Now I know that in the Captain Underpants books, the colors of most of the characters’ clothing changed with each issue, but they stuck with specific colors throughout the film for the characters. Color can help tell a story and I notice things like how the interior of the school is a specific shade of blue so that everyone else can pop out, how the amount of color and light in the treehouse contrasts sharply against the darkness and minimal colors of Krupp’s house, etc.
But one thing bugged me for awhile–of all the colors they chose for Krupp’s design, why green for the pants of all colors? The white shirt didn’t surprise me, but the green bothered me for a bit. Then I remembered something–if you don’t remember your lessons on the color wheel from art class (or aren’t aware of this), I can explain.
Green is a complimentary color to red, which is the color of Captain Underpants’ cape. In most fiction, if red is used as a heroic color then green is usually the automatic color to represent evil (the red of Gryffindor vs the green of Slytherin, the red of Thor vs the green of Loki, etc.) instead of the other way around (the green lightsaber of a Jedi vs the red lightsaber of a Sith). Green is normally used to represent nature and creativity, but on the negative side it can represent greed and sometimes sickness. Meanwhile, the positive use of red can represent energy, royalty, heroism, etc (and of course, the negative version can represent anger, violence, etc.).
Also, the specific shade of green used for Krupp’s pants is a dark green (as best as I can remember) which contrasts greatly with the bright red of CU’s cape. Both personalities also wear white (on different halves of their body) as if to help link the two further together/provide visual contrast. It’s just that the only other major color that makes up their attire happen to contrast against each other on the color wheel. (and yes, I hear some of you complaining about how the traditional color wheel shouldn’t be the true color wheel, but I don’t want to get into an argument over this right now).
The only other character who wears green throughout the entire film appears to be Harold, but that green is a brighter color, which fits the idea of green inspiring creativity. And ironically, while George’s attire is KIND OF similar to Mr. Krupp’s, his tie has the more energetic, bright colors of red and yellow, compared to the varying browns in Krupp’s tie.
And they ALL. WEAR. STRIPES. IN. THEIR. DESIGN! (Not CU, unless he’s in disguise).
So not only is Krupp visually contrasting against his counterpart in terms of color, but he also visually contrasts against George and Harold’s colors as well. I could be looking too much into this, but it’s fascinating how color was used in the film adaptation when you think about it. If a sequel comes out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the color schemes change, but it was still pretty cool for this particular film.
(ADDITIONAL NOTE: Actually, I remembered something funny in regards to character clothing with this film, and it has to do with Edith. Her dress is a sort of pinkish red with dots, right? And what’s that one joke about ‘pink goes perfect with green’ and vice versa? Also dots–who else has dots on part of his choice in clothing and shows an interest in Edith when he mets her? It adds to the idea that Edith is a good match for the two personas that share one body.)