Blue Sky Studios is known for creating some amazing worlds thanks to the technological advancements in computer animation. They started out simple with 2002’s “Ice Age”, which was set several thousand years ago. Now, Blue Sky Studios is offering audiences a look at the forest life in their latest animated adventure “Epic”. The animation is absolutely brilliant by detailing every last pixel of forestry. But that isn’t to say some things do not have their flaws; the music for one is something that will be brought up later. “Epic” is an animated film that is heavy on the visuals, but lacking in story.
The story has a young girl named Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or MK as she likes to be called, is visiting her dad (Jason Sudeikis) in a remote part of a large forest. Inside the forest however, lives a group of sprites and creatures, who are incredibly small to the human eye, with the soldiers being called Leafmen. On the day of MK’s arrival, the spirit of the forest, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles) dies from an incoming attack by creatures known as Boggans, and passes on the next spirit of the forest to MK. Now the fate of the forest is in MK’s hands as she must protect the forest at all costs.
“Epic” is an average movie that will definitely please children of all ages. The cast did a pretty good job, and there were some surprises like Steven Tyler, who caught me off guard. The direction by Chris Wedge, who oversaw the original “Ice Age”, did all right directing the actors and more importantly, the action. The movie flowed at a nice pace, which made the editing a breeze. The characters are likeable, though there could have more written for them, and the main conflict is somewhat interesting. But what really sells the movie is the animation.
The animation in this movie is gorgeous. Yes, this outshines Blue Sky Studios other colorful animated works “Robots” and “Rio”. The backgrounds are amazing to looks at, the characters are well designed, and the movement of the animation flows at a quick pace to represent all the action going on screen. Plus, seeing this movie in 3D also helps bring the action forth quite a bit.
With that being said, however, there are some nitpicks that downgrade the movie for me. First of all, the story is kind of predictable, and it really brings nothing new to storytelling. The message about protecting the forest has been done in other animated films of the past; “Ferngully” and “Once Upon a Forest” come to mind. The second nitpick is with the music. Danny Elfman who provides the music for this movie, just felt out of place for something that is supposed to be a fast pace action film for kids. If someone like, say Hans Zimmer, did the music, then the soundtrack would have been perfect.
In conclusion, “Epic” is another visual masterpiece from Blue Sky Studios, but could have improved greatly on the story.