Epic the Movie Review

May 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Amanda Seyfried and Josh Hutcherson star in Blue Sky’s new animated movie Epic, telling the story of a teenage girl who discovers a magical, miniature world on her doorstep.

M. K. (Seyfried) goes to live with her eccentric father after the death of her mother. When the father-daughter relationship is at its most fractious, M. K. finds herself caught in the growing problems of the miniature world in the forest. She encounters a dying queen, who entrusts a flower bud to M. K. that will save the forest from destruction, and finds herself shrunk and in the hands of Leafman Ronin (Colin Farrell). Only M. K., Ronin and Nod (Hutcherson), a rebellious Leafman, have the power to prevent the destruction of the forest by the rot of Mandrake’s (Christopher Waltz) army. But will M. K. ever be reunited and reconciled with her father?

Although I had to embrace my younger self to enjoy this film for children, it certainly made for easy watching on a wet bank holiday Monday. The animation is sophisticated and the storyline is suitably filled with humorous moments to detract from the gloom of evil forces. The characters of Mub and Grub, a talking slug and snail respectively, are particularly well written, with some great lines and a good chemistry between the two. Epic-official-characters-poster

What shocked me, though, was Epic’s rather casual and familiar treatment of death and grief during the film. Both M. K. and Nod have experienced the loss of a parent, and two other characters have rather close shaves during the film (at one point, my friend even insisted on walking out if a certain character died).

It’s surprising that such a theme is so easily translatable into a children’s film; the films that I grew with, for example Anastasia and Mulan, would never dream of killing off a character within the opening quarter-hour of the film, and it would only ever be the evil characters who died. Perhaps children now are just more au fait with this sort of thing, but for me a children’s film, particularly an animation, should be relatively happy from beginning to end.

Despite this and Colin Farrell’s dodgy accent, Epic is a good enough film to sit down with the family and relax for a couple of hours when the weather is a bit grim. Epic may not be the most memorable of animated films, but the jokes are bound to get you laughing, and it is best watched with young children.

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