Extra Cinema: Epic 3D (U)

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Director: Chris Wedge.

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell.

BASED on the children’s book The Leaf Men And The Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce, Epic is a charming fable that could, with clever parental persuasion, inspire the youngest generation to swap their video games for an invigorating spot of housework.

Chris Wedge’s vibrant computer-animated film reveals a long-standing feud between tiny eco-warriors called Leaf Men, who protect Mother Nature and are invisible to humans, and an army of evil-doers called Boggans, who are armed to the sharpened teeth with infectious mould.

In order to protect our parks and forests, and restore sunshine to our gloomy technology-driven society, the dirt and decay must be banished.

With some gentle prompting from mums and dads, those nasty Boggans could be sucked up by vacuum cleaners, dusted off shelves and washed down bathroom sinks.

The wanton bribery of pocket money shouldn’t enter into the conversation because Wedge’s film make it clear that success relies on everyone pulling together.

The housework revolution for aparents begins here.

Directed at a brisk pace by Wedge, who previously helmed Ice Age and Robots, Epic is an enchanting journey of discovery that will inspire pangs of nostalgia for parents who fondly remember the 1989 romp Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.

Vocal performances are almost as lively as the animation, including pantomime villainy from Oscar winner Waltz, while Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd provide welcome light relief.

Rating: 7/10