The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants TV Poster Image
Pervasive potty humor, pranks in books-inspired series.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

 

Positive Messages

George and Harold cause all sorts of trouble at their school, all intended to be funny for viewers. They never consider -- or face -- consequences. To fix the problems, they manipulate Mr. Krupp using hypnosis and get him to do their bidding. In fairness, it eventually saves the day, but Mr. Krupp has no defense against the boys' demands. Characters are drawn to emphasize negative physical features (baldness, weight, etc.) and sometimes are mocked for them. On the upside, the boys are creative thinkers, and Mr. Krupp's dual personality suggests that there's often more to people than meets the eye.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harold and George intentionally cause havoc on their school and community for their own entertainment or to distract from something they don't want to do. Everyone around them is drawn into the mess by association, and their principal is transformed into Captain Underpants by the boys' hypnotic powers. Adults typically are at odds with kids, yelling at them and interfering with their attempts at fun.

 

Violence & Scariness

Some peril and action violence, mostly of the crashing, falling, bumping, general destruction variety. When Captain Underpants is around, he seizes villains and can swing them over his head and send them flying, which usually helps them revert to a more innocuous state. Slapstick violence includes long falls and strong impact, all without injury. Adults are cast as angry and are heard yelling at kids and berating kids in school. Predictably, potty humor also borders on pseudo-violence, as some characters use their farts as weapons against others.

 

Sexy Stuff
Language

Name-calling like "tattletale" and "loser." Generally antagonistic language between kids and adults.

Consumerism

Follows a feature-length movie and a popular book series and a licensed merchandise line.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants is a Netflix series that follows the events of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which was inspired by Dav Pilkey's popular books. Bathroom humor is the name of the game here; every variation of farts, poop, wedgies, briefs, and butts is mined for laughs. There's also vomiting, toxic slime, unsavory school lunch menus, and lots of other gross-out material at play. The main characters are intentional pranksters who rely on mischief to interrupt class and school functions, causing adults much grief and angering their cranky principal, whom they then hypnotize to strip down to his undies, don a cape, and save the day as Captain Underpants. Safe to say they never learn valuable (or realistic) lessons from their behavior, but they do have a lot of fun. Know that the stories rely on some stereotypical physical characteristics (being overweight, elderly, bald, etc.) for laughs, and there's some name-calling, like "tattletale" and "loser."

 

User Reviews

Adult Written byLwFTW July 13, 2018

Fun Show for Kids

I don't think this is as good as the movie, but is still a good show that has some unique idea and fun concepts. It is not that violent or inappropriate so... Continue reading
Adult Written bydarkfang1989 July 22, 2018

great show.... but.....

obvious feminine perfection going on. per the sexist usual; the boys are total idiots, yet the 4th grade girl has post college level thinking and somehow has al... Continue reading
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What's the story?

THE EPIC TALES OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS continues the story of best friends Harold (voiced by Jay Gragnani) and George (Ramone Hamilton), comic book artists and accomplished pranksters who use a hypno-ring to transform their grumpy principal, Mr. Krupp (Nat Faxon), into the severely underdressed superhero Captain Underpants. As their pranks have a way of snowballing into outright mayhem and the boys quickly run out of solutions for them, Captain Underpants' arrival is a welcome sight for the whole of Jerome Horwitz Elementary. Whether it's his super strength, his wedgie power, or some other secret he's got hidden in his utility waistband, Captain Underpants is always the man for the job.

 

Is it any good?

Flatulence, vomit, poop jokes, butt references, and underwear laughs sum up this series that's slightly less enthralling than the film that preceded it. Once again, if this kind of humor isn't your cup of tea, then The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants episodes will feel like two-hour movies themselves. But if you have the stomach for the gross-out stuff, then you're sure to enjoy the show's creative use of mixed media (sock and stick puppetry included) and clever humor that includes the characters addressing the audience directly at times.

It's difficult to love Harold and George's inability to take anything seriously, and viewed through a real-world lens, their pranks have detention and grounding written all over them. But if you can see past that, there are some positive qualities in their friendship and their creativity. The boys' control over Mr. Krupp/Captain Underpants is a good opening for discussions about respecting authority figures, and the animation style's exaggerated representation of negative body traits encourages reminders of respect for differences. The bottom line? If your kids love the books and the movie, then they're sure to appreciate the laughs here as well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of gross-out humor like that of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants. Why are taboo subjects like bathroom topics and body noises funny? Do parents enjoy them as much as kids do? Where should the line be drawn between what's appropriate for entertainment and what's not?

  • What character strengths do you see in Captain Underpants himself? Are they also evident in Mr. Krupp? How do people work together in this series?

  • Does any of the show's slapstick violence affect you? Can it be scary even while it is funny? Do you like watching series or movies that scare you a little bit?

TV details

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