Blue Sky Studios have a hit and miss ratio of animated films, while ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Rio’ were enjoyable and solid animated works, their sequels are generally a huge miss, but this is a non-sequel film for Blue Sky Studios, will it join with the former or does it rank with the weak sequels? It’s a bit of in-between. ‘Epic’ was loosely based on author William Joyce’s book titled ‘The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs’.
The film follows Mary, M.K. for short, as she travels to live with her father, someone who has become a stranger to her now after years of exploring this silly fantasy of tiny people living in the forest. However, M.K. doesn’t believe her father, leaving him, although she encounters one of the tiny people, and becomes small to save the pod.
Let’s start off with the positives, the film’s animation is extremely vibrant and provides an excellent use of computer animation, from the film’s forest setting to the detail textures of the trees and leafs, the film’s animation is a sight to behold.
The film’s story has some issues, while it is simple with the war of the forest between the Leafman and the Boggans which sets up some really cool action sequences, my main problem is the film’s central protagonist. The film opens to a battle between the Leafman and the Boggans, and Nod is the first character we see, however once he quits the Leafmans, he doesn’t return on screen until after the film’s first half hour. Instead, we focus more promptly on M.K. and the failed relationship between herself and her father, leaving this issue to not be resolved until the film’s final act, but by then you are focusing on this main plot device of M.K. retrieving the pod. The film just has too much to focus, and most times important opening arcs get lost in the film’s main journey storyline arc.
The characters aren’t really that interesting, and because of that, I couldn’t care towards them, instead becoming frustrated with the sometimes lacking character development, and because of that couldn’t be as emotional as the film was trying to come across as. Plus, those slugs and snails got on my nerves, as they were not funny and quite annoying to watch.
‘Epic’ has promise, and while it delivers on action spectacle and some well-made animation, it’s missing a solid cohesive story, but with the subplots, I wanted more fleshing with the characters, making them quite forgettable instead. While the subplots are fine, they just don’t quite mesh together, becoming disjointed instead.
I wish ‘Epic’ was more… epic.