The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween Movie Poster Image
Silly holiday story sends positive message about kindness.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 45 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The story intends to entertain rather than to educate.


Positive Messages

Most of this special is eye candy and full of silliness, but the story does wrap up with a powerful message about inclusion and showing compassion to those who are different from yourself. Bathroom-related humor is minimal, mostly involving Captain Underpants and his own underpants. Harold and George use creative problem-solving skills to overcome the loss of their favorite holiday.


Positive Role Models & Representations

A mixed bag. The show mostly casts adults who are naïve and easily swayed by heavily opinionated kids, and the general premise of Captain Underpants (whom the kids control while he's in character) supports that. That said, Harold and George power through adversity with unwavering positivity, and they demonstrate surprisingly mature self-reflection and willingness to change for the better when their own mistakes are revealed to them.


Violence & Scariness

Some mild Halloween-themed scares, including haunted house characters (skeletons, bats, menacing jack-o-lanterns, etc.). In two scenes, an evil clown leers at the screen and his head spins all the way around. Oversized characters in costumes of hybrid monsters, and a haunted building comes to life. At one point, Captain Underpants is unable to breathe, and his face turns purple.


Sexy Stuff

This holiday special is part of a franchise of books and a feature film.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween is a holiday special starring the characters from the popular Captain Underpants books, TV series, and movie. There's decidedly less potty humor here than in other Captain Underpants tales, which will likely be a welcome change for parents. And there's a very positive, prominent message about kindness and inclusion at the story's conclusion. With Halloween (or Hack-a-ween, rather) the theme, mild scares involving skeletons, bats, various monsters, and a creepy evil clown are the norm. In one scene, Captain Underpants suffers respiratory distress for a long time. The kids have little respect for adults, who rarely attempt to exert any control over them anyway. This chaotic story is an OK pick for kids, but adults may tire of its relentless pace.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAimeeRS October 28, 2020
Just because you don't like something, doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone else. And if someone is on the outside looking in, invite them i... Continue reading
Kid, 5 years old January 6, 2021

A funny halloween movie.

I am a mature 5 and I enjoyed this. It's not scary. I watched it with my parents.
Kid, 10 years old November 9, 2020

this is a great special

I am rating it 2 and up to balance the 18+ ratings teens put on common sense media. AND THERE ALWAYS 14 FOR SOME REASON I THINK COMMON SENSE MEDIA IS BEING BOTT... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE SPOOKY TALE OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS HACK-O-WEEN, best friends Harold (voiced by Jay Gragnani) and George (Ramone Hamilton) love everything about Halloween, especially the costumes and the free candy. But when Melvin (Jorge Diaz) hoodwinks the town into canceling the holiday, the boys and their favorite skivvies-clad superhero, Captain Underpants (Nat Faxon), have to come up with a plan -- and fast! -- to save the day for themselves and their friends. Can Harold and George's Hack-a-ween do the trick and make sure they still get their treats?

Is it any good?

With a premise like that of the Captain Underpants saga, it's not surprising the utterly absurd detours this story takes on its way to the characters' happy holiday. The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween is a lot like kids' frenzied energy levels on Halloween night, scurrying in all different directions at one time and causing a major sensory overload with the visual and auditory chaos. Of course, that's one of the things young fans love about the goofy characters and stories in the first place, even if parents don't quite get the same thrills from it.

On the upside, The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween works in a meaningful message about inclusion and kindness that's an unexpected treat at the story's end. As George and Harold discover the root cause of Melvin's grudge against Halloween, they use the knowledge to make a positive change, not because it will set right the holiday woes but because it's the right thing to do. This at least is a welcome factor in an otherwise silly and over-the-top story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about grown-up authority figures. What examples of adults caving to kids' desires do you see in the story? What messages does The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween send about how similar relationships work in the real world?

  • Is any content in this story scary? Do your kids like to be a little (or a lot) scared by the shows they watch, especially around Halloween? How much is too much in this regard?

  • What do Harold and George learn about being kind to everyone, even those who are different from them? Kids: How can you use their example to extend that same kindness to others? How does it feel when someone is kind to you?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love spooky stuff

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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