Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a CGI superhero comedy film that was produced by DreamWorks Animation. It is based off the first four books in the Captain Underpants saga. The movie was released on June 2, 2017 in the United States.
Two fourth-grade friends and next-door neighbors named George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) are the pranksters at their school, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School in the city of Piqua, Ohio. They excessively pull numerous pranks on the cruel teachers, many of which are directed at their bitter principal, Mr. Benjamin "Benny" Krupp (Ed Helms), putting the two at odds with him. The duo also create comic books about an imaginary superhero named Captain Underpants (also voiced by Ed Helms), who fights crime in a pair of underwear and a cape. They distribute these to their schoolmates through a comic company called Treehouse Comix Inc., located in their treehouse.
George and Harold's pranks come to an apparent end after they're caught tampering with a toilet invention, the Turbo Toilet 2000, made by the school's intelligent and local snitch and intellectual, Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele), on video. Finally having solid proof of the boys' antics, Mr. Krupp excitedly prepares to annihilate their friendship by putting them in separate classes.
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 an odd resemblance to Captain Underpants without his toupee and command him to be Captain Underpants. The boys soon learn the severity of their actions when "Captain Underpants" begins causing problems around Piqua. To prevent these issues, the boys take him to their treehouse, where they discover that they can turn Captain Underpants back into Mr. Krupp by splashing water on him and can turn him back into Captain Underpants by snapping their fingers.
Knowing that Mr. Krupp will continue trying to separate them, they decide to settle with Captain Underpants but 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 (Kristen Schaal). Just when George and Harold believe that their troubles have ended, Jerome Horwitz Elementary School is visited by an odd, German-accented scientist named Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants, Esq. (Nick Kroll), or as he calls himself, Professor P (who is pretending to be a nice school teacher). Captain Underpants (disguised as Mr. Krupp) hires him to be the new science teacher, but George and Harold are suspicious of him due to his violent and short-tempered attitude, as well as his resume's content.
As it turns out, Poopypants is seeking to get rid of laughter altogether, resenting the people who have made fun of his name for years. He recruits Melvin to help him, as he discovers (after reading a comic book George and Harold made featuring characters resembling them) that Melvin's brain makes him incapable of laughing or having fun. Professor Poopypants teams up with Melvin (who is secretly his assistant) to take over the world after scanning his brain in his evil lair.
Captain Underpants, George and Harold have a plan to make Jerome Horwitz Elementary School fun again. As the first step of their plan, George and Harold made Captain Underpants conduct the 1812 Overture, with whoopee cushions to reboot the school. As the second step, they open the art room. For the third step, Captain Underpants sets up a funfair at the schoolyard, However, Harold and George have to keep watch of Captain Underpants as most of the games involve water. Mr Krupp is snapped into Captain Underpants back and forth as the boys would try to keep track of him due to the shenanigans taking place. As it starts to rain, Captain Underpants is back into an angry Krupp. Mr. Krupp finally separates the boys, which causes their plan to fail due to Professor Poopypants's reign of terror.
Professor Poopypants tries to take over the town with a giant version of the Turbo Toilet 2000, fueled by the school cafeteria's rotten leftovers left out by Edith and uses Melvin's brain to turn the children into glum, humorless zombies. George and Harold are caught by Mr. Krupp but to stop Professor Poopypants, the boys had no choice but to snap Krupp into Captain Underpants once again. Captain Underpants tries to stop the villain, but due to having no actual superpowers, is effortlessly defeated and thrown into the toilet. George and Harold are captured and nearly turned into zombies, but are able to escape after Professor Poopypants mentions the planet Uranus, causing the boys to laugh and damage the Turbo Toilet 2000's computer, restoring the children back to normal. Upon consuming the mutated leftovers, Captain Underpants acquires superpowers and, with George and Harold's help, defeats and shrinks Poopypants. Professor Poopypants easily escapes on a bee while the Turbo Toilet 2000 is sent to the junkyard for scrap.
