What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says the word ‘epic’? Is it a legend, your history textbook definition, or maybe how grand something is? The word epic has many meanings, but the movie Epic, an animated kids’ film, took on the meaning through the heroic journey of MK, voiced by the Mamma Mia star Amanda Seyfried. She ends up shrunken and bug sized, transported to a world inhabited by tiny creatures, reluctantly pulled into a battle of good and evil.

Sounds good so far right? Your 17-year-old heroine, the size of the nail of your pinky toe, riding birds and fighting the evil Boggans while protecting the heir of the queen of the forest. You have your classic tropes; good versus evil, strained father-daughter relationship with an emotional reconciliation in the end, and how can we forget: angsty teen who ends up in a place she did not ask to be, but ends up cherishing the experience all while making friends along the way, and discovering what seems to be a hidden ecosystem.

While it may fall under these boxes (and be a movie catered towards children no less), I believe it is so much more than that (cliché, I know). For me, the Leafmen and the Boggans symbolise how much is still hidden to us, and that there are entire species and places — untouched, undiscovered, and unreachable. Nature is vast, and we are only able to see and comprehend a fraction of it. It is incredibly powerful, holding the ability to move us, change our entire perspective, reveal so much we do not know and bring light to the beauty around us, the fact that it exists in places we haven’t searched for, and it is only a matter of discovering it.

This is personified by the change in MK and her father’s relationship, how they started out so distant but were pushed together by the microscopic creatures and realised they may not be so different after all. It was an extension of nature which allowed them to come to this conclusion and find happiness in each other’s company.

We humans believe we are most evolved, most developed, but we are just one of billions of species, and there is so much we do not know. We like to believe the planet and its resources exist specifically only to serve us and our selfish needs. We must begin to appreciate all that we have and know in our environment and understand that this can be taken away if we do not care for it, the same way the Boggans almost destroyed the entire forest, we too are close to demolishing the earth and all it has to offer us.

This movie highlights the immense beauty of the earth, with its picturesque graphics and how little we actually know about it, how much there is to explore and love.

– Vaagisha Kanwar, Indus International School, Bengaluru

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