For parents who don’t know, the basic premise of Captain Underpants is actually slightly more complex than it might seem. The titular superhero is actually the literary invention of two children, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who create the superhero for their own amusement. But, in a moment worthy of Weird Science, George and Harold’s hero becomes real, causing them all sorts of problems. Pilkey started publishing the middle-grade novels in 1997, at which point the concept became an instant hit. Like the newer Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Captain Underpants combines intentionally juvenile children’s drawing and handwriting alongside more traditional story elements. At present, there are twelve official books in the series, not counting various activity books and spin-offs.
The new show from Netflix is actually the second animated adaptation of the books. In 2011, the film Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie was released by Dreamworks Studios, who has also produced the new TV series for Netflix.
In this exclusive clip, George, and Harold satirize their French teacher the way only two fourth graders who invented “Captain Underpants” could.
The Epic Tales Of Captain Underpants perfectly captures the wit and slyly clever tone of the Dav Pilkey books. If parents are put off by the absurdity of the title character, they shouldn’t be. Captain Underpants actually presents children with multiple narratives and empowers them with the idea that their creative concepts matter. Plus, because of the fact that Captain Underpants comes to life thanks to ad hoc books created by George and Harold, the stories heroically encourage both reading and writing in the extreme.
The first season of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants will hit Netflix in its entirety on Friday, July 13.