Today marks the latest animated film from Blue Sky Studios: Epic. The animation studio, who has been known for their success with Ice Age and Rio, hope to bring another hit to their lineup. The the new animated feature is directed by Chris Wedge, the man behind Ice Age; and was inspired from the William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. With a established director and a big time title, can Epic bring Blue Sky success just as Ice Age did in the past; or does the film come up short?
The story of Epic follows the conflict between the Leaf Men and the Boggans. As the fate of the of the forest hangs in the balance, a girl named Mary Kate (Amanda Seyfried) gets shrunk down into the minuscule world and finds herself in the middle of the conflict.
The film’s plot follows your common adventure theme, where the main characters have to get to one point to the other. In this films case, its MK and the leaf men trying to save the forest by making sure the royal seed blossoms. As film story goes, Epic is simple; however, this is not a bad thing. Though Epic needed more back story and details, the plot is easy to get into. The story accomplishes at being a adventure, but you may wish there is more to it.
Despite that the story is nothing to boast about; the cast seemed promising as Epic featured a massive ensemble. Yet did the cast live up to what appeared on paper? The best way to put this group is that they were a hit and miss. Performances from everyone were alright, but much like the plot, the characters were not explored. For example, the villain Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) could have been a bigger then life character; but he falls short due to little screen-time and never going into Mandrake’s back story. Mandrake is not only one who suffers through this as several characters feel like they are just there. Even the protagonist MK seems to have simple role in this story. Despite that the development needed work ,the performances (as already stated),were not bad. The voices work from the likes of Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz and Chris O’Dowd made the film fun; and even Amanda Seyfried did her best with M.K. There were good things about the characters. It is just that this critic was wishing for more.
If there is any reason to see Epic, the biggest factor would be the animation. Blue Sky has been known for their cartoonish characters and bright colors; and though this film is colorful, Epic’s animation is no doubt impressive. The expression in the characters are among the best the studio has ever done. While the details in the animation were solid, giving the film a distinct look. If you are a fan of animation, then you may find Epic worth watching thanks to the visuals.
So Epic may not have been…well epic. However, does that fact make it a bad move? The answer is no. In fact, the new feature from Blue Sky Studios is quite enjoyable. If you are looking for something simple or just looking for a good family film this summer, then you may find either in Epic. Just don’t expect too much from this animated film.