Based on the children’s novel series of the same name, Captain Underpants: the First Epic Movie is due to hit cinemas this June, starring Kevin Hart and Thomas Middlemitch as two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants (Ed Helms).
The trailer already has a couple of laugh out loud moments, which bodes well for the rest of the movie/. Because the studio wanted to go for a more cartoonish style, the animation feels a bit old school but that’s not necessarily an issue as it helps set it apart from more recent Dreamworks productions, such as Madgascar and Over the Hedge.
Director David Soren, a Dreamworks veteran, said, “The books are so fun and so lively, it really seemed like a given that it should be a very cartoony look and animation style. One of our heads of animation, Rune Bennicke, designed the characters, adapted them from the drawings in the books, and also did some early animation tests. He’s a terrific 2D animator.”
“Some of those early line tests that he did of a couple characters really were instrumental in defining what the animation style would be. So, he worked very closely with the animators at Mikros, and the other co-head of animation, Sebastien Bruneau, to translate that style to CG.”
Soren says that he’s eager for people to see the movie and to meet the two main characters, “These are two very creative boys, and there’s a really warm friendship between them in the movie. It’s just so lovely to see a creative friendship being celebrated in a movie, whether it be animated or otherwise. And that allowed us to really lens the movie through their eyes, and have it feel like it was their movie and their creativity behind every choice that we made.”
“The books have been around for 20 years now, and Dav Pilkey [the author] has been adding new ones almost every year,” he noted, “So, there are people out there who are now in their early 20s who grew up on these books and are extremely fond of them and nostalgic about them. And then you have young kids who are just learning how to read today who are being exposed to them and are equally as passionate about them too, so I think there is a rare opportunity for a larger audience than we maybe normally would be able to get to.”
And Weird Al Yankovic wrote the theme song – do you really need a better endorsement than that?!