A new family movie is hitting theaters this weekend starting May 24. EPIC is the story of a teenage girl magically transported into a secret world in the forest. She joins forces with warriors to save the forest and keep the natural world alive.
There's air-borne battles, goofy laughs, magic, and just the teensiest hint of romance. It's in 3D. It's by the creators of Ice Age and Rio. And did I mention? BEYONCE is in it. But is it worth that 3D movie ticket price -- and will your kids like it?
I think the filmmakers did a solid job of balancing action, humor, and emotional depth to please just about everyone -- boys, girls, and parents. I love that they chose to make a girl the protagonist and that she plays a key role in saving the day. There's a small family drama in the story -- her parents are divorced, and she's just moved in with her somewhat estranged father after her mother died. So the nitty-gritty questions parents may have:
Are there scary parts? There are definitely some super-sinister bad guys in this movie. But their scenes are intercut with humor. There are close calls and moments when you think a main character has died. For the most part, while there is fighting, it doesn't get gory at all. Characters most often die when they fall from mid-air, and their deaths are implied.
I would say this is good for kids age 5 through 12.
Will adults like it? That depends on what you like. Parents who dig animated action are good. If you're a Beyonce fan, this will please you. If you like a family drama that brings people together, also good. There are moments of breathtaking beauty, and I never say that about a 3D movie. Oh -- if you hate 3D, you will not like this. But I'm sure there will be non-3D screenings.
Will it give us dinner table conversation? YES! The ethic or theme behind the movie is "many leaves, one tree" -- in other words, we're all individuals, but we're all connected. This could be used to start a conversation about examples in your own life where you feel like that's the case -- and what the implications of that are. That is, if your kids are over the age of 3.
Is it worth the money? I think it is. These days, a 3D movie is a big splurge, one I often bitterly resent. But in this case, the animation is top-notch and gorgeous, and the 3D effects actually make sense and enhance the story. Plus there is the emotional depth and thought-provoking themes.
Voice talents include Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Steven Tyler, Josh Hutcherson, Chris O'Dowd, Christoph Waltz, and Jason Sudeikis.
Are you thinking of seeing EPIC with your family?