Behold the Leaf Men!
CG animation goes Epic in 2013 with the first trailer for latest from the Ice Age dudes.
Director Chris Wedge made his feature directing debut back in 2002 with the original Ice Age – setting up one of the biggest animated franchises currently in existence. He went on to helm the less successful Robots in 2005 but it was here he first teamed up with author and designer William Joyce.
Joyce is a fantasy and animation veteran, a children’s author since the 80s and the writer behind everything from A Bug’s Life to this year’s Rise of the Guardians (based on his series of books). His new project with Wedge is called Epic and draws from a 1996 novel called The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.
The story revolves around a young girl who gets caught up in her father’s tales of a race of tiny warriors who live in the forest and is shocked to find herself drawn into a real miniature conflict to save the trees.
Check out the trailer, which I think is fairly stunning.
Regardless of your feelings on Snow Patrol, this is one of the better trailers I’ve seen this year – certainly for a kids film. The main thing Epic has going for it, as far as I’m concerned, is that it seems to give a crap about action and might just use the vertiginous potential of the CG camera in a way which few animated films (bar the wonderful Kung Fu Panda series) have managed.
The voice cast is an interesting one – the lead is Amanda Seyfried (who seems more fun when invisible), with The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson her likely romantic opposite. There’s also Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis and supposed funnyman Aziz Ansari in the mix, as well as a trio of singing sorts – Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler and Pitbull.
Wedge directs from a script by Joyce and four others. Originally set up as Leaf Men, the decision to change the title was a good one – though Epic is hardly the best replacement.
Regardless, I’ve got a good feeling about Epic and look forward to seeing it in cinemas (in 3D, of course) from the 24th of May 2013.