Epic is about a teenage girl who’s father has dedicated his life’s work to a theory that there is a world of tiny people living in the forest. Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried) finds herself transported into the tiny world where she must help the leaf-men save the forest after the death of the Queen (Beyonce Knowles).
Epic kind of slipped under the radar and was probably overshadowed by the release of The Croods and more recent animated family films like Despicable Me 2. The story is very unoriginal; as seems to be the norm with animated films, but the tried-and-tested formula is guaranteed to entertain. It seems animated films are the only genre that can get away with being completely unoriginal, while any other film that appears to copy its plot from somewhere else gets torn apart by critics and viewers alike. Epic is pretty much Avatar but bears lots of similarities to films like A Bug’s Life and Fern Gully, while this formulaic approach is ideal for children, which is ultimately the purpose of these kinds of films, it’s becoming tiresome seeing the same premise with slightly different animation.
Epic is good fun with some very clever and striking visuals, and like many animated family films there’s something in it for everyone. There’s humour for the adults, although the humour is fairly thin on the ground, and the cast is surprisingly very strong. The highlight of the film is the pairing of Chris O’Dowd as a snail called Grub and Aziz Ansari as his slug sidekick Mub, the characters provide the majority of the comedy and the actors do a great job with their humorous script. Although the two actors would’ve been in a recording studio it’s obvious that they had a good chemistry and Mub and Grub become the ‘Timon’ and ‘Pumbaa’ of the film.
Epic is enjoyable but highly forgettable and it’s no surprise that it slipped under the radar. Released in 3D, it’s an obvious attempt to revolutionise 3D animated films and rather than focus on the story like Despicable Me 2 and then think about the 3D effects after, Epic appears to be even more like Avatar with it’s focus on style over substance. It’s pretty to look at but lacks that charm that makes animated family films memorable; I can’t imagine many adults are going to place this very high on their list of favourite family films.