Film: “Epic”; Voices: Amanda Seyfried, Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Steven Tyler, Jason Sudeikis, Pitbull, Judah Friedlander, Blake Anderson, Chris O’Dowd, Emma Kenney, and Jason Harris; Director: Chris Wedge; Rating: *** 1/2
Based on the children’s book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by William Joyce, “Epic” is a 3D animated science fiction fantasy film with ample amount of action and adventure.
“Epic” tells the story of an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it.
Mary Katherine (voiceover by Amanda Seyfried), a young teenage girl, visits her father Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) in a remote forest after the death of her mother. Their relationship is strained due to her father’s obsession with his work. In fact, she is convinced that her father has gone nuts when he tells her that “the forest is inhabited by miniature beings”.
Dejected, she ambles into the forest and finds herself magically transported into this secret universe filled with miniature yet larger than life figures, where she witnesses Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles) being attacked by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his son.
The Queen, before dying, hands over a bud to Mary and instructs her to take it to Nim Galulu (Steven Tyler), the eight-footed caterpillar who is the historian of the universe who will help them find an heir to the throne.
Lost and not knowing what to do, she teams up with Ronin (Colin Farrell), the leader of the mythical creatures known as Leaf Men, who is also the Queen’s trusted commander, Nod (Josh Hutcherson), Slug (Aziz Ansari) and Snail (Chris O’Dowd), on this great mission to save their world and hers.
From the makers of “Ice Age” and “Rio”, “Epic” is truly a grand scale escapade that reveals a mystical world unlike any other. The film looks spectacular with beautiful, lush, green landscapes and a multitude of well-rendered animals, insects and birds. The entire creation is impressive with all the characters well drawn, unique and life like.
The comic relief is provided in the form of a Slug and a Snail as well as a scene-stealing three-legged pug. The jokes arrive with varying degrees of success, but they are always welcome as the rest of the film takes itself incredibly seriously.
Chris Wedge is truly a real wizard to match the assortment of star voices with the characters. Also, there are vocals by Steven Tyler, Josh Hutcherson and Judah Friedlander, which is also enchanting.
The music and background score by composer Danny Elfman is used appealingly to enhance the entire experience.
The production design and cinematography are amazing. The visuals are truly mesmerising. The 3D computer-generated images are so accurate, unique and life-like. The chase sequences are enthralling and keep you glued to your seat.
“Epic” is stunning and well intentioned. It will surely appeal to kids and allure adults too, a must-see to have a refreshed view of a beautiful world.