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ThunderPants

Written by Gail Campbell-Thomson

IMAGINE the surreal world of Roald Dahl merged with the potty humour of Viz magazine and you have Thunderpants, the story of one boy’s battle to overcome a rather embarrassing problem and make his dreams come true.

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Thunderpants is basically a one joke comedy, but in the hands of Pete Hewitt (The Borrowers) what could have been a feeble pre-teen attempt at toilet humour is instead a quite charming children’s fable which shows us that you don’t have to be Superman to be special.

Patrick Smash (Bruce Cook) is not your typical ten-year-old boy. True he has all the necessary angst of an ankle biter his age, such as making friends at school, avoiding the school bully and his gang of cronies, and growing up to be an astronaut.

But he has a unique problem which causes immediate social death and exile. Having been born with two stomachs, Patrick suffers from uncontrollable and extremely explosive flatulence.

Now this is not your average embarrassing botty-burp. No, Patrick is able to clear whole rooms of people, smash windows, damage property and almost move mountains with his devastating problem.

This “problem” has caused his family to split apart and has all but made him a social pariah All have deserted him except for his best friend Alan A Allen (Rupert Grint) a highly eccentric yet brilliant child prodigy and inventor of fantastic machines who, thankfully has no sense of smell.

It is Alan who makes the eponymous Thunderpants of the title. He designs them as a containment unit in an effort to help Patrick achieve his hearts desire – to become a Spaceman.

This is a seemingly impossible dream, but when the US Space centres latest mission falls into trouble he may just get the chance.

As with The Borrowers, Hewitt delves into the idiosyncratic British world of Roald Dahl.


Original article found here: Cheshire Online | May 23rd, 2002

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