zombies, but are able to escape when their laughter from the joke that made them friends in kindergarten overloads the zombie-ray, which damages the Turbo Toilet 2000's computer and returns the kids to normal. Upon consuming the toxic leftovers, Captain Underpants acquires superpowers and, with George and Harold's help, defeats and shrinks Poopypants, who escapes on a bee shortly thereafter.

Knowing that they can't control Captain Underpants forever, George and Harold destroy the Hypno Ring in order to permanently change him back into Mr. Krupp. Feeling that Mr. Krupp would be a lot nicer if he had friends, the boys set him and 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 at a scrap yard into an army of Talking Toilets, which attack the restaurant where 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 to Edith's surprise and admiration.

In a mid-credits scene, George and Harold realize that Mr. Krupp's secretary Miss Anthrope, whom they put on the phone via a false competition for $1 billion, has been on the phone for the entire film, prompting them to shut off the call, which gets her angry and make a new comic book based on her reaction.

Voice cast

  • Kevin Hart as George Beard, a fourth-grade student who’s Harold's best friend and writes stories for the comics he and Harold make. He is typically calmer in tough situations than Harold. They later try to kill Captain Underpants by destroying the hypno ring, but by the end of the movie, it’s discovered Captain Underpants wasn’t erased from existence.
  • Ed Helms as Captain Underpants / Mr. Benjamin "Benny" Krupp, the mean-spirited principal of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, who’s hypnotized into becoming the superhero created by George and Harold, in order to stop him from putting them in separate classes.
  • Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants, a ruthless and humorless mad scientist and Captain Underpants' arch-nemesis, who plots to take over the world to get rid of all laughter after years of being constantly made fun of and not taken seriously for his name.
  • Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins, a fourth-grade student. He’s George's best friend and illustrates the comics he and George make. He is friendly, but is also more cautious and worrisome than George.
  • Jordan Peele as Melvin Sneedly, George and Harold's nerdy nemesis, a child prodigy inventor; he becomes Prof. Poopypants' sidekick.
  • Kristen Schaal as Edith, the shy school lunch lady and the love interest of Mr. Krupp who was created exclusively for this film, partially based on the book series character of the secretary Miss Edith Anthrope, who is separately featured in the film in a minor capacity.
  • Grey Griffin as Miss Anthrope, the school's secretary who was on hold at the phone through the whole film because George and Harold trick her that she'll win a billion dollars so they can sneak inside Mr. Krupp's office.
  • Dee Dee Rescher as Ms. Tara Ribble, the 4th-grade teacher (and George's new teacher when Mr. Krupp separates the boys).
  • Brian Posehn as Mr. Riles Rected, the guidance counselor (and Harold's new teacher when Mr. Krupp separates the boys).
  • Mel Rodriguez as Mr. Morty Fyde, the science teacher who gets fired by Mr. Krupp and is replaced by Professor Poopypants.
  • David Soren as Tommy, a boy who’s seen frequently throughout the movie climbing into his own locker and shutting the locker door behind him.
  • Susan Fitzker as Mrs. Dayken, George and Harold's kindergarten teacher who unintentionally made them laugh by mentioning Uranus.
  • Lynnanne Zager as Mrs. Beard, George's mother. In the movie, only her legs are seen, unlike in the books.
  • Tiffany Lauren Bennicke as Sad Girl
  • James Ryan as Mime, who Captain Underpants accidentally hit in the face to "free" him, after discovering that he is "trapped in an invisible box-like prison".
  • Leslie David Baker as Officer McPiggly
  • Sugar Lyn Beard as Goodie Two-Shoes Girl
  • Lesley Nicol as Nobel Moderator
  • Chris Miller as Nobel Audience Member
  • Coco Soren as Balloon Girl

Non-speaking characters

  • Mr. Kenny B. Meaner, the school's gym teacher and coach of its football team.
  • Ms Singer Brains, the school's librarian
  • Mr Rust Worthy, the school's music teacher
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