Yes, Queen Bey plays Queen Tara and the uber-charming Colin Farrell gives voice to the heroic warrior, Ronin. But mark my words when “Epic” hits teathers on May 24th it will be Aziz Ansari (“Parks & Recreation”) and Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”) who steal the show — as a slug and a snail, respectively.
The 3D animated feature by the creators of “Ice Age” takes place in a forest and sufice it to say it’s about a war that’s waging between some tiny creatures who guard the life of the forest (the good guys) and so-called Boggans, a nefarious crew determined to spread decay and snuff out anything and everything green.
The future of the forest is embodied by a flower pod which must be kept moist and the guys tasked with the job are . . . Mub the slug and Grub the snail. As Mub says, “Moist is what we do.”
Both Ansari and O’Dowd are professional comics-turned-actors and if you’re not familiar with their work, stop reading this post immediately and look up the MTV sketch comedy show “Human Giant” co-created by Ansari and the British sitcom “The IT Crowd” where O’Dowd played the geekiest geek of all named Roy.
Putting them together was an inspired casting coup. At a special screening and interview session last weekend the duo riffed off each other like Amy Poeher and Tina Fey. In the film their slug/snail banter seems similarly effortless and off the cuff but they confessed that not only were their lines scripted, they weren’t even in the same city when they recorded most of them. Ansari traveled from LA to Ireland where O’Dowd was shooting so they could do a major session together but other than that it was all . . . acting.
O’Dowd joked that during tapings he kept a framed headshot of Ansari nearby. Said Ansari, “I had an actual snail that I just pretended was Chris, and I would look down at him for inspiration.”
Watch the ‘Epic’ trailer here
Images and trailer courtesy of 20th Century Fox