George and Harold love to laugh. Sure, some of their laughter is ignited by potty humor. Yet when the principal, Principal Krupp, is a tyrant with a sign placed on his desk saying “Hope dies here,” then laughter is just the medicine that is needed. Jerome Horwitz Elementary is where the young George Beard and Harold Hutchins get their inspiration, mainly from their boredom, to write a comic they call “Captain Underpants.” After all, Principal Krupp has threatened to separate the two of them from each other by placing them in two different classrooms. They refer to this possible “long distance” relationship with great trepidation. This funny film is based on the novels by Dav Pilkey and a screenplay by Nicholas Stoller.
It would be difficult to imagine several audience members watching this movie without cracking a smile or laughing out loud at a few of the over-the-top scenes. After all, most adults remember what it is like to be a kid and to deal with harsh authority, right? The thing of it is, thanks to a ring that can hypnotize, George and Harold are able to change Principal Krupp into Captain Underpants, and his “Tra La La!” and sunny disposition is in direct contrast to his crusty nature as the principal. But we do learn the source of the principal’s gruff manner. He lives alone. He has two bath towels that say, “His” and “Still His.” But there is hope for him for companionship as a cafeteria worker named Edith likes Principal Krupp. The wonderful thing about this movie is the boys finally realize they have no right to change the principal’s personality and change him back to his old, difficult self. But what he has gone through has changed him a bit. And when the boys actually do something nice and arrange a date for the principal and Edith, this definitely marks a moment of hope for the two young men.
There are a few slapstick violent scenes, including a character being hit by a car a few times (he survives). And while the boys are disrespectful in the beginning, they are not mean-spirited, and they do change by movie’s end. Due to the wonderful themes about growing as a person, taking responsibility and the need for a sense of humor in this life, we are presenting our Dove Seal for ages 12-plus to this movie. And we don’t think you can watch this movie through without smiling or laughing at least a few times. Unlike the two people caught in the elevator with Captain Underpants, that immediately open the door and flee, there will be several people wanting to “get in” to see this film.