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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Tra La Laa! Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is coming to the greatest format in all the land: 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. Or, depending on when you’re reading this juicy, informative and amazing intro paragraph that is lightly treading water, it could be out already. Yeah, actually its out already. The film was released on September 12th, giving you the chance to vindicate yourself for missing it in theaters. Its a sweet fun little movie that was really good, but unfortunately audiences didn’t take a chance on it.  But, hey, that’s okay, now it can be this little Cult kids movie that is based of the very popular book series (Of which I am not familiar at all).  The film features the vocal talents of three very different comedic actors; Kevin Hart, Ed Helms and Thomas Middleditch. Tra La Laa!

Film 

George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When their mean principal threatens to separate them into different classes, the mischievous boys accidentally hypnotize him into thinking that he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

I wasn’t able to get to Captain Underpants for a few weeks after its release. Fortunately it was still playing a few times a day at a theater close by the time I was able to take my kids to it. They both had no idea that it was based on books, but really wanted to see this movie. Long story short: they both loved it. The film seems like it falls on the kid friendly side of things, and features some low brow jokes (for them) that feels at times to them like they are getting away with watching something they maybe shouldn’t (Its all clean though). For them: a rousing success.

What I noticed in the very small, but rather filled theater wasn’t the children population so much.  It was the adults in the crowd.  They (and myself) were much louder and more consistently laughing than even the kids were. And this isn’t some “secretly adult” kinda movie like the Shrek’s and their countless knock offs. More or less, this is just some good old school silliness, slapstick and juvenile hijinx. I mean, the villain’s name is Professor Poopypants for christ’s sake. But, yet, it all comes together wonderfully and it all works.

Vocal talent is on point here with Thomas Middleditch, Kevin Hart (How did people not show up for his star power alone!) and Ed Helms. They also get backing by Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele and Kristen Schaal. So yeah, this movie is not messing around. It also has fun and fiddles with different animation style here and there that I found fun. There’s comic art come to life as well as sock puppets and some others. Its just a wide array of fun, imagination, goofiness and fantasy.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie didn’t produce the epic box office or impact that I’m sure Dreamworks was hoping for. But if its any consolation, its one of their best movies. I’m hoping people discover it, I’m sure the kids will anyway. It a nice little joy and fun unique superhero film as well. I can long for a sequel that will never come, but at least I have this first, epic movie.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Captain Underpants comes with a nice little bump over its Blu-ray counterpart. With these animated movies I’m still waiting for one that cranks up that HDR to a ridiculous level just for the hell of it. This is a nice upgrade, and noticeable but still not insane. Maybe with animation this is the best its going to get. We’ve been seeing this quite consitently, so maybe Blu-ray really gives you most of what you need. The image does contain good texture and detail on its characters  in this sharp picture.

Depth:  The image here is pretty darn confident in its appearance and the movements are rather smooth and crisp with no jittering or blurring. Distance looks very three dimensional with some good push back and spacing between foreground, middle and background objects and characters.

Black Levels: Blacks are, well its animated so, black. Its a solid, dark looking black because of the 4K Ultra-HD advantage here and the shading is very well done.

Color Reproduction: Colors are strong and pretty bright in their appearance. Oranges, reds, blues and most all primary colors burst out with a strong, natural feel. HDR is very solid, though nothing really stings or glows, its moreso applied in saturation and the natural look.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: This animated film really cooks and soars with a pretty stellar Atmos track. The foley comes with good clarity, depth and crispness. Action rocks all over the room with good attention to environmental detail as well as layering the sound. You’ll have a lot of fun cranking up the volume with this one and letting it bust through your room screaming Tra La Laa!

Height: Some good things go on over head, like flying ambient noise, things launched across a room and anything that naturally would float over according to the scene.

Low Frequency Extension: Music, crashing, robots stomping, engines humming and much more bump and thump the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Everything that happens in this movie is depicted with insane accuracy from screen to speaker. Sound travel is quite fun and the track also knows accurately where things are happening relative to what’s not present in front of you as well.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crisp, clear and spacey with a good uncompressed free feeling.

Extras 

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and an UltraViolet Digital copy.

The Really Cool Adventures Of Captain Underpants Motion Comic (HD, 2:52) – The 2 main characters in sock puppet form, read an animated version of the comic book. Their audio is pretty echo’y.

The Captain Underpants Guide To Being A Hero (HD, 3:51) – This time they are pictures on sticks giving things a superhero must do (Capes, identities, etc).

The Professor Poopypants (Totally Original And Supercool) Guide To Being a Villain (HD, 3:53) – Same thing but from the Poopypants perspective on villains.

Missing Underpants: The Deleted Scenes of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (HD, 11:00) – Includes introductions from the director.

Captain Underpants Lyric Video By “Weird Al” Yankovic (HD, 2:15) 

“A Friend Like You” Lyric Video By Andy Grammer (HD, 3:45) – REALLY loud in comparison to the rest of the bonus features.

Tighty-Whitey Q&A With The Stars-Part 1 (HD, 1:02) – Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch and Ed Helms take quick hits questions from a big pair of underpants.

Tighty-Whitey Q&A With The Stars-Part 2 (HD, 1:02)

Kevin Hart And Ed Helms Surprise Fans (HD, 2:07) – The two actors with some kids at a table, its clip heavy and has no real substance to it.

Lunch Lady PSA With Kristen Schaal (HD, 1:02) – She talks about the neglect of lunch ladies.

Sock Puppets Real Stars (HD, :27) – A brief blabbering of the sock puppets as they “stand in” for the animated characters.

Gallery

  • Comic Book Covers
  • The Art of Dreamworks Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:25)

The World of Dreamworks Animation – Music videos from other Dreamworks movies.

Summary 

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a pretty epic win for everyone who wants to check it out. Its got a lot of charm and a lot of silly, juvenile humor that will wind you over. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray is a step up from the standard release and should be the one you pick up. Sound and picture are awesome. I found the extras to be worthless, but a young kid is probably really going to like them. If you have a young child, blind buy it, if you yourself are curious, I’m confident you should give it a go.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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