What To Expect From Captain Underpants

This weekend I decided to take my kids to see Captain Underpants. Some of the comedic elements in the movie were entirely predictable given the target demographic and that it’s from the creators of the Shrek and Madagascar franchises. But there were a few themes that I think are powerfully redemptive and worth considering should you make a theater visit in the near future.

First, you can expect a lot of potty humor. If you’re surprised by that, don’t go. No pun intended. It’s not over the top. But it’s the kind of humor that will get a cheap laugh from ten year old boys, and perhaps forty-year-old ones as well (Not that I’m confessing anything here).

Second, you can expect to see authority figures portrayed poorly. The main adult in the film is the principal who is made to look like an megalomaniac. I do think this is an unfortunate part of the movie and not insignificant. But I feel there are redemptive elements that can still make it worth your time.

Third, your children will see a great demonstration of using their imagination. The central characters, two young boys, are obsessed, not with video games and television, but with spending hours upon hours creating stories and illustrations. I was thrilled to see my son Micah, who loves to write and draw, see creativity encouraged on the big screen. All my boys wanted to come home and immediately start making their own comics.

Fourth, you will see a powerful picture of friendship. The movie is about two young boys who will do whatever it takes to stick together. It’s a great depiction of male friendship that is worth enduring some toilet jokes. It all washes out in the end. Alas, forgive another pun.

Fifth, you will get an encouraging example of racial harmony in the friendship of the two boys. George is white. He’s the artist. Harold is black. He’s the writer. The plot has nothing to do with racial harmony, to be clear. They’re just best friends who love hanging out. As a parent you can be intentional talking about their friendship and issues related to the gospel and race.