(On Cable TV, September 2013) I wish I had anything beyond a shrug to offer as a lasting reaction to this animated fantasy film. It’s obvious that a lot of people worked a long time in order to create Epic. Still, it falls flat: it hits its mark, provides what’s expected yet doesn’t manage to achieve a lasting impression. Visually, some of the animation looks clumsy and the aesthetics of the film seem subtly unpleasant even when they don’t mean to. The narrative threads aren’t hidden at all (even for a kid’s movie), and it does feel surprisingly long despite a short running time. Blue Sky Studio’s filmography is filled with animated features that go on to make a lot of money despite routine results, and in this light Epic isn’t much of an aberration. Struggling with having anything to add to this, I’ll simply note that the title is far too grandiose for such an average story, that some of the voice casting feel forced for show (Beyonce? Steven Tyler? Pitbull?) and that despite everything, it doesn’t quite feel like a waste of time. I suppose there are worse choices for kids, although I’ll note that the fast-moving visuals and darker scenes mark it for the 8+ set.