M.K. is assisted in her quest by a very funny snail and a slug (Chris O’Dowd, Aziz Ansari), who know how to keep the pod alive until it blooms. And they are guided by the daffy six-legged Nim (Steven Tyler), the “scroll-keeper” who sings and studies records from the past to figure out how to carry out the pod-blooming ritual.
The film’s 3-D makes excellent use of depth of field, delivering eye-popping next generation animation that, among other things, gives the forest and its creatures wonderful shadings and detail, and makes the cartoon humans even more lifelike. But that’s the sort of thing critics mention when the story is kind of all over the place, a real patchwork of ideas and inventions borrowed elsewhere.
“Epic” isn’t epic, but it isn’t half bad, either. It’s just that as high as the bar has been raised on this sort of animation, this is more evidence that a strong story is worth more than any next-generation software.