Thunderpants is a 2002 family film about a boy whose incredible capacity for flatulence gets him a job as an astronaut. The film was directed by Peter 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, his flatulence became so uncontrollable and destructive that his father had to flee their home, as he was often injured by the power of his son's broken wind, a force so strong that it can blow people over and curtains open in one mere release. Patrick's unfortunate affliction left him prone to bullying
. One incident at his school
left him particularly humiliated. An important visitor was addressing the school during assembly and Patrick fought to control his flatulence, but he could not. He passed gas loudly, polluting the hall and disgracing the school. However, while he is physically weak, Patrick finds strength in his disorder and eventually seeks revenge on his main tormentor
Damon (Joshua Herdman
) by passing gas in his face, leaving the bully scarred for life. Patrick's only friend is child prodigy Alan A. Allen (Rupert Grint
), who has anosmia
and therefore, a resilience to Patrick's condition. Alan and Patrick team up, using Alan's intelligence and Patrick's lifelong dream of being an astronaut
, to make Thunderpants, a space suit strong enough to contain Patrick's emissions. Suddenly, Patrick learns that Alan went to America 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.