Epic appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a mostly appealing presentation but it didn’t match up with the best modern animated images.
Though it became tough to judge the image’s “flaws” because it appeared some were intentional. Epic could seem a bit soft, as more than a few shots lacked particularly good delineation. However, the film opted for an airy, diffuse look, so this softness was probably part of the design – to a degree, at least. I still thought the movie lacked the precision usually found in this sort of fare; at its best, it looked fine but never leapt off the screen.
The rest of the presentation worked better. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Print flaws never appeared either, as this was a clean image.
Colors went with a fairly earthy, pastel palette that made sense given the forest setting. The hues seemed full and well-rendered throughout the film. Blacks were deep and firm, and low-light shots came across with nice clarity. The softness made this a “B” image, but it was still pretty good overall.
No disclaimers come with the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Epic, as it offered an impressive affair. With all sorts of battle elements and flying creatures, the soundscape got the chance to open up in an involving manner. All the channels offered lots of information and kept the environment swirling around us from start to finish; this was an active, immersive soundfield.
As expected, audio quality satisfied. Music was bright and dynamic, while speech appeared natural and distinctive. Effects displayed strong clarity and accuracy, with tight low-end when appropriate. I found a lot to like in this excellent soundtrack.
A smattering of supplements complete the disc, all of which come in the form of featurettes. Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer goes for five minutes, 21 seconds and gives us notes about the real-life inspirations for the movie’s characters and settings. Aimed firmly at kids, this is a superficial but moderately informative piece.
With the three-minute, 18-second Rot Rocks, we get another educational piece. It tells us about how important “rot” is to the ecosystem. Like “Explorer”, it goes for the youngsters; it works fine within that framework.
More nature facts appear in Bugs of Camouflage. It lasts three minutes, 44 seconds and concentrates on how insects use camouflage for their survival; in addition to the same narrator as the first two pieces, “Ken the Bug Guy” throws out some facts. It becomes another moderately useful piece.
Next we go to The Epic Life at 2 Inches. In this three-minute, 42-second featurette, we learn about “the physics of being tiny”. Quick and breezy, the show has some fun facts.
Finally, Mysteries of Moonhaven breaks into seven segments. These run a total of 24 minutes, 39 seconds and feature director Chris Wedge, producers Jerry Davis and Lori Forte, production designer Greg Couch, supervising animators Galen Tan Chu and Melvin Tsing Chern Tan, co-producer Michael J. Travers, senior research associate Hugo M. Ayala, lead animators Jeff Gabor, David R. Sloss, Lluis Llobera, Scott Carroll, and Jackie Tarascio, art director Michael Knapp, animators David Zach, James Young Jackson, AJ Conrad, Yuehchih Eric Lin, Joseph Antonuccio, Matthew Doble, Julen Santiago Garaikoetxea, Thom Roberst and Stewart Shaw, senior character technical director Sabine Heller, and actors Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce Knowles, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Amanda Seyfried, and Jason Sudeikis. The programs look at visual and production design, the film’s physics, character/costume/weapon design, animation, cast and performances, and other filmmaking areas.
After a series of educational pieces, it’s good to learn something about the making of Epic, and Mysteries does pretty well in that regard. It gives us a good mix of topics and participants to flesh out our understanding of the production. While not a great look at the flick, it delivers a reasonable amount of material and entertains along the way.
The disc opens with ads for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Shrek: The Musical, and The Croods. These also appear under Sneak Peek along with promos for Turbo, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Dragons: Riders of Berk. The disc throws in the trailer for Epic as well.
A second platter offers a DVD copy of Epic. It provides previews but none of the Blu-ray’s other bonus features.
With Epic, we get a competent animated adventure. The movie does enough to keep us with it, but it fails to find its own personality. The Blu-ray provides good picture, excellent audio and a handful of moderately informative extras. I like the film but not enough to give it a strong endorsement.