A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Captain Underpants special follows the Christmas misadventures of Harold and George, the two fourth-graders who turn their mean principal into a undergarment-clad superhero. Like the book series, this TV special relies on a bunch of potty humor and moderate language like "butt" throughout. This special in particular skews a little more violent than other Underpants episodes. Fantasy violence abounds, and there's one scene that results in Captain Underpants getting copious goose-eggs on his head. There are laser guns, Christmas-ornament-shooting guns, elves that attack with hammers, and evil reindeer that headbutt the characters. There's also a fair amount of stereotyping for laughs, including using the gym teacher's stutter for comic effect. Harold and George do finally learn the true meaning of Christmas in the end, but it takes them the entire special to realize it.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Fourth-graders George and Harold set out to make Christmas more epic in Captain Underpants: Mega Blissmas. Why have boring carols when you could have a DJ, regular holiday decorations when you could have lasers, and tree-bots instead of plain old trees? They make a comic to explain their new version of the holiday, which they call "Mega Blissmas." The duo steals their arch-nemesis Melvin's time machine and travel back in time to the night before the very first Christmas 300 years ago. There, they can convince Santa he should make their idea of Christmas a reality. Returning to present day, at first it seems like their dreams have come true. Everything about Christmas is extreme, from the exploding Christmas trees to the extra spicy food. Soon, Harold and George find out that Santa took their suggestions too far. He turns into a scary "jacked" Santa that demands people give presents to him, and makes Christmas no fun for everyone but himself. They wind up in an epic battle with Santa and his giant robots, and only Captain Underpants's special powers save their bacon. But can Harold and George undo their mistake and make Christmas special for everyone?
Is it any good?
Kids who love the comedy and fast-paced storytelling of the Captain Underpants TV series will enjoy their holiday-themed antics in Mega Blissmas. Grown-ups on the other hand, might be disappointed by the potty humor, slapstick violence, and bad-example-setting that has carried over from the series. There are parts of this Christmas special that are clever, like the funny wordplay and all the creative ways the boys dream of changing the holiday. But the other less-exemplary elements tip the scales in the other direction, making this holiday special just okay. Harold and George do finally understand that Christmas is about putting others before yourselves, and kid viewers will enjoy watching all the silliness that leads up to that lesson.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the meaning of Christmas. Is it about putting other people before yourselves, like Harold and George learn?
What other TV shows can you think of that are based on books? What differences do you notice between the two types of media? Which do you prefer?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love silly fun
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