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YMMV / Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The idea that Captain Underpants isn't entirely a separate entity from Mr. Krupp and may just be some of Krupp's nicer traits brought up to the surface. It's a theory present since the books but Krupp's mild Adaptational Heroism for the film and Ed Helms describing Krupp's "kernel of goodness" coming out through Captain Underpants lends some extra credence to it.
    • While Professor Poopypants hates laughter, when he tests Melvin he uses bloopers which he himself finds funny. Does that show Poopypants to be a hypocrite who wants to eradicate laughter from others in spite of the fact that he laughs himself? Or is that in keeping with his character because, as he said earlier, he was never able to completely rid a person of laughter?
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    • After he finally succeeds in having George and Harold sent to separate classes, Krupp's evil smile literally slides off his face. Is it because he has nothing left to fight for, with the biggest thorn in his side removed, or is it because he feels he's gone too far?
  • Author's Saving Throw: George and Harold were often seen as Designated Heroes in the original books, due to creating most of the problems with their constant pranks and inconveniencing many of their fellow students. Here, their pranking nature is shown to be largely for the sake of the other students to have fun from the constant misery that their school puts them through. For instance, the Invention Convention is changed from George and Harold sabotaging everyone's inventions out of revenge over being barred from entering, to screwing up just one of Melvin's so all the students can have a party following hours of boring presentation— which is also on a Saturday and mandatory here. Notably, they also give Mr. Krupp some slack at the end after learning how bitter and lonely he really is, helping him and Edith the lunch lady get a date together.
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  • Award Snub: Despite the fact that this film is considered the better of the two, The Boss Baby was picked as the DreamWorks Animation nominee for Best Animated Feature at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards over Captain Underpants. Fans were unhappy with this, to say the least.
  • Awesome Art: The animation is just beautiful, giving life to the illustrations from the books. The Imagine Spots are especially well-done. And all the little details — the hair looks like you could really reach out and touch it, while all the scenery really transports you to this strange, insane world. It's easily one of DreamWorks Animation's best-looking movies; not bad for a $38 million budget!
  • Awesome Music:
  • Crack Ship: A small group of people on Tumblr have already started shipping Captain Underpants with The Once-ler, due to both being voiced by Ed Helms.
    • Others have begun shipping Captain Underpants with... Mr. Krupp. Somehow. For those who don't remember, they're the same person (or, at the very least, they share the same body). Some fans get around this restriction by inventing scenarios in which they somehow find themselves in separate bodies, accidentally or otherwise.
    • There's a small following for Captain Underpants/Professor Poopypants as well.
    • Another popular crack ship on Tumblr is Edith the Lunch Lady/Ms. Hutchins.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Mr. Krupp torching a kitten. Granted, it's only him theoretically torching a kitten and it's censored to keep it for kids, but still.
    • Harold's worries about him and George being separated are legitimately sad. Said worries being portrayed via sock puppets? Hilarious. And then there's the robots... The second time, however, it's not funny at all.
  • Designated Hero: Played for Laughs! At multiple times, George and Harold outright admit hypnotizing Mr. Krupp was wrong... but it's just too funny to stop.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Professor Poopypants has become this to a few fans, especially thanks to his Jerkass Woobie status.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With The Boss Baby, after it was nominated for Best Animated Feature at both The Golden Globes and The Oscars.
  • Fanfic Fuel: What if Mr. Krupp and Captain Underpants found out that they were the same person, and came up with a way to communicate? Many fanfic authors and Tumblr users are already expanding on the concept.
  • Fanon: Many fans are hypothesizing that Edith the lunch lady is an alien in disguise, possibly because of the alien lunch ladies in the 3rd book. How else could she make radioactive, superpowered, glowing green cafeteria food?
  • He Really Can Act: During the scene where George and Harold were put into seperate classes, they imagine their worlds literally coming apart. During which, Thomas Middleditch makes the whole scene even more heartbreaking.
    Harold: No! Nononono wait, wait, STOP!! George! GEOOOOOORGE!!!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first book, Mr Krupp lists the various pranks George and Harold have pulled, one of which involved rigging the school's intercom to play "Weird Al" Yankovic songs for six hours straight. Guess who performs the movie's theme song?
    • After the 1812 Ofarture, several reviews and awards for the song are shown. One of them is a "Rotten Potatoes Certified Fresh" seal. 1 month later, the movie would get the Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh seal due to several positive reviews from the United Kingdom.
    • A MAD Magazine spoof of the Scholastic Book Club lists a book titled "Captain Underpants and the Day He Finally Put on Some Khakis". In the movie, one of the hypothetical "humorless" issues of Captain Underpants that George and Harold imagine is titled "Captain Underpants and the Sensibly Purchased Beige Pants".
    • The scene where Professor Poopypants says his ice cream truck lab is closed due to Ebola became this less than a year later when VRChat gave birth to another meme involving the virus.
