Mary Katherine or M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) has returned to her dad Bomba’s (Jason Sudekis) home deep in the forest. However, her dad still completely into his work so she decides to go back to the city, but when she entered the forest in search of her dog she is encountered by Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles) who shrinks her to give her a task. Now M.K. must deliver the seed to save the forest, but she will need the fellow Leafmen and two unlikely heroes to fight the Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his evil warriors.
I have to admit that I was one of the many that judged this movie without seeing it, at first it strikes me as another animated film with a “green agenda”. So based on this perception I had my reservations going into the movie. However, despite my initial perception, Epic proved me wrong and turned out to be a very pleasant surprise both in quality and entertainment. I was even happier at the fact that the film had no “green agenda” of sorts which it is why I stayed clear of the theaters for the film.
Delving into the animated film itself, sure it’s no Pixar, but there are a lot of cool elements in epic that make Epic really entertaining despite a bland script. The story following M.K. as she tries to deliver the key to saving the forest is an often times used theme, but the real problem that holds back the movie is the blandness that the writers give it in different parts of the story. There are a few characters that really try to break the ice from time to time. This of course doesn’t take away all the entertaining factors of the movie, many of the supporting characters really add some comedic relief that really takes some of the seriousness out of the picture. The comedy appears at the right moment when it is more needed.
The voice over work was fantastic and I will dare say very spot on. Many characters really came to life due to the charisma of the actor voicing it, like Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd with Mub & Grub and even Josh Hutchernson with Nod was good. Among the bigger stars, Collin Ferrell, Amanda Seyfried and Christoph Waltz had the most screen time and they were very good. Their performances and charisma really overshadowed some of the blandness and seriousness of the story so by the end Epic turned out to be entertaining.
Epic arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The video here is practically flawless with a very clean and pristine image. Colors are beautifully displayed with incredible richness and vividness at every corner. The forest really comes to life with the vivid greens, reds and oranges on the birds, and the multi-colored flowers. Black colors are deep and inky with no signs of crushing. The detailing is exceptional all around. The Leafmen armor features a great deal of details, you can even see the layers of feathers in the hummingbirds, M.K.’s clothing has a good amount of details, etc. the whole image has plenty to see and enjoy. The image features great depth and dimensionality that really help you immerse yourself in the picture. The good news is that no video anomalies are found throughout the film. Epic looks fantastic!
With the great video quality not giving the release an equally impressive track would be disappointing, but Epic’s 7.1 DTS-HD track is fantastic! The dialogue is clean and clear throughout the film. The rears and surrounds are always active and provide very good support with atmospherics and ambience effects. Even the directionality of the fronts is spot on. The LFE output is clean and very accurate. There are plenty of scenes that go from very low to very high notes quickly and the track simply reacts appropriately. Overall, the soundstage that is created by the track is very good and very effective. I can’t complaint about the soundtrack in Epic, it’s definitely high quality.
Mub & Grub Intro – See a quick tour of the supplements on the Blu-ray menu.
Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer – See the real life counterparts of the many characters of the movie.
Bugs of Camouflage
The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall
Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed – This section is comprised of 7 smaller segments: The World, The Leafmen, Queen Tara, Mub & Grub, Nim Galuu, The Stompers and Finding Moonhaven
Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App
Epic is definitely better than I had imagined, it was entertaining and a great family movie. Epic does have a few shortfalls that prevent it from being even better but the movie can definitely stand on its own. The story is simple and features a great voice cast and not to mention the comedic relief is there to save the day. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic; the video looks very impressive while the audio track is simply fantastic. The supplements are more aimed towards the kids so most of them feature more educational themes. If you like animation I would recommend Epic for your collection.