Current animation astounds me! I sit in the dark, staring at what I know are drawings, but feel their emotions, watch their human quirks and relate to their problems. Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Skys has collaborated on this sweet "Epic" that features a girl as the main pro- tagonist. I didn't see any boys walk out, either! Everyone liked the three- legged, one-eyed Pug, which was so cute when our heroine was full sized, but terrifying when she is the size of the Leaf People...as was that cute little mouse.

Of course current movie stars like to have "Voice Artist" added to their résumé, so these folks did the honors:
  • Amanda Seyfried ("Les Miserables") is Mary Katherine, a teenager who goes to the forest to live with her father. She soon realizes that his fixation with the Leaf People leaves no room for her, so she gets ready to leave but lets the dog out by mistake and our story begins...
  • Jason Sudeikis ("Horrible Bosses") is her father, Professor Bomba, who has been on a futile, decades-long quest to prove the existence of the Leaf People. He has remote cameras mounted throughout the forest. He wears wire-rimmed glasses and has a Conan-type high-swept forelock.
  • Beyoncé Knowles ("Dreamgirls") is Queen Tara, she keeps the magical bulb, defends her people and secretly loves her guards- man, Ronin.
  • Colin Farrell ("In Bruges") is Ronin, the stalwart commander of the Leaf People, who is trying to protect the forest from Mandrake and keep his promise to his queen.
  • Christoph Waltz ("Inglorious Basterds") is Mandrake. Everything dies in his presence. If he succeeds in taking over the forest, the Leaf People will perish.
  • Josh Hutcherson ("The Hunger Games") is Nod, a rookie Leaf Soldier who quits his post as soon as we meet him. He is impetuous and a little over-confident.
Ronin was particularly well-drawn and voiced; Farrell gave us enough accent to remind us that he isn't local, but it was a gentle touch. His feelings for the queen are unmistakable, but not over-stated. The deer, the mouse and the pond, all were breathtakingly life-like. Expect a LOT of aerial warfare (the soldiers ride birds) but NO blowie uppie stuff; one teeny chaste kiss but no declaration of love. The ending is appropriate and not exactly predictable.

I hope the preview I selected gives you an accurate picture of what you will see. I really liked this one...
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is a link to a preview:
* * * * * * * * * * * *