Meanwhile, George and Harold destroy the Hypno Ring while bidding their final farewell to Captain Underpants in an attempt to permanently change him back to Mr. Krupp. Feeling that Mr. Krupp would be nicer if he had friends, the boys set him and lovesick Edith up on a date, thus making Mr. Krupp have a change of heart. Krupp returns the comics he took away from George and Harold, and even admits their comics are funny. However, the toxic waste from the Turbo Toilet 2000 transforms all the toilets into an army of Talking Toilets which attack the restaurant at which Mr. Krupp and Edith are dining. Mr. Krupp and Edith notice a toilet eating a guest and as Mr. Krupp calls for a waiter to get a check in hopes of leaving, upon snapping his fingers accidentally, Mr. Krupp once again becomes Captain Underpants, carrying George and Harold away to help him fight them, much to Edith's surprise and admiration.
- Ed Helms as Benjamin Krupp/Captain Underpants
- Kevin Hart as George Beard
- Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins
- Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants
- Jordan Peele as Melvin Sneedly
- Kristen Schaal as Edith
Additional voices (in order of appearance)
- Dee Dee Rescher as Tara Ribble
- Brian Posehn as Mr. Rected
- Mel Rodriguez as Morty Fyde
- David Soren as Tommy
- Susan Fitzer as Ms. Dayken
- Grey Griffin as Edith Anthrope
- Fred Tatasciore as Kenny B. Meaner
- Lynnanne Zager as Mary Beard
- Tiffany Lauren Bennicke as Sad Girl
- Laurent Maurel as Out of the Road Driver
- James Ryan as Mime
- April Winchell as Old Woman
- David Kruger as Bird-Feeding Guy
- Leslie David Baker as Officer McPiggly
- Rob Letterman as Dog Walker Guy
- Brianni Walker as Ice Cream Girl
- Sugar Lyn Beard as Goody Two-Shoes Girl
- Lesley Nicol as Nobel Moderator
- Chris Miller as Nobel Audience Member
- Coco Soren as Balloon Girl
DreamWorks Animation announced on October 19, 2011 that they had acquired the rights to make a film based on the series. DreamWorks had been attempting to secure the rights since the series was first published in 1997, but Pilkey was not interested. However, after seeing "the subtle way that morality and personal responsibility were handled" in How to Train Your Dragon and the Kung Fu Panda movies, he realized a film could "properly convey what [he] was trying to do with the books". On October 2013, it was announced that Rob Letterman will direct the movie. On January 21, 2014, the cast was announced, with Ed Helms joining as Mr. Krupp and Captain Underpants; Kevin Hart as George Beard, Thomas Middleditch as Harold Hutchins, Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants, and Jordan Peele as Melvin. The film was scheduled for release on January 13, 2017. In January 2015, it was announced that the film will be instead "produced outside of the studio’s pipeline at a significantly lower cost" and will be released sometime in 2017. On February 26, 2015, it was revealed that Letterman left the film and DWA was in talks with David Soren to replace and Soren was being fitted for the project, who previously directed DWA's Turbo.
- When George and Harold start to show one of their comics, they say, "A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away". This line is a reference to the opening narration of almost every Star Wars movie.
- It appears that when George used the Hypno Ring, that there is some supernatural stuff going on, since the whole setting was changing and not only that, George and Harold were hovering off the desk in a way that would indicate something supernatural. This did not occur in the first novel book.
- Before its original release date in the US, the movie was shown as part of the Seattle Film Festival.
- The film's theme song is sung by Weird Al Yankovic, which is likely a reference to the first Captain Underpants book, where several of his songs played on the intercom as a prank by George and Harold.
- Captain Underpants in the comic series strongly resembles the real world Captain Underpants and his alter ego Benjamin Krupp. In the original book series, the comic version of Captain Underpants bore little to no resemblance to Mr. Krupp.
- The ice cream truck song came from Mister Softee.
- The dachshund from the Dav Pilkey book "The Hallo-Wiener" makes a cameo appearance being walked by his owner on a leash.
- Along with The Emoji Movie, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie became the first film in Saudi Arabia to be shown to the public on January 13, 2018 since the 1983 cinema ban in the country.