Young Mary Katherine (M.K.) returns to her eccentric scientist fathers home, but his all-consuming quest to discover a tiny civilisation in the neighbouring forest drives them apart. However, M.K. soon finds herself shrunken down by Queen Tara of that forest mortality wounded by the putrefying Boggans and charged to deliver a pod bearing the new Queen to safety. Together with a veteran Leafman warrior, two goofy mollusks and a young maverick, M.K. agrees to help. As the villainous Boggan leader, Mandrake closes in, M.K. and her new friends must draw on the best of themselves together and discover what they have to save their world.
The first I heard about this film was when I watched the trailer in the cinema as a part of the mandatory previews. Everything about the trailer sparked interest inside. The music, the colours, the scenery, the excitement had captured 110% of my attention. I needed to see this film and immediately did my researched.
Directed by Chris Wedge (ICE AGE) and starring Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler and Chris O’Dowd. What an ‘epic’ cast.
The animation is great and 3D is absolutely fantastic! The colour palette makes the film feel and look alive and a beautiful use of colour where the magic of nature comes to life. An obvious distinction between the good ‘Leafman’ and villainous ‘Boggans’ which makes it easy for the kids to follow. The costumes are creative with the ‘Leafman’ in leaves (du’h) and the ‘Boggans’ in dead insect and small mammal skulls and skin, which is fairly dark for a kids film. The villains are quite ‘scary’ looking and could be frightening to the younger kids – possibly the reason for its PG rating.
I felt the beginning to be rather similar to the narrative of 2009 blockbuster AVATAR and thought EPIC and like ‘AVATAR’ for kids. That feeling subsided one the plot thickened. Although parts of the film had that feeling I had already seen this before e.g. good versus evil, dysfunctional parent/child relationship, and the film had elements of other films, such as, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, AVATOR and TANGLED. However, don’t let this discourage you from seeing the film. Even though other films seem to be dissected and inserted into the plot of EPIC, the story is somewhat unique and magical.
The chemistry between M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) and Nod (Josh Hutcherson) is warming, heartfelt, playful and heartbreaking. These star crossed lovers come in to each others lives at a perfect time and team up to save civilisation with the help of other Leafmen and their society. Some scenes are quite serious and violent, but the snail (Grub) and slug (Mub) (Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari, respectively) offer comedic relief and leave you giggling in your seat. This distracts the kids from the more serious undertones of the scene and is done quite well. Grub and Mub have a ‘chilled’ nature and like to crack jokes throughout the films duration, which I thought was a great touch.
There’s an overall optimistic approach with the belief that magic and fairytales and tiny humans exist. I’m an optimist myself, so I totally got it, but other audience members may have thought this idea and representation was a load of crap and an excuse to make a kids film that is far from reality. I believed the magic while I watched the film, but after I pulled it apart, I realised EPIC wasn’t just about these cute tiny people that live in trees.
It more or less represents the effects deforestation has on humanity and sends a message to the audience that without the forrest healthy and green, the place where the ‘Leafman’ call home with be destroyed and so will ours – which is literally a quote that Ronin (Colin Farrell) says in the film. Having said that, the underlying message and subtext of the film alerting its audience the negative effects deforestation has on peoples live is actually pretty smart; especially when they use tiny humans and magic.
EPIC is full of life, colour and uplifting spirits and I encourage the family to see the film these school holidays. I saw it with my family and Mum didn’t fall asleep which must mean it was an awesome film! EPIC is released on July 4 here in Western Australia. I rate EPIC 8 out of 10 stars.