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For a kids adventure, I guess this is as ‘Epic’ as it gets
by Paul Gonzales
May 30, 2013 | 1135 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – The basic formula for any kid’s animated movie is simple. Get some big name stars to provide the voices and entertain the adults (kids could really care less who voices whom), add some goofy comedy (flatulent, silly talking animals) and toss in a kid-friendly romance with a rebellious young man and a young woman trying to escape their dull life.

That’s “Epic” in a nutshell. But where this animated comedy rises above the rest is in the details.

The movie, brought to you by the studio behind the “Ice Age” movies, actually looks really great. The costume designs are top notch, and the animation is fluid, and, at times, surreal. It’s a gorgeous looking movie.

As it starts, we see a bumbling scientist racing through the forest, chasing some birds which are being ridden, by what he believes are a race of miniature people who live there. And to say he’s “bumbling” is to put it nicely.

Then we’re introduced to one whom we later find out is his daughter, arriving at his home among the woods. She’s there because her mother and father have been separated for years because he became obsessed with the little forest people and forgot about his family. Then the mother died.

It’s just hinted at, because neither character really ever shows remorse or sadness towards her death, and the father just keeps going about his business of finding little people.

So, anyway, the girl ends up being shrunken down to the size of the forest people, who, by the way are called Leafmen, and the bad guys are called Boggans.

She learns that the Leafmen have been fighting a war with the Boggans for a really long time, and now that it’s time for the queen to pick an heir to the throne, they finally decide to actually come up with a plan of attack.

From then on it’s a bunch of chases on birds, bats and bugs as the two forces of good and evil try to defeat one another.

Plot wise, it gets pretty textbook. The studio wasn’t trying to cross any boundaries or make any lasting effect on the child animation world.

And that’s why Disney-owned animation studio Pixar always wins.

Pixar, the studio behind “Finding Nemo,” “Brave” and the upcoming “Monsters University,” has always put story first and foremost before even before one finger hits their keyboard.

They broaden the scope on family entertainment and make it both enjoyable for adults and children alike. They don’t insert fart jokes for the kids and spell out curse words in palm tree trunks for the adults.

And just because it’s a kids movie doesn’t mean it has to be dumbed down and filled with cheap gags to be enjoyable. It’s just the easy way out.

Sure, there are some examples of non-Pixar children films that are decent, but they’re too few and far between.

“Epic” is silly, bland fun for kids of all ages, just not the kid that still lives inside most adults.

But for those of us who still have wild imaginations and like good movies, we’ll never lose our Nemos.

“Epic” is playing at Rio 6 Cinemas, 806 E. Houston St. in Beeville, in both 2D and 3D.

Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.
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