"Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" Talkback (Spoilers)

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
Framingham, MA
Found no talkback for the CGI movie so we'll talk about it here.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

I don't get the appeal. Okay, not true. As a kid I loved toilet humor too. Let me amend that: I don't SHARE the appeal. And I think there is a very good chance I wouldn't have liked it much as a kid either. I did love poop and fart jokes. But a kiddie trend I reacted very negatively to as a kid was the idea of "Kidz Rool and Adultz Drool!" I found the commercial ad campaigns for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Bubble Tape, and Apple Jacks offensive as a kid, and I disliked the idea that these big corporations were acting like they were kids' best friends to sell them things, while telling them they shouldn't like, trust, or treat their parents and teachers with respect. I'm not saying I liked or treated all the authority figures in my life with respect. But it really worked my last nerve to see sell-out products trying to tap into a built-in resentment among certain kids for polite society. My school had far too many insolent jerks already. They didn't need to be encouraged and praised for their jerkishness. I'm not dumb enough to believe that sort of thing contributed to Columbine. But one thing I've noticed is that SINCE Columbine those types of commercials were quietly pulled, so you can draw your own conclusions there.

To be perfectly fair, this movie doesn't outright suck otherwise. I had similar misgivings about Codename: Kids Next Door. But the truth is it wouldn't have mattered if the message to that TV cartoon didn't hit me wrong. The stories and writing were so awful I would have hated it regardless. Unlike that suckfest, this movie has some fun stuff in it.

Let's see. I did genuinely laugh twice. First when it's suggested potty humor is the lowest form of comedy, and then when it's wryly observed that Captain Underpants is super dumb. I also very much liked the ending where they fixed up Krupp with the Lunchlady, and he came around and admitted he liked their comic book. That almost makes me forgive everything else.

And I'll tell you my favorite part of the movie. I see its value for this one thing even if I responded to nothing else. As a person who writes and draws his own unprofessional comic book, I like the positive outlook the franchise has towards creativity and art. Whatever other complaints I have, I will not dismiss that. That is an important and powerful message for creative kids to hear.

Is Professor Poopypants related to Bloom County's Steve Dallas as Sith-Lord Sexypants? I'm giving the edge to Steve if only because his persona is the one of the two that empowers Sam the Lion. And that is no insignificant virtue.

Not my thing. Probably would either not have dug it as a kid, or had severe reservations about it. **.

The Really Cool Adventures Of Captain Underpants Motion Comic:

I like the sock puppets, and I don't have any complaints about the motion comic animation. But the sound in the dialogue is off. It sounds like it was recorded in the same outlet warehouse cheap studios force their filmmakers to record audio commentaries with stuff going on in the background during. The sound is very echoey too. ***.

The Captain Underpants Guide To Being A Hero:

Kind of fun. But the sound is again, off. **1/2.

The Professor Poopypants (Totally Original And Supercool) Guide To Being A Villain:

Not taking advice on cool bad guy names from this guy. **.

Missing Underpants: The Deleted Scenes Of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie:

To be blunt, the director introducing the scenes acknowledges (correctly in my book) that none of the scenes shown here are actually bad. So it's fascinating to hear him detail the legitimate reasons why they were cut, and find myself agreeing with him. When I write my comics, I overwrite them, and almost never get rid of a good scene, even if it negatively effects the pacing. I admire a storyteller who is able to do that. ****1/2.

Captain Underpants Lyric Video By "Weird Al" Yankovic:

Academic question for film, music, and TV buffs: Has there ever been a SINGLE project that wasn't even SLIGHTLY better for "Weird Al" Yankovic's participation? Going by script, direction, and acting, UHF is one of the absolute worst films of the late 1980's. But you'll enjoy it while you are watching it (and then feel sickened with yourself when it's over). About the only project he's been in that he didn't make appreciably better is 1986's animated Transformers: The Movie. But his song was still probably the least awful scene in a film with nothing but awful scenes. Nothing but mad respect for Weird Al. Also, he's who they should cast as Darkseid in the next live-action Justice League movie. *****.

"A Friend Like You" Lyric Video By Andy Grammer:

This does not rip off the lyrics and / or melody from Aladdin's "Friend Like Me" or Toy Story's "You've Got A Friend In Me". But it forces me to make the comparison (and it's negative). I think animated films need to lay off this specific subject for awhile while those two things are fresh. And I see them being fresh for decades. Not great. **.

Lunch Lady PSA With Kristen Schaal:

I can't help by feel like Schaal's immense comic vocal skills were wasted as Edith. The fact that this live-action PSA is funnier than anything she did in the movie is proof. ****1/2.

Sock Puppets Real Stars:

I love Sock Puppets. The best part is they get paid nothing. *****.

Theatrical Trailer:

Can't say this trailer doesn't know the correct audience to pander to. ***1/2.


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