"Prepare for something epic."- One of three taglines for Epic.
Epic (stylized as epic) is a 2013 American 3D computer animated epic fantasy-adventure comedy film loosely based on William Joyce's children's book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. It was produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Chris Wedge, the director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). It stars the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg, Steven Tyler with Jason Sudeikis, Whitney Huston, and Beyoncé Knowles. The film was released on May 24, 2013. This was Whitney's Houston's last single before her death in February of 2012.
After the death of her mother, 17-year-old Mary Katherine, or M.K. (Amanda Seyfried), moves in with her eccentric scientist father Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) who has been searching for tiny humanoid soldiers called Leafmen. They protect the forest Bomba lives near from evil creatures called Boggans and their malevolent leader Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). An independent young soldier named Nod (Josh Hutcherson) decides to quit much to the ire of the no-nonsense Leafmen leader Ronin (Colin Farrell).
The queen of the forest, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), must choose an heir to her throne and goes out to a field of leaf pods, guarded by a laid-back slug named Mub (Aziz Ansari) and a wannabe Leafman snail named Grub (Chris O'Dowd). Immediately after she chooses a pod, the Boggans attack. Tara flees the area with the pod, and though her bodyguards do their best to protect her, they are soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of Boggans. Eventually, Ronin arrives for her and the pair fly off on his hummingbird mount. They are then attacked by Mandrake and his son Dagda (Blake Anderson). Dagda is killed by Ronin, but Tara is shot with an arrow by Mandrake.
Meanwhile, M.K. decides to leave after having an argument with Bomba about his research. Before she can leave, Bomba's dog Ozzi runs into the woods. While looking for Ozzi, M.K. sees Tara falling. Dying, Tara gives her the pod and uses her magic to shrink her. She tells M.K. to take the pod to a Glowworm named Nim Galuu before she dies, and M.K. joins Ronin and the Leafmen, along with Mub and Grub. Ronin discovers that Nod has entered a Roller Derby race against other creatures and bugs on birds. He goes back on a deal with a tough bullfrog named Bufo (Pitbull) to lose the race. Before Bufo and his two henchmen can feed Nod to a snake for not throwing the race, Ronin intervenes and orders them to leave. A reluctant Nod joins him, M.K., Mub, and Grub after hearing about Queen Tara's death which Bufo overhears.
They eventually find Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler) who leads them down to the scroll library, where M.K. discovers Tara's brief message before shrinking her, and a message that will get her back to normal size. Mandrake gets the location of the pod out of Bufo upon having the Boggans bring Bufo to him. When Ronin leaves, Nod takes M.K. on a deer ride, and they begin to fall in love. Mandrake arrives and kidnaps Mub and Grub and imprisons them, along with the pod, which he hopes to bloom in darkness then to use to destroy the forest. Ronin scolds Nod for not being there to protect the pod. To get into Boggan territory undiscovered, M.K., Nod, and Ronin set out to Bomba's house to get some disguises, where M.K. learns that the Leafmen have deliberately been leading Bomba off their trail.
When they reach the Boggan land Ronin distracts the Boggans while M.K. and Nod rescue Mub, Grub, and the pod. They are eventually found out by Mandrake, who summons the Boggans to stop them. M.K., Nod, Mub, and Grub escape alive, but Ronin sacrifices himself to ensure their escape. Before the full moon can sprout the pod at Moon-haven, Mandrake's bats block the light, causing the pod to begin sprouting in darkness. As the Leafmen set out to fight the Boggans, M.K. sets out to get her father for assistance. However, upon regaining consciousness, Bomba believes that he didn't really see M.K. and that he has been insane all these years, and shuts down all his cameras, but changes his mind when he sees a red push-pin that M.K. had put on his map while they were getting disguises.
Bomba is overjoyed to see that he has been right and when he follows M.K. to Moon-haven, he uses his iPod to make bat sounds, luring Mandrake's bats away. Meanwhile, Mub and Nim Galuu try to stop Mandrake from reaching the pod, but are unsuccessful. Just then, Ronin appears, bearing scars and bruises from the Boggans. Mandrake manages to outdo him, but Ronin is defended by Nod, who finally realizes the importance of teamwork. Before Mandrake can obtain his victory, the moonlight takes over the pod before it blooms in darkness, causing it to bloom in light, defeating the Boggans, and Mandrake is sucked and sealed into a nearby tree.
The chosen heir is Marigold (Allison Weber) who helped save Tara earlier in the film. Grub becomes a Leafman, Nod and Ronin reconcile, and Nod and M.K. kiss before M.K. is returned to her original size. After reuniting with Bomba and becoming his assistant, the human family still keeps regular contact with their small friends as they continue the research of their world.
- Colin Farrell as Ronin, a seasoned Leafman warrior, leader of the Leafmen, Nod's guardian and teacher, and a friend of Nod's late father. The tritagonist.
- Josh Hutcherson as Nod, a rookie Leafman warrior. The dueteragonist.
- Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine (a.k.a. M.K.), Professor Bomba's 17-year-old daughter. She is named after William Joyce's deceased daughter. The main protagonist.
- Christoph Waltz as Mandrake, the leader of the Boggans. Waltz also voiced Mandrake in the German dub of the film since German is his native language. The main antagonist.
- Aziz Ansari as Mub, a slug, Grub's best friend and caretaker of the pods. One of the two tetartagonists.
- Chris O'Dowd as Grub, a snail, Mub's best friend and fellow caretaker. One of the two tetartagonists.
- Pitbull as Bufo, a bullfrog who works as a race fixer and a businessman. The pentagonist.
- Jason Sudeikis as Professor Radcliffe Bomba, Mary Katherine's father and a scientist. A supporting character.
- Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu, a Glowworm, a showman and keeper of magic scrolls that tell what has occurred during the times, in a tree. He is M.K.'s mentor. A major character.
- Beyoncé Knowles as Queen Tara, the Mother Nature-like queen of the forest and Ronin's childhood love. A supporting character.