Colorful, imaginative and super creative, the family movie Epic from Blue Sky Studios takes you to an entirely new world within our existing one. Beautiful animation and well-thought out characters put this film on the top of our “must-see-again” family list. My daughter and I saw it on the big screen and that’s best considering you are transported to a tiny world.
So after you catch the movie, which opened on May 24th, consider these other activities to make this an educational opportunity about the small wonders around us. You might want to gently explain the part about tiny men in the movie being for entertainment purposes but also that it is wonderful to let our imaginations go off in strange and unexpected places just the same.
9 simple things you and your children can do to explore and better appreciate the smaller beauties of our natural world:
Grab a magnifying glass (borrow from Nana or pick one up at the dollar store), then head outside for some bug exploration.
Don’t stop at the grass… but have the kids get up close to moss, trees, weeds and mulch.
Look for a pair of binoculars at a local flee market or the garage and have your children explore the world above their heads.
Create a bingo game for outdoor exploration… instead of “calling an item” when the kids FIND an item they mark their card. Prizes could be flower seeds to plant or new gardening gloves. (Sample findings: beetle, spiderweb, feather)
Look for tracks: frog prints, worm holes, ant hills… so many possibilities.
Have the children journal their findings… either in writing or by sketching (Lewis and Clark recorded many plant and animal species with drawings as it is a great way of documenting findings).
Go on a “rainy day” exploration. What differences do your children find in soil, bugs and other surroundings?
Make leaf and other nature impressions. Just using paper and crayons, they can create a documented entry for their journal or a small piece of art
- Watch “Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure” documentary.
My favorite scene was during one of the battles when the bark of the tree came to life with tons of Boggins. They were perfectly camouflaged as the tree bark and the animation detail was just amazing. It was one of those moments where you stop to appreciate something so unnoticed – the detail put into this scene and the entire movie to get us to appreciate the detail of our world is amazing.
I was fortunate enough to meet and interview with Chris Wedge, the Director of Blue Sky’s Epic. During this brief media interview, Chris described his intentions in creating Epic as “not just trying to entertain the kids with funny, colorful characters; I want to engage them in a story.” Click on this audio link to hear a bit more of Chris Wedge describing his inspirations in creating this film: Epic Interview with Chris Wedge
And more resources…
A fellow blogger, Tina Seitzinger wrote a great recap and review of this movie and you can check it out here.
The official Epic movie website has games, character insight, pictures and more. www.TheEpicMovie.com.
For more educational material, you MUST look at the resources available through Scholastic. Several downloads definitely worth exploring under the “Resources for Teachers”… these are not just for teachers – these are tools for us to use to get the most out of our movie ticket, materials to enhance the discussions and fun downloads to continue the learning fun AT HOME!! So play the Epic Adventure Challenge and print the Secret Forest word-find and then take advantage of the Epic Reading List (especially with summer break around the corner). So many options to take a great movie and make it an even greater experience.
Here are some pictures of our experience…
Disclosure: Although, I was invited to a media interview to meet with Chris Wedge, I was not compensated for this review, my travel or tickets. My daughter and I purchased our tickets and turned this into a weekend learning experience filled with fun and activities based on our interpretation of the movie. The opinions expressed herein are strictly
mine, as are the suggestions for further exploration.