Tree cheers for this
NEW ON DVD: Epic (Cert U, 102 mins, Twentieth-Century Fox Home Entertainment, Animation/Action/Drama/Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99/3D Blu-ray £29.99)
Featuring the voices of: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis.
SEVENTEEN-year-old Mary Katherine, aka MK (voiced by Amanda Seyfried), reluctantly heads out of the city to stay with her madcap father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), who believes an army of tiny men reside in nearby trees and brooks.
Understandably, MK thinks her father has lost his grasp on reality until she is magically shrunken in a fantastical realm of valiant warriors and talking flora. The teenager's taken under the wing of a Leaf Man called Nod (Josh Hutcherson), whose gung-ho actions disappoint his commanding officer, General Ronin (Colin Farrell).
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When a rival army of evil Boggans, led by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz), attempts to take over the forest and destroy the Leaf Men's benevolent leader, Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles), MK and Nod stand side by side against the onslaught.
Based on the children's book The Leaf Men And The Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce, Epic is a vibrant computer-animated fable that might inspire pangs of nostalgia for parents who fondly remember the 1989 Disney romp Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Vocal performances are almost as lively as the pristine animation, including some pantomime villainy from two-time Oscar winner Waltz, while Aziz Ansari and Chris O'dowd provide welcome light relief from the energetic set pieces as wise-cracking molluscs.
Directed at a brisk pace by Chris Wedge, who previously helmed Ice Age and Robots, this enchanting journey of discovery promotes an eco-friendly message of unity and preservation, exemplified by the Leaf Men's motto: "Many leaves, one tree – we're all individuals but we're still connected."