Recently: “Epic”

The animated film is probably the last remaining type of film that’s predictable. You never know whether or not there will be just humor for the kids and none for the adults, that no doubt, were dragged to it out of obligation.

Even when sitting through an animated movie, I’m rarely excited for what I’m seeing, but it’s too late to do anything about it.

Fortunately the Bluesky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation film “Epic” managed to give me everything I wanted in an animated film.

This comedy features the voice talents of Colin Farrell (“Dead Man Down”, “Total Recall (2012)”), Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “Red Dawn (2012)”), Amanda Seyfried (“A Million Ways to Die in the West”, “The Big Wedding”), Cristoph Waltz (“Muppets Most Wanted”, “Django Unchained”), Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation”, “Date and Switch”), Chris O’Dowd (“Monsters vs. Aliens (TV series)”, “Thor: The Dark World”), Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis (“We’re the Millers”, “Drinking Buddies”), Steven Tyler (“Two and a Half Men”, “Stacked”), and Beyoncé Knowles (“Obsessed”, “Cadillac Records”).

The film was directed by Chris Wedge (“Robots”, “Ice Age”) and written by William Joyce (“Silent”, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”), James V. Hart (“August Rush”, “Sahara”), Daniel Shere (“We Are Family”), Tom J. Astle (“Get Smart”, “Failure to Launch”), and Matt Ember (“Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control”, “Get Smart”). The film is inspired by the book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs” by Joyce.

The film opened in theaters on May 24, 2013.

While the animation was weird, as so many different types of animated films tend to be, everything was so much fun to watch. The film had, surprisingly, a lot of great action in it. When the film started it took me a moment to register what exactly it was I was seeing.

Along with the, surprisingly fun, action scenes, there were the plant beings, things, whatever they’re called. They all had a lot of personality and likable qualities. The relationships that were there, even with seemingly unimportant characters, were fun to see unfold. I wanted to be friends with them!

One major drawback was the relationship, and personalities of the two humans. They just were uninteresting and resembled every other type of parent/kid relationship where there’s issues. It improved a little, at the end, but it just made me tired. When Seyfried’s character was with the plant, creature, things? the character seemed to come to life more and made the film thoroughly enjoyable.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was the creative use of nature. The plants all had personalities and were part of the world, and not just for looks. When I first saw how fleshed out the world was, as it’d been so long I forgot what the movie was about, I was surprised. This is probably one of the best uses of nature since “FernGully: The Last Rainforest”.

I was thoroughly surprised by how much comedy there was for the non children audience member. It also didn’t rely on crude humor, so that adults could get a laugh, thus making the trip to the theater worth it. One pretty funny scene is when the captured snails were escaping and it ended up looking like something from the playground. Kicking out to knock the other off or play slapping, in this case, certainly makes for something quite hilarious!

As an adventure film, with a message, this one is definitely my favorite. If I caught up with each one released, I’d probably change my mind a little. Top five, I’m sure. If a kids movie can get me to laugh as much as I did, and feel sad, even a little, for a character, I say that’s a well done film! While I don’t understand the title, the scope of the story itself, made for an incredibly fun movie. Is it on sale? It also could say more about me than I realize.


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