Epic Movie Review
Kidzworld reviews the new animated, 3-D fantasy adventure “Epic”
By: Lynn Barker
You’re 17, your mom passes on and your dad is a weird scientist you can’t relate to. Bright side? You meet a really hot guy! Relationship prob? He lives with a band of dudes in the forest and he’s uh, 2 inches tall! Solution? Get shrunk and help him save the forest.
Dad’s a Little Weird
17-year-old Mary Katherine (M.K.), voiced by Amanda Seyfried, goes to the boonies to live with her scientist dad (Jason Sudeikis) and their overweight, “challenged”, one-eyed, three-legged, old family dog Ozzie. Dad’s obsession is with a whole civilization of 2-inch-tall humans who live in the forest and protect it. He has cameras installed all over the woods to capture them. “Yeah, right” thinks M.K. Dad thinks with the coming summer solstice, big things will be happening with the woodland folks.
Meanwhile Deep in the Woods
Rebellious young Nod (Josh Hutcherson), only 2-inches tall, decides to stop training to be a Leafman warrior and fly solo although his guardian and Leafman officer Ronin (Colin Farrell) wants to fulfill the wishes of Nod’s deceased dad by making sure he warriors up. Nod is told to “find a bird to ride and get it together!” We see that what humans might see as flowers and bugs are actually tiny humanoids who ride hummingbirds and have a whole civilization now ruled by Ronin’s galpal, kindly Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles) who must soon pass her forest-healing powers on to a new queen.
Bad Guy Boggans
On the dead, rotting, evil side of the forest live the Boggans headed by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). They want to destroy the queen before she can pass her powers on to an heir. Where is the ceremony where she will turn over these powers? The Queen will pick a flower pod to transfer powers to. Guarding the pod are slug and snail Mub (Aziz Ansari) and Grub (Chris O’Dowd). Mandrake wants that pod!
The Transformation of M.K.
M.K. is pretty sure her dad is so nutso that she can’t live with him. She packs up and leaves him a note but when Ozzie the dog gets out and runs into the woods, she has to look for him. In the forest, she doesn’t notice a battle between Leafmen and Boggans but touching a magic leaf, she is shrunken down to 2 inches tall and can now see that dad was right! Queen Tara is accidentally dropped from far above and before she dies, Tara transfers her power to the pod and asks M.K. to take care of it. Ronin mourns and assigns himself and Nod to escort M.K. and pod to a wise man named Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler) who will know what to do. Mub and Grub go along.
Nod now has a bird and M.K. rides it with him as they go through various adventures with a mouse, a deer and more. Turns out the wise man has to research what to do. The pod has to open in light of the full moon or the healing forest power will just shrivel and die. At one point evil Mandrake grabs the pod and the guardian snails. Ronin is furious at Nod for leaving the pod. The heroes learn that if the pod doesn’t get the needed moonlight, Mandrake can make it produce his own dark prince instead of a queen.
Arming Up and Into Battle
M.K., Nod and Ronin go to M.K.’s dad’s house where they arm themselves with weapons dad has collected and decide to take the Leafman air force and attack Mandrake’s stronghold to rescue the pod and the snails. Dad finally sees tiny M.K. and she tells him of course that she now believes. He’ll help if he can. The pod and snails are rescued but looks like Ronin may be a goner. The ceremony is held but the moon is blocked by thousands of bats ruled by Mandrake.
Can M.K.’s dad use science to make the bats leave? Will there be a new queen? Will M.K. become human-sized again and will she see her tiny friends again?
Epic is a simply beautiful-to-look-at fantasy adventure with a great pro-environmental message, a lot of heart and some fun humor. The voice acting by a stellar cast is really good throughout. Although the theme of “little people” saving a forest isn’t new (I recently remember the DVD-aimed Tinkerbell movie for example), the eye-popping visuals, amazing color, production design and well-used 3D make Epic stand out.
The film makes you want to take your buds and family out for a woodsy picnic where you might be careful not to sit on anything tiny… might be little people wearing flower hats and hummingbirds with saddles out there! Very worth a trip to the Cineplex! We’ll go 4 out of 5 stars.
Epic Movie Rating: