Epic parents guide

Epic Parent Guide

For a movie with a hyperbolic title like "Epic" and a tagline that reads "discover a world beyond your imagination", this animated production is disappointingly average and unimaginative.

Overall B-

When Mary Katherine (voice of Amanda Seyfried) is transported into the miniature land of forest creatures and tiny soldiers, she finds herself caught up in a battle of epic proportions. And the outcome of this little war could have a big impact on her own world.

Release date May 24, 2013

Violence B-
Sexual Content A
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Why is Epic rated PG? The MPAA rated Epic PG for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language

Run Time: 102 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

For a movie with a hyperbolic title like Epic and a tagline that reads “discover a world beyond your imagination”, this animated production is disappointingly average and unimaginative. In many ways if feels like Avatar for six-year-olds, but without the happy ending or overt environmental message.

The heroes in the story are leaf men, tiny soldiers who patrol the forest while riding on the backs of birds. They protect Queen Tara (voice by Beyonce Knowles), the ruler and preserver of the woodlands. Mandrake (voice by Christoph Waltz), their enemy who dresses in rat pelts and badly needs dental work, leads an army of gruesome characters made up of undesirable forest creatures like mice, bats and pesky mosquitoes.

As with all stereotypical villains who want to take over the world, he plans to destroy it first. To do so MAndrake must capture a magical bud that will determine the next ruler when it blooms. But just as he is about to snatch the unopened blossom from the hands of the dying queen, she tosses it to Mary Katherine (voice by Amanda Seyfried), a huge human teen who suddenly shrinks to the size of the other miniscule forest inhabitants.

Based on the book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce, the script pits life and growth against death and decay, both natural parts of the ecological process. However in an USA Today article, Director Chris Wedge is quoted as saying, “while Bill wrote a wonderful book, it is a quaint story. We wanted to make a gigantic action-adventure movie.”

That may have been the first mistake.

The focus on epic battles involving arrows, swordplay and midair dogfights as well as scores of characters, allows little time for character or script development. And what minutes there are for the plotline are sliced and diced into multiple narratives including a troubled daddy/daughter relationship between Mary Katherine and her absent-minded father (voice by Jason Sudeikis), a headstrong young soldier (voice by Josh Hutcherson) who snubs the advice of his wiser mentor (voice by Colin Farrell) and a typical comic relief duo (voices by Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari).

It isn’t always easy to pinpoint what makes a script flounder. By all accounts this movie should have been epic. (Other movies based on books by Joyce include Meet the Robinsons and Rise of the Guardians.) But there’s a sense of disappointment when these credits roll. And beautiful visuals aren’t enough to save the ubiquitous elements of a redheaded female protagonist and a youth-is-better-than-experience attitude from quickly tiring like the pervasive T-shirt slogan “Been There, Done That”. It’s hard to make an emotional connection with characters we’ve already seen and even harder to engage in a story that seems predictably plotted out.

While young and less jaded viewers (who haven’t seen this script multiple times) may buy into the adventure, parents should note that moments of peril, hand-to-hand combat and the death of a prominent character may be too intense for young children. And though there’s an absence of other content concerns, there’s also a scarcity of charm in this animated adventure. Considering the price of movie tickets, maybe the filmmakers should have stuck with quaint over epic.

Directed by Chris Wedge. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Beyoncé Knowles, Colin Farrell. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release May 24, 2013. Updated

Epic
Rating & Content Info

Why is Epic rated PG? Epic is rated PG by the MPAA for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language

Violence: Swords, bows and arrows, clubs and fists are all used as weapons in this film. Characters engage in frequent battles and face numerous moments of peril. Midair dogfights occur between opposing forces. A female character is shot with an arrow and dies. Another character falls to his death. Characters are chased and attacked by animals. A man makes a reference to a pet that died from neglect. Characters shock one another with build-up from static electricity. A man is shot in the buttocks with an arrow. Household items are knocked over or broken during a chase scene. Characters are shown with bruises and lacerations. Moments of peril and suspense include scary or frightening depictions.

Sexual Content: Characters kiss briefly.

Language: Brief name-calling is included in the script.

Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.

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More parents' guide for Epic after the break...

Epic Parents' Guide

Characters in this movie are concerned with maintaining a balance in environment. However both growth and decay are part of that process. What role do rotting plants, decaying animal life and the cyclical nature of the seasons play in reinvigorating the forest? How can the depiction of mice, bats an mosquitoes as evil propagate the negative feelings many people have about these creatures?

When Mary Katherine meets her estranged father she is unhappy because she wants a normal dad. How would you define a normal father? How might a teenager’s definition of normal differ from that of an adult? What does she learn to appreciate about her father? What has he sacrificed in the pursuit of his passion for finding the little people? Are the sacrifices he made worth it?

What unseen life forms surround us everyday, whether or not we are in the forest? What is their role?

This movie is based on the book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Epic movie is August 20, 2013. Here are some details…

Home video Notes: Epic

Release Date: 20 August 2013

Epic releases to home video in the following packages:

EPIC 2- disc Blu-ray Combo Pack - BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC

- Mub & Grub Intro - Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray.

- Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer - Journey into the forest to meet the real-life counterparts of the EPIC world.

- Rot Rocks - Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how.

- Bugs of Camouflage - Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen.

- The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall - How would your life be different if you were only two inches tall? Aside from being small, there are some surprising and amazing benefits.

- Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed - Meet the incredibly talented filmmakers, artists, and animators at Blue Sky, and learn all about the making of EPIC.

- Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your television with family and friends.

- Theatrical Trailer

EPIC DVD

- Mub & Grub Intro - Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray.

- Rot Rocks - Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how.

- Bugs of Camouflage - Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen.

- Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your device with family and friends

- Theatrical Trailer

EPIC 3-Disc Deluxe Edition BD3D /BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC

- Includes feature film on Blu-ray 3D and all of the features of the Blu-ray combo pack.

In addition, inside every Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, families will find 3 Epic Seed cards—so you can grow your own Epic Garden.

Related home video titles:

This animated tale comes from the creators of Ice Age and Rio. Other characters end up in miniature worlds in The Ant Bully and Gulliver’s Travels. Slugs make an appearance in Flushed Away too.