Epic FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Productions present an animated, 102 minute, 3D, PG, family adventure, directed by Chris Wedge, written by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember with a theater release date of May 24, 2013.
In the forest there really are little people that help to keep the wilderness alive. They look like many aspects of the forest yet some like the leaf men look like very small versions of humans. Bomba (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) and his Pug Ozzie are on a quest to find these little creatures and prove to society as well as his family that they do exist. When his daughter Mary Katherine (M.K.) (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) comes to stay with her father up on the hills of the forest she soon discovers that he hasn’t changed and believes that he is still a bit disillusioned about the little people in the forest.
Only on one day in one hundred years before a full moon Queen Tara (voice by Beyoncé Knowles) must chose a flower pod which will open by the light of the moon keeping the forest alive not only for the little people but mankind as well. Lurking within the forest though is evil and his name is Mandrake (voiced by Christoph Waltz) who intends to stop the centennial ceremony which will cause the forest to die ultimately becoming his throne. On the day of the parade a war breaks out becoming too much for Ronin (voiced by Colin Farrell) and his army of leaf men including Nod (voiced by Josh Hutcherson) and an arrow pieces the Queen causing her death. M.K. while walking in the forest in search of Ozzie stumbles upon the Queen who is still holding the pod and when she takes it from her like Alice through the rabbit hole M.K. becomes small herself. She eventually meets up with Ronin and Nod and joins in the ultimate fight against Mandrake and his dark army in hopes to save the forest and find her way home as a full grown human again.
So yes father was right and there really are little people and creatures that protect the forest like Mub (voiced by Aziz Ansari) and Grub (voiced by Chris O’Dowd) a humorous slug and a grub out to help fight the honor of their Queen and save their home. So M.K. is on a mystical journey to save the people of the forest yet along the way she finds a bit of romance with Nod. She meets numerous others like Bufo (voiced by Pitbull), and Nim Galuu (voiced by Steven Tyler) as she and the others fight to save their world in a battle of good versus evil. In the end, questions are answered, a daughter’s love for her father has blossomed and friendships will forever continue to grow and flower.
I must say the animation is lush and vibrant with the 3D helping slightly to propel it to even a higher plain. Even though the premise of the story is well thought out it seemed a bit lacking at times. Leaving some holes found throughout the story line and some characters that just did not have the best of lines or maybe could not keep up with the personality of who they were in the story, for example Beyoncé. Although she has a commanding voice I found it not to match the Queen and the demeanor in which she was to play. Beyoncé aside I thought all the other voices in the film were extremely well done and matched quite well to the characters they played with a pleasant surprise by Seyfried who happens to do a superb job with the character M.K. There are several characters especially Mub and Grub that bring a bit of levity to the story but I find for the most part with the character Mandrake involved it comes across a bit dark and scary, sometimes flat. It is filled with some cliché moments but I must say there are a few surprises along the way. Overall I enjoyed the story and more so the animation but I think although the film will do well I can’t imagine it doing as well as “Brave” or “Ice Age” at the box office. Written and enjoyed especially for the beauty of the animation and the message of the film with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.
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