Blu-ray Review: Familiar But Beautiful ‘Epic’ Looks Great in HD

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – It’s unlikely that you’ll see a more visually striking American animated film in 2013 than Fox and Blue Sky Studios’ “Epic,” a film that was written off by many critics and audience members in its May release but that has more going for it than your average family fare. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, “Epic” frustrates in the way that it too often falls back on storytelling crutches that we’ve seen before but the movie looks great at every turn. It’s the kind of animated flick that’s designed to show off your new Blu-ray player and accompanying HD TV. The special features are disappointingly thin but the movie deserved a bigger audience that it is likely to find on Blu-ray. Blu-ray rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Epic” is a fish-out-of-water tale, a teen romance, a cautionary epic about protecting mother nature, and more. By being too many stories at once it fails somewhat to be a memorable tale of its own. But the voice cast is strong throughout and the film has what is too often missing from a lot of its competition — a strong visual sense. The world within a world that our heroine falls into is beatifully rendered, especially in HD. And the special features on the Blu-ray release illustrate the research that went into that aspect of the production as they all focus on how the characters and natural world of “Epic” is based on the real thing. I would have appreciated a few more detailed special features about the film production that didn’t rely on the natural science that inspired the piece (interviews with the voice cast, filmmakers, etc., mayve even a commentary track) but a family Blu-ray that could teach your kids a thing or two? When’s the last time that happened?

Epic was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 20, 2013
Epic was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 20, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

From the creators of Ice Age comes the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure! Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence - and ours - from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and an all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar Winner Christoph Waltz and Steven Tyler!

Special Features:
o Bird, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer
o Rat Rocks
o Bugs of Camouflage
o The Epic Life at 2 Inches
o Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed
o Enhanced Coloring Book App Features
o Digital Copy Included

”Epic” features voice work by Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Hutcherson, Chris O’Dowd, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Steven Tyler, and Beyonce Knowles. It was directed by Chris Wedge. It is rated PG and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 20, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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