Epic Tails is the new CG-animated film following ambitious little mouse Pattie and her adopted guardian, Sam the cat, who live by the harbour in a town in Ancient Greece. Though Pattie’s dreams of embarking on bigger adventures across the seas are thwarted at every turn, all else is going swimmingly, until a recently revealed statue of Zeus upsets his brother Poseidon: he wants the town to erect a statue in his honour – complete with shiny trident – in record time, in order to escape his wrath. With their formerly fearless leader, Jason, now an elderly man, it falls to the animal world to club together to save the day. Think The Secret Life of Pets meets Hercules.
Originally developed as a French-language animation, the English version (only slightly obviously dubbed over to the very keen eye) has among its cast comedians Josh Widdecome, Rob Beckett and Giovanna Fletcher heading up a brilliantly British set of Greek gods as Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite, respectively. Other highlights include a horde of head-bopping ninja rats, one-eyed ogres and zen scorpions.
There’s no escaping the movie will be pitted against the recently released and sensational Puss in Boots: The Last Wish this half term. The question is, is that a fair comparison? You could say that Dreamworks have a slightly different USP, targeting as they do a much more adult-inclusive approach in terms of irreverent tone and storylines; and their knack for world-building and creating memorable, iconic characters is unparalleled. Bearing in mind who buys the cinema tickets, it makes sense. But when we look at a kids’ movie as just that, it’s the little ‘uns who need to be entertained. In that respect, Epic Tails more than delivers, with the Sunday press screening full of youngsters utterly fixated from start to finish – no mean feat, considering their usual concentration levels.
Overall, it’s frolicking fun that puts its Ancient Greek setting, weird and wonderful mythological characters and anthropomorphised animals to fantastic use. As long as viewers don’t expect the same level of adult references and laughs that they might from the likes of the Toy Story or Shrek franchises, they’ll be swept up in its magical adventures along with the youngsters.
Epic Tails is released nationwide on 10th February 2023.
Watch the trailer for Epic Tails here: