When you make the decision to call your 3-D animated feature “Epic,” you obviously put some pressure on yourself. Alas, Blue Sky Studios, the outfit behind “Ice Age” and “Rio,” isn’t entirely up to the challenge. Its fantastical great-outdoors adventure is certainly very pretty to look at, and has a general agreeability about it. But the movie would need to engage us far more powerfully for that hyperbolic title to fit.
Director (and Blue Sky cofounder) Chris Wedge and a gaggle of writers take the seed of their story from “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs,” a picture book by William Joyce, whose work was also adapted in “Rise of the Guardians.” But the film really doesn’t make use of the book’s visuals, gentleness, or anything beyond the rough concept of tiny nature warriors fighting the good fight against creepy-crawlies we’d want to smoosh.