The pretty standard stuff of elfish lore, where magical faerie folk
protect the woods and the life enclosed inside. Led by the Queen Tara (
voiced in English-language version by Beyoncé Knowles) the minuscule
forest inhabitants guard the essence of creation from the destructive
appetite of the agents of blight - creatures called Boggans - and their
malevolent leader, Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). These forces of good are
led by the seasoned warrior Ronin (Colin Farrell), who together with
his elven battalion mount hummingbird steeds. His special protégé is
independent-minded brash Nod (Josh Hutcherson), who disregards
structure and rules. However, each faerie Leafman must become a part of
a bigger tree, in order for the forest to survive. Especially now, when
a rare astronomical occurrence brings about the necessity to name a new
queen, chosen through the use of a magical bud. This ceremony is
disrupted by the onslaught of Mandrake's forces. Meanwhile a somewhat
crazed and estranged Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) seeks proof of
little green forest men residing in the woods, much to the distraught
of his only daughter Mary Katherine (or as she prefers to be known
M.K.) (Amanda Seyfried), who moves in grieving after the death of her
What can I say say? I love me some faeries and the magical allure of nature. Here "Epic" delivers with aplomb the visual feasts of an enchanted forest coupled with ages-old tales of combat between good and evil - or as portrayed here as a conflict between life and decay. The obvious flaw to be pointed out is the generic and predictable storyline, which delivers essentially what was to be expected, failing to really instill any sense of novelty. With some well-placed humour, thankfully low on the adult kind and more focused on family laughs, "Epic" does however deliver on its base promise: offering entertainment for both adults and children. Visually appeasing with some engaging story lines, apt for parents or simply for adults looking for a good time, are sure to be satisfied by the magical light-hearted tones, just perfect for disassociating yourselves from the mundanity of everyday life.
Some fault can also be found in a somewhat underwhelming formation of characters, mostly feeling like poorly fleshed out cardboard cutouts with only the touching relationship between father and daughter really hitting home. Some of the secondary characters are just poorly conceived comedic relief (like the slug and the snail), while the overall story seems somewhat overloaded given the running time. Especially the character of Nod seems to be a missed concept, as he fails to have enough structure to really develop any relationship with either Ronin or M.K., thus adding a certain sense of superfluousity to his role in the movie. Nonetheless, the underlying weaknesses fail to prove detrimental from family viewing, making it a rewatchable feast for the eyes and imagination, without ever truly hitting classic animation territory.
Young Mary Katherine (M.K.) returns to her eccentric scientist father's home, but his all-consuming quest to discover a tiny civilization in the neighboring forest drives them apart. However, M.K. soon finds herself shrunken down by Queen Tara of that forest who was mortally wounded by the putrefying Boggans, and charged to deliver a pod bearing the new Queen to safety. Together with a veteran Leafman warrior, two goofy mollusks and a young maverick, M.K. agrees to help. As the villainous Boggan leader, Mandrake closes in, M.K. and her new friends must draw on the best of themselves together and discover what they have to save their world.
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