While the eyes of many comic book fans are focused on “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” or “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” DreamWorks Animation offers up a first look at a very different big-screen superhero: Captain Underpants.
He’s voiced by Ed Helms in the upcoming animated adaptation of author Dav Pilkey’s bestselling series of children’s novels.
The film, just like the books, centers on fourth-grade pals George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch), who hypnotize their tyrannical principal Mr. Krupp into stripping down, donning a curtain as a cape and declaring himself Captain Underpants, after the comic book superhero the boys created.
When it came to selecting a villain for the adaptation, the filmmakers had a lot of material to choose from — as there are, to date, 13 “Captain Underpants” books, and three spinoffs. In the end, they went with Professor Poopypants, voiced by Nick Kroll.
“I mean, with a name like that, he’s kind of irresistible,” director David Soren (“Turbo”) told Entertainment Weekly.
Taking its cue from Pivey’s books, which blend prose with sequential art, the film combines traditional CG animation with other forms, from hand-drawn 2D comic scenes to sock puppets.
“The lovely thing is that we have two creative boys at the center of this thing, so anything they dream up really is something we can just lean into heavily,” Soren said. “It constantly keeps the story feeling like it’s been made by two fourth graders, as opposed to me.”
“Captain Underpants” opens June 2, 2017.
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