There was a whole new rumble in the animated jungle in 2013 as Blue Sky Studios threw its hat in the ring once again with their woodland folk inspired CGI animated movie, Epic. With the past success of the Ice Age series, now up to it’s fourth installment in Ice Age: Continental Drift back in July 2012, the new film sees them branching out into new territory with people and modern day animals taking centre stage instead of the smilodon and mammoth antics it had been used to.
Epic had a cinematic release date of the 24th May 2013, and while it wasn’t quite another early summer blockbuster from the guys at Blue Sky Studios, it did well enough at the box office, despite mixed reviews. It went on to be released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on the 7th October 2013 in the UK, following on from the US release a little earlier in the same year on the 20th August.
Check out the images and trailer below to see some of the characters in action.
Based on the William Joyce book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, the plot is set in dappled forest glades inhabited by humming birds with saddles and leaf men that have to fight to keep their little world safe. It’s a world that Professor Bomba has become obsessed with, but his life’s work has failed to prove the leaf men’s existence. That changes when his 17-year-old daughter Mary Katherine comes to visit and she manages to get herself involved in the battle raging below their feet in the tiny world of the Leafmen, who have come under attack from the nasty Boggans and their vicious leader, Mandrake.
As the name of the book would suggest the film also recruits the help of some friendly bugs to build up the Leafmen’s arsenal, including slugs and snails, so if you haven’t seen the film yet you should expect an epic miniature adventure with all sorts of crazy creatures.
The cast includes, Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games) as Nod, a young Leafman, Colin Farrell (Total Recall (2012)) as Ronin, his older comrade, Beyonce Knowles as the Queen of the Forest and Chris O’Dowd (Cuban Fury) as a snail called Grub. Amanda Seyfried (Pan) plays outsider Mary Katherine and Aziz Ansari (Parks And Recreation) gets into the garden spirit as Mub, the local friendly slug.
Christoph Waltz (SPECTRE) gets his bad guy spirit on as Mandrake, Jason Sudeikis plays Professor Bomba, Pitbull stars as a bullfrog called Bufo and Aerosmith soft-rocker Steven Tyler takes on the craziness of glowworm Nim Galuu.
Epic was directed by Chris Wedge, who was responsible for the same role for the very first Ice Age film and has been the executive producer for each of the later films in the series. He’ll also be putting in an executive producer shift in the The Peanuts Movie in 2015.
Lori Forte and Jerry Davis produced the film and the screenplay was written by the combined efforts of William Joyce, James V. Hart, Daniel Shere, Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember.
The animation is stunning with its own unique style and some of the smartest looking backgrounds conjured up in CGI glory. It’s got a decent story and good characters and while it doesn’t quite hit the mark as well as it could have done, it’s still a fun animated movie to watch. Read our full Epic DVD review for more details.