It’s a green, green world in Epic, one of the latest animated offerings from the creators of movies such as Ice Age. Teenager Mary Katherine, who goes by MK, is exasperated with her dad, an eccentric scientist who is convinced that the forest is teeming with tiny denizens. Of course he’s right and these miniature soldiers are called Leafmen, who ride humming birds and have one task in life – to protect the verdant forest from the Boggans, whose sole purpose is to cause decay on the forest. To the Leafmen, all humans are slow and stupid beings called stompers.
MK gets stuck in the middle of this tussle, when the forest queen Tara entrusts her with the all-important flower bud that will ultimately reveal the next heir of the jungle. In a manner that’s reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, MK is reduced to the size of the Leafmen. MK finds herself on a quest with Ronin, the rugged, taciturn chief of the Leafmen; Mub and Grub, the snail and slug who are thrown in for comic relief; and the handsome, rebellious Nod.
Epic presses all the right buttons – spectacular animation, a not-so-subtle message about conservation, and of course, dollops of romance and humour. A beautiful movie – with colourful flowers and gnarly trees dotting stunning landscapes– we can see that the 3D version must have been enthralling to watch on the big screen. Yet, there’s something missing in the movie. We already know that good will triumph over evil, and that means there’s just not enough drama to pull the film together.
We loved the DVD’s special features, but they are just five to ten minutes long. In Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer, children can learn about the animal world through the movie’s characters. For instance, Nim the caterpillar becomes a tool to explain that the insect has a ferocious appetite and can eat up to three times its body weight. In Rot Rocks, we take a look at the forest from its darker side and see the point of view of decay and rot. A back story about the making of Epic was sorely missed.
Excel Home Entertainment, R599.
By Bijal Vachharajani on October 25 2013