On Friday the kids, Nana and I went to the first showing on opening day for epic.
So the obvious question is well, was it....EPIC?
I think kids and adults have different things they value in an animated movie. Kids want it to be funny and adults want it to be visually impressive. Not to say these things don't overlap- kids understand and appreciate visual appeal and adults like to laugh. The real-ness of the animated outdoors was so, well.... realistic. It pulls you right into the world of tiny Leafmen defending nature against the rot and death trying to encroach on their kingdom's borders courtesy of the bad-guy Boggans.
The movie opens on the momentous day in the Leafmen kingdom when Queen Tara will choose a special bud vessel to hold her powers so they can be transferred to her chosen successor, ensuring that nature survives and can be protected against the Boggans. The Boggans in the meantime have learned that if they can steal Queen Tara's bud it can be "hatched" under adverse conditions to give them the power. Back in the full-size human world a girl named Mary-Katherine arrives at her distracted scientist father's house after her mother has passed away. They are strangers in a way, separated by her father's insistence that there are little people living in the woods around the house. These two worlds collide and everyone must work together to save nature.
There were lots of funny moments that the kids loved. A highlight was Aziz Ansari's slug character, who stole the scenes he was in. There is an endearing three-legged pug who wreaks havoc constantly. Of course there were many humorous situations where a full sized human who has become tiny learns the change in reality as a result of the size shift. The whole movie was beautifully imagined, and one of my favorite elements was the demonstration of two different yet simultaneously existing speeds of life which results in competing realities as experienced by Stompers (us) and the tiny world. Can they intersect?
An epic is defined as a larger-than-life story describing heroic actions taken by a hero. There was no one hero in this story, more like several characters who had heroic moments. It's enjoyable as a path into a fun fantasy world as opposed to something you come out of changed or contemplative. Which doesn't have to be a bad thing. Not every movie experience has to take you to the highest high or the lowest low. Bottom line, the kids thought it was a little funnier than the grown-ups, but we all appreciated the humor, the artistry and the overall message from the movie, which is that while we are individuals, we are also bound together and should never feel alone. It was the motto of the movie: Many leaves, One tree.
Check out the Epic website for games and more: http://www.epicthemovie.com/