  • Ho Yay
    • There's at least one scene where George and Harold run towards each other in a meadow. Considering that the last book revealed that Harold is gay, it was probably intentional.
      • This was an Imagine Spot of the two reuniting after being placed in separate classes, but considering just how brief it was, their (tearful) reaction to seeing each other again makes it clear that even a short amount of time being apart feels like an eternity. It should also be stated that the other dramatic "friendship separation" Imagine Spots prior, particularly the second one where the two end up drifting to opposite ends of the universe whilst desperately calling out to each other, both come from Harold's perspective.
    • Regarding their fear of being separated in class, George explicitly says "long-distance relationships never work!"
    • Andy Grammer's song "A Friend Like You" from the soundtrack puts a suspicious amount of emphasis on saying the person they love is their "dude," "bro" and "friend."
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: "Egg Casserole" for Krupp/Edith.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Mr. Krupp; he may be a mean and downright cruel principal, but the guy lives in a semi-poor and broken house on his own, has no friends or family who care about him, and clearly doesn't make enough money to live on.
    • Professor Poopypants became evil after everyone laughed at his name when he won a trophy for his shrink/grow invention. Not helped later when George and Harold find out about his name and make a comic book for the kids to read and laugh at, which brought back that memory. Sure he was an obvious evil madman at this point, but you still feel bad for him.
    • Melvin. He may be an Insufferable Genius tattletale obsessed with getting extra credit, but you can’t help but feel a little bad for him when it’s revealed that he was literally born without a sense of humor.
    • George and Harold themselves also count. They're pretty selfish at times and the pranks they pull make the school staff's jobs waaaaaaaay harder than they already are. But they are also each other's Only Friend and just the thought of being separated in any way causes them extreme emotional stress. Not to mention the fact that they're not permitted to express their creativity in any way at school. Any educator of children knows that this is a surefire way to make them lash out.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: After nearly 20 years of simply being read, Captain Underpants's triumphant "Tra-la-LAAAAAAAAAAA!" is finally heard. And it is glorious! Some have even said that it perfectly matches their headcanon voice they've imagined since first reading the books.
  • Narm Charm: The fact that George and Harold lament so much about being put in separate classes can make one wonder why they're so bent up about it since Jerome Horwitz probably has a shared recess or Lunch period, and that George and Harold live next door to one another. Then you remember that they're at most ten years old.
  • Older Than They Think: In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, the main conflict centers around the Eds being sent to different homerooms.
  • Periphery Demographic: Teenagers and adults, many of whom enjoyed the books when they were children and were excited to see Captain Underpants make it to the big screen.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Kruppants" for Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While Mr. Krupp is supposed to be a Hate Sink in the books, he's become more likable in the movie when he gives the boys a more reasonable punishment while giving him a sympathetic backstory.
  • Signature Scene: The scene where Mr. Krupp first becomes Captain Underpants, due to the marketing, and due to many a fan who grew up with it loving every second of it.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While Mr. Krupp is portrayed as a jerkass principal who hates anything fun, he has a right to get angry at the boys for their pranks, as they inconvenience the staff members.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The mother and son duo that normally appear to make a Unusually Uninteresting Sight joke in the books are sadly not in this movie.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: He may be a know-it-all little brat and a tattletale who will do just about anything for extra credit, but one can't help but feel kinda bad for Melvin when it's revealed that he is actually physically incapable of laughing at anything. It doesn't seem to bother him, much, but still... poor kid. Heck, just rewatch the scene where Poopypants uses the Anti-Humor Ray on the rest of the kids. He actually looks so happy that for once, he's not alone in not getting the joke. Just... damn...
    • However then you remember he helped made everyone like him in this version when he wasn't like this in the first place. At least not willingly.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Not only is the animation a gorgeous spot-on CGI rendering of the book's illustration style, right down to the simplified droplets of spit flying out of characters mouths, but it's appropriately fluid and cartoony to match the anarchistic humor. Even more impressive is that the film only has a budget of $38 million, compared to that of The Boss Baby's $125 million budget.
    • For fans of hand-drawn animation, the comics that George and Harold draw are animated even better than most current 2D cartoons. Not that that is a high bar, to be fair...
  • Wangst: The fact that George and Harold, who live next door to one another, get so bent out of shape over being separated can come off as this. Except that they are at most ten years old - kids don't exactly have a sense of priority. The two also lampshade at the end of the movie that they've probably overreacted to the news a bit.
  • Win the Crowd: The first trailer had people and book fans interested in the movie, due to the hilarious slapstick, as well as its fidelity to the source material and beautiful animation.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: There's been some mild backlash over Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch being cast as George and Harold, likewise with Jordan Peele as Melvin, because they sound nothing like fourth graders. Though it's not as bad for Tom given his work on Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero.
    • The backlash has dialed back slightly after Dav Pilkey openly expressed his utter delight over how Kevin and Thomas portrayed his boys. They're given actual child actors for the show.


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