What exactly is Epic, the next animated feature from the makers of Ice Age and Rio? If its new trailer is any indication, it’s going to be a mishmash of two well-established storytelling tropes, that of the mystical, tropical wonderland (think Fern Gully or Avatar) and that of the secret world where tiny people live right under our noses (a sort of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids meets The Secret World of Arrietty). It also seems like a movie that’s going to combine big adventure (forest warriors!) with silly humor (talking slugs?).

Official word on the story says that Epic tells the tale of a teenage girl who gets transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between good and evil is taking place. There she teams up with a rag-tag group of characters to join a fight that’s going to have huge consequences for both their world and ours. That doesn’t give away much, but at least it indicates that this is going to be a story with real stakes.

While star power doesn’t mean as much for animated features as it does for those shooting live action, it should also be noted that Epic has a voice cast featuring a laundry list of big names including Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Judah Friedlander, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Blake Anderson, Jason Sudeikis, and Steven Tyler.

All of this sounds very promising for fans of movie animation. The only big question on the table is one of tone. The grandiose song used during most of this trailer doesn’t fit in with the sudden turn taken once silly humor is introduced. Is that something that’s going to be indicative of the end product that gets released? Is the talking slug character going to be the Jar Jar Binks of an otherwise straight faced tale, ruining everything outright? Here’s your chance to give the trailer a watch and decide for yourself:

Epic opens on May 24, 2013. [Yahoo! Movies]

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