Summer is the purview of childhood—long, hot days, goofing off in the swimming pool, Coke and popcorn at the movie theater. The felicity of adulthood is finding a film worth the cost of the overpriced concessions. With the release of Epic, the latest animated feature from the makers of Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who, at least one flick fits the bill.
Epic, though not particularly grand or heroic, offers a charming story of good versus evil in a forest world beyond the bounds of human perception. One nutty scientist with motion-sensor cameras and goofy ocular headgear is the only person aware of this miniature world, where blight-bestowing Boggins wage war against hummingbird-mounted Leaf-men.
The Boggins are a despicable horde of creatures hoping to transform the forest into a crumbling wasteland. The handsome Leaf-men and their flower-bud queen Tara (voiced by Beyoncé) are the only ones who can stop them.
The Boggins outnumber the Leaf-men, but the Leaf-men have the power of goodness on their side. If they can protect their queen and her soon-to-be-named successor, they’ll succeed in their mission.
When the Boggins kill Queen Tara, uncertainty reigns. A grieving teenager named Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), daughter of the crazy scientist, is the only person to hear the queen’s last words regarding the care of the next ruler, revealed by the blooming of an enchanted rosebud.
Mary Katherine (M.K. for short) catches the magical bud and shrinks to the size of the other forest sprites. Now it’s up to her to protect the bud and make sure it blooms safely under the light of a full moon.
The result is a winsome tale (rated PG for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language) children will enjoy and one their parents can use as a starting point to discuss the cancerous effects of sin and the true source of hope in our world.