Movies / Home Theatre

Epic – An Short Story Retold

By Hervé St-Louis
August 27, 2013 - 08:39

Epic is the story of 17-year-old Mary Katherine (MK) who moves in with her oddball father, a scientist searching for the Leafmen, small people who live in the forest. A chance encounter with Queen Tara of the Leafmen transforms MK into a two-inches woman whose mission, assigned by the dying queen is to protect a flower bud that will pick the next ruler of the leafmen. But MK’s mission is tough, as her allies and she have to face the ruthless Mandrake, ruler of the rival Boggans. Will MK find the new ruler of the Leafmen in time?

This story featuring miniature people comes from a long tradition of similar folk stories starting with Tom Thumb, Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina, and The Secret World of Arrietty. Epic is an adaptation of William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Joyce also wrote the plot, helped with the designs and was an executive producer. Stemming from Blue Sky Studio, Epic is a beautiful world where Mandrake is attempting to kill the forest with rot.

The film’s best features are its great-looking characters and impressive character designs. Some of the concepts that I liked was how bigger creatures moved so slowly compared to smaller ones. The best scene to feature this was the one where MK and her Leaf man boyfriend Nod. I would say the designs were to the level of a movie like Ratatouille and much stronger than most of Dreamwork’s 3D animated films.

The story itself could have been expanded on a lot more. I would have love to find out more about the lore of the Leafmen and their opponents the Boggans. Why did the Boggans want to destroy the forest? What would they eat if everything was rot? Unclear to me was what kind of creatures were the Boggans supposed to be? Some seemed to be insects but they also controlled bats, who usually eat bugs.

It wasn’t sure if all Leafmen were plant-based or animals. I know I’m asking questions unrelated to the film, in a way, but it’s the kind of thing that nags when one is trying to immerse oneself into a new mythology. Not having answers just eaves something to be desired. The love story between MK and Nod was interesting, but the impossibility of their relationship wasn’t addressed at all in the story. It’s details such as these that take away from a movie that could have been exceptional.

The Blu-Ray features are very educational and designed with kids in mind. That’s a good thing.

Rating: 7.5 /10

Last Updated: February 5, 2023 - 09:06

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