UK DVD cover
|Directed by||Pete Hewitt|
|Produced by||Damian Jones
|Written by||Pete Hewitt
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|Edited by||Michael Parker|
CP Medien AG
Pathé Pictures International
|Distributed by||Pathé Distribution (UK)
The Weinstein Company/Magical Films (U.S) (direct-to-video release)
|May 24, 2002|
Thunderpants is a 2002 British-German family film about a boy whose incredible capacity for flatulence gets him a job as an astronaut. The film was directed by Pete Hewitt, whose previous work included Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991), and The Borrowers (1997). The script was written by Phil Hughes, based on a story by Peter Hewitt about a boy who dreams to be a spaceman, but has a problem with flatulence.
Born with two stomachs, Patrick Smash (Bruce Cook) is uncontrollably and devastatingly flatulent. No more than thirty seconds after his birth, he first broke wind, horrifying his parents (Bronagh Gallagher, and Victor McGuire) and doctor (Robert Hardy). As he grew up, Patrick's farts became so uncontrollable and destructive that his father had to flee their home, as he was often injured by the sheer power of his son's awesome gaseous emissions, whose force is so strong that it can blow people over. Patrick is bullied at school as a result of his condition, but eventually finds strength in his disorder, ultimately gaining revenge on the school bully Damon (Joshua Herdman) by passing gas in his face, leaving him scarred for life.
Patrick's only friend is child prodigy Alan A. Allen (Rupert Grint), who has anosmia, and, therefore, lacks the ability to smell. Alan and Patrick team up to make Thunderpants, reinforced short trousers strong enough to contain Patrick's emissions. Suddenly, Patrick learns that Alan went to USA with the government to assist astronauts who are trapped in outer space, and Patrick finds that his condition may be of use to the spacemen in peril.
- Bruce Cook as Patrick Smash
- Rupert Grint as Alan A. Allen
- Simon Callow as Sir John Osgood
- Adam Godley as Placido P. Placeedo
- Stephen Fry as Sir Anthony Silk
- Celia Imrie as Miss Rapier
- Paul Giamatti as Johnson J. Johnson
- Ned Beatty as Gen. Ed Sheppard
- Bronagh Gallagher as Mrs. Smash
- Victor McGuire as Mr. Smash
- Anna Popplewell as Denise Smash
- Josh Herdman as Damon
- Leslie Phillips as Judge
- Robert Hardy as Doctor
- Devon Anderson as Dan
- Keira Knightley as Music School Student (uncredited in the cast list but appears in the "Special Thanks" list)
- Jonah Trenouth as Alan A. Allen (aged 5)
Empire magazine wrote in their review that Thunderpants is "a well-made, quirky oddity for adults, but a laugh riot for kids and Beano nostalgists...underneath all the expelled air it’s really just a simple tale of a boy finding his talent and making the most of it". The hosts of the RedLetterMedia web series Best of the Worst shared similar sentiments when reviewing the film with the consensus being that the movie was too charming and well-made to be considered a "bad" movie.
Awards and nominations
Thunderpants was nominated for one award in 2002, in the Children's Section of the International Festival of Films for Children and Young People. The film was given the award at the ceremony.
- Thunderpants at the Internet Movie Database
- Thunderpants at AllMovie
- Thunderpants on Variety
- Thunderpants on BBC