When you were young, did you ever imagine a world of tiny creatures hidden everywhere around you? If not, does that idea sound kinda cool? Well, it totally is!
Based on the book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce, Epic is the story of a civilization consisting of teeny-tiny people and animate creatures, living, loving and fighting in the forest. We’re introduced to the good guys, and their warriors the Leaf Men, so named for their armor which is, you guessed it, made out of leaves. They’re fighting the evil Boggans, who are trying to take over the forest, namely by destroying it. We’re also introduced to a couple regular humans, Mary Katherine (MK for short) and her father, Professor Bomba. The Professor has been studying artifacts of the Leafmen, but of course, everyone else thinks he’s crazy, because really, tiny people living in the forest? Yeah, right. MK goes to live with her father after a long separation, and is just as frustrated as everyone else with his crazy obsession. So fed up with him, she decides to leave, but before she can, their dog, Ozzie, escapes into the forest. She goes chasing after him, and ends up on the adventure of a lifetime, when she gets shrunk down to Leaf Man size, and discovers their hidden world!
With wonderful voice acting by a laundry list of stars, the story still falls a bit short of “Epic” I think. It’s a bit lackluster, with a predictable outcome on all fronts. Children, however, still love it, as I gathered from the kids in the audience at the screening. It’s just really hard to connect with any of the characters, because even though you can see it in 3D, the players are all pretty 1D.
What isn’t lackluster, however, are the graphics. Made by Blue Sky (the same folks who did the Ice Age series and Robots), Epic is visually stunning. The level of detail in each and every shot is fantastically amazing, and, dare I say, Epic? In the beginning, during a shot of the forest, even the leaves on the farthest trees move realistically.
And if CGI folks can win an Oscar for costume design, then the folks from this flick should have a chance at the gold! The costumes on all the “little people” are really astounding. I didn’t know you could do that with a leaf! And don’t even get me started on the flower-folks! I was floored during a pan-over sequence where you get to see all the different inhabitants of this little society. Mushroom? Nope, guy in a hat! Flower? Nope, person! Stick bug? Nope, PERSON! It was, to me, the best part of the whole film. Really imaginative!
If you have kids, you should take them to go see it, as it really is a kid pleaser, and you adults shouldn’t get too bored. It’s funny as heck, to be honest, mostly thanks to a dog, a snail, and a slug. I know, what’s the world coming to, huh?
For its gorgeous detailed world, for its entertaining jokes, and despite the lackluster story, I give Epic…
About the Movie:
Synopsis: A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group characters in order to save their world — and ours.
Director: Chris Wedge
Writers: James V. Hart, William Joyce, Daniel Shere, Tom J. Astle, & Matt Ember
Stars: Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, John Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, with Steven Tyler and Beyonce Knowles
Runtime: 102 Min