From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
UK DVD cover
Directed by Pete Hewitt
Produced by Damian Jones
Graham Broadbent
Written by Pete Hewitt
Phil Hughes
Starring Bruce Cook
Rupert Grint
Simon Callow
Adam Godley
Stephen Fry
Celia Imrie
Paul Giamatti
Ned Beatty
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Andy Collins
Edited by Michael Parker
CP Medien AG
Mission Pictures
Pathé Pictures International
Distributed by Pathé Distribution (UK)
The Weinstein Company/Magical Films (U.S) (direct-to-video release)
Release dates
May 24, 2002
Running time
87 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

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.



Critical reception[edit]

The film has received a rating of 60% at the film review website Rotten Tomatoes, based upon 5 reviews.[1]

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".[2] 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.[3]

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Paul Giamatti referred to this film as one of the high points in his career.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

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.


  1. ^ "Reviews at Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Review of Thunderpants". Empire magazine. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  3. ^ "Best of the Worst". Red Letter Media. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, 2011-01-24

External links[edit]