“Many leaves. One tree.”
Underscored by two love stories of the highest order, Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox’s “Epic” features a bond between father and daughter in need of mending, and the love affair between man and nature.
Opening with dazzling moss and myrtle, sprawling green splendor, a forest overflows with life. This engrossing visual is juxtaposed with a narrator addressing the destruction of the very beauty we’re beholding.
Action is immediate with tiny soldiers dressed in vibrant uniforms thrust into daring feats, hopping midair from bird to bird, marking enemy targets with bow and arrow as they defend the very existence of their home — our home.
There is no better way to learn a man than to see him in battle. Ronin (Colin Farrell) is the tough, respected captain whose skill is unparalleled, except by maybe Nod (Josh Hutcherson), his slick and wild yet fun-loving sort of adopted son. Together, well, nearly together, they fight for the life of the plant kingdom.
The kingdom has a queen, Tara (Beyonce Knowles), who is the strength that keeps the enchantment of the forest vibrant and the earth replenished.
These secret tiny creatures live harmonious with nature, though they must defend from constant Boggan attacks. Mandrake (Christoph Waltz), the Boggan ruler wearing gray skeletal bone and rodent fur, is determined to rot the forest more quickly than Queen Tara can repair it, and he has a plan to make his dastardly deeds bubble over with decay.
During the Summer Solstice when the moon is full, Mandrake will have his chance to end Queen Tara’s rule, benight the world and at an earth-shattering rate.
Enter the giants beyond the leaves. Quirky and clumsy science geek Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) has compromised his relationship with his wife and daughter to pursue his obsession with the inhabitants of the forest. The deer, bats, rabbits, and insects are nice, but it’s the tiny soldiers that have him all a’fluster.
Even after his daughter, Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried) — MK for short since she’s a teenager now — comes to live with him, Bomba can’t be torn from his fixation. No matter how she begs for him to come back to reality, how she warns that he will lose her, he cannot stop and this just widens the raging ravine between them.
In a moment of magic MK is drafted into the guard and set on a quest to save the forest, obviously the world and perhaps her relationship with her father and his sanity.
In a band of unlikely, yet perfectly aligned characters, Ronin, Nod, and MK team with Mub, voiced by the sensationally brilliant madcap Aziz Ansari & Grub (Chris O’dowd) so that the future of the forest can bloom in the light, rather than darkness.
Centering around a theme of team work versus independent spirit, “Epic” explores how all living creatures fit together, how we all serve a purpose and role in making this Earth what it is and what it can be.
The film shows that we are all a part of the engine of the ecosystem and is a clever “save the environment” campaign and combination of comedy and color. The wonderfully detailed forest comes alive, is personified, personalized, and sentimentalized to emotionally invest the viewer in its wellbeing.
The Boggans are gangsters, strong-arming nature and we are made to resent it. Perhaps our children will internalize how we identify with these characters, transform it into a life long practice of loving the Earth and become heroes for the environment. This is certainly the movie to help them do it.
A sneaky little ornery environmental PSA that’s just the right balance of entertainment, family fun, and adventure, “Epic” asks what happens when anything, anything connected to what we are, blooms in darkness.
Funny, visually astounding with a familiar “no place like home” narrative, this animated feature will add your affection to these epic love stories. You will be enamored on no other basis than Ozzie, the depth-perception deprived elderly Pug. But, “Epic” gives you a ton of reasons to adore it.
This is a film about the legacy we leave our descendents, illustrating that they can either inherit the splendor of this planet or its deficiency. How far will you go to restore beauty and vibrancy to the Earth?
“Epic” expresses our connection to nature and each other by hoping that “you’ll give back what you’ve been given” and by reminding us that “no one is on their own.”
This movie is appropriate for all audiences. It will grab your attention and touch your heart. But be careful, you may actually split a side laughing.