Epic is an upcoming 2013 American 3D computer animated fantasy-adventure drama film based on William Joyce’s children book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. It is being 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, Christoph Waltz, Steven Tyler, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, with Beyoncé Knowles and Colin Farrell. The film is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2013. The film is described as a “battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and evil”, and tells a story of a teenage girl who finds herself in a secret world, where she must help a team of fun and whimsical characters to save their world, which also saves the real world.
A young girl named Mary Katherine lives in a cabin in the woods with her father and dog. Her father, Professor Bomba, has long studied a group of warriors who live in the forest and protect it as guardians of good. He often will go into the forest and survey them. One day, the professor does not return from a hike in the forest, so Mary Katharine sets out to look for him. Hours later, she comes upon a group of glowing, falling leaves. Catching one of them, she is suddenly shrunken down. In her miniscule state, she discovers the group of warriors Prof. Bomba has studied, who are known as the Leafmen. Soon she is forced to assist them in a war against forces of evil known as the Boggans while trying to find out how to return home.
In 2006, it was reported that Chris Wedge will direct for Fox Animation an animated feature film based on William Joyce’s book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Joyce, who had already collaborated with Wedge as a designer and producer on the 2005 film Robots, was set to produce the film. At one point, Wedge got permission to find a new home for the film and turned to Pixar, led by John Lasseter, whom Wedge knew from working on Tron. But when they tried to close the rights for the film, Fox changed their mind, and the film returned back to Fox. The film was officially greenlit in 2009, under the title Leaf Men. In May 2012, Fox announced the official title for the film, its first cast details, and a plot. Although, the film is based on Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, and it borrows many characters from the book, its plot has been significantly changed. Wedge explained: “But while Bill wrote a wonderful book, it is a quaint story. We wanted to make a gigantic action-adventure movie.” To address online speculations about whether the film is similar to other films, like FernGully: The Last Rainforest or Avatar, Wedge said: “I hate to associate it with other movies. It is adventure on the scale of Star Wars. And it does immerse the audience completely in a world like Avatar. But it has its own personality.”