Though in today’s terminology it soars just under the impact of its title promise, Epic parades its pixels with all the confidence of an entertaining Eco warrior.
And while it keeps its themes message literal by recycling the plots of similar nature-nurturing films like Avatar, Fern Gully, and A Bug’s Life, kids should still find plenty of excitement and adventure amongst the familiar surroundings. The folks at Blue Sky Studios certainly keep their collective eyes on the prize imagery-wise, giving Moonhaven a fantastically finessed façade and plenty of impressive moments. But if a Picasso gauge is used to rate the overall image impact, then the storyline would only earn paint-by-numbers points. It’s no secret that when epic animation tales such as this go into production the main focus sways heavily towards the project’s pixels. But one would hope that eventually a certain amount of attention would be paid to how the story is told.
Yes, we’ve all seen your water…and your water is impressive to say the least. And yes, we know that if you have to render a world, the rainforest – or forest-like setting in this case – makes for a hotbed of jaw-dropping opportunities. But with the same default tale being spun again and again, as places and people are renamed but the motions remain the same, it’s high time that someone snatches up the opportunity to see the forest for more than just well executed trees. That isn’t to say that Epic’s animators should at all be discounted, but an opportunity is sorely missed when the tale doesn’t mirror the technical.
Star Wars fans may also lend Epic a few redemption points for the audio nods given to the hummingbirds. Who knew a hummingbird could at times sound exactly like a speeder bike? The extras menu is fun and flashy, done with a Discovery Channel nod, but with a cheetah’s pace. All aspects of the creation and production processes are covered, birds to backgrounds and bytes to bugs, but with the longest segments maxing out at a little over 5 minutes it goes without saying that most content is merely brushed upon. With that said, all of the content is well worth your time, with the clear standout being the 7-part Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed, where you’ll learn, among other things, that Blue Sky actually brought in a professional number cruncher to articulate and illustrate to everyone on the project the disadvantages and dynamics of being only 2 feet tall.
The only misleading segment of the menu resides in the Mub and Grub Intro explanation. If you read it you get the feeling that Mub and Grub are going to take you on a whirlwind tour of the entire extras menu, but in actuality the “Intro” starts as soon as the disc is inserted. Mub and Grub spend about 30 seconds vamping about the extras and how to operate the menu, but unfortunately that’s the extent of this feature. So with beautifully sweeping designs, but unfortunately the same stale storyline, Epic misses the heart of its literal mark.
Studio Synopsis: Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence – and ours – from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, and Steven Tyler!
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 170 minutes
Number of Disks: 2
- Mub & Grub Intro: Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
- Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer: Journey into the forest to meet the real-life counterparts of the EPIC world!
- Rot Rocks – Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
- Bugs of Camouflage: Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
- The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall: How would your life be different if you were only two inches tall? Aside from being small, there are some surprising and amazing benefits!
- Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed: Meet the incredibly talented filmmakers, artists, and animators at Blue Sky, and learn all about the making of EPIC:
*Mub & Grub
- Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your television with family and friends
- Theatrical Trailer
Central Voice Cast: Colin Farrell | Josh Hutcherson | Amanda Seyfried | Christoph Waltz | Aziz Ansari | Chris O’Dowd | Beyoncé Knowles | Jason Sudeikis | Blake Anderson | Judah Friedlander | Pitbull
Director: Chris Wedge
Central Writers: James V. Hart | William Joyce
Theatrical Release: May 24, 2013
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: August 20, 2013
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Family
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE