By Jonathan Decker, Moroni Channel
Logan, Utah, USA
​​Author’s Note: I give a letter grade for artistry; this is not necessarily a moral endorsement of the film. I outline content in as much detail as I can to help families make their own decisions. I include Gospel discussion points in case parents or others want to use cinema as a launching pad to share eternal principles.
For its first 20 minutes, Captain Underpants is exceptional. High-spirited and surprisingly witty, the film brilliantly captures and spoofs elementary school life. The setup is brilliant and the relationships are well-realized. Once the titular Captain Underpants makes his first appearance, the movie takes a slight dip in quality as an overreliance on superhero clichés, hyper storytelling, and potty humor sets in. To be clear, it’s still funny and continues to have marvelous moments, but a tad of the sheen is lost. No matter, kids will love it (mine did) adults will enjoy it (I did), and it’s a fine way to beat the summer heat.IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Captain Underpants is rated PG. There are jokes about diarrhea, urination, and “poopy pants.” A grown man is seen in nothing but underwear and a cape (his appearance is comical and not at all sexualized). There is an abundance of slapstick humor and comical violence. There is a misuse of God’s name. A boy tells his friend that “like-liking” someone usually doesn’t last after marriage.

Deception doesn’t last and the truth always comes out (see Luke 12:3). Often the cruelest people need kindness the most (see Matthew 5:44-45). Friendship can help you to endure anything.

For another rollicking animated superhero adventure, check out The Incredibles! Rent it here or buy it from our store!For more of Jonathan’s movie reviews, along with his relationship tips as a licensed marriage and family therapist, please visit For can’t-miss movies that adhere to Mormon standards, check out his book 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families. You can see Jonathan at this year’s BYU’s Education Week, where he’ll be presenting on “Stepfamilies and Adoption in the Gospel” August 22-25. 

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