Review: ‘Epic Tails,’ starring the voices of Ellie Zeiler, Mark Camacho, Wyatt Bowen, Terrence Scammell, Kwasi Songui and Patrick Emmanuel Abellard

April 5, 2024

by Carla Hay

Chickos (voiced by Wyatt Bowen), Sam (voiced by Mark Camacho) and Pattie (voiced by Ellie Zeiler) in “Epic Tails” (Image courtesy of Viva Pictures)

“Epic Tails”

Directed by David Alaux, with the participation of Eric Tosti and Jean-François Tosti

Culture Representation: Taking place in ancient Greece, the animated film “Epic Tails” features a cast of characters who are talking animals and ancient Greek gods.

Culture Clash: A mouse, a cat and various other animals travel on the ship Argo to find treasure and to help a city that is being threatened with destruction by the god Poseidon. 

Culture Audience: “Epic Tails” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of animated adventure stories and Greek mythology, but “Epic Tails” is a mishandled and dull film that fails to deliver on many levels.

A scene from “Epic Tails” (Image courtesy of Viva Pictures)

“Epic Tails” should be called “Epic Fails.” It’s a dull and muddled misfire with a terrible message that bullies should be enabled. This animated film that’s set in ancient Greece has shallow Greek deities and generic main characters. Children under the age of 5 might enjoy this forgettable film because they’re probably be too young to know how bad “Epic Tails” is on every level.

Directed by David Alaux, with the participation of Eric Tosti and Jean-François Tosti, “Epic Tails” was written by all three filmmakers. The movie is originally from France, where the movie is titled “Pattie et la colère de Poséidon” (“Pattie and the Anger of Poseidon”). “Epic Tales” is the English-language version of the movie. No one is expecting a children’s oriented animated film to have an unpredictable ending. But these types of films should be at least fun to watch. And even better: They can be educational and inspirational if handled in a creative way.

Unfortunately, “Epic Tails” does none of that. Instead, it’s a monotonous and unfocused movie that wastes many opportunities to have intriguing characters and an epic adventure. The characters plod along from place to place, saying silly and hollow dialogue. The story is very messy and tedious when it did not have to be.

In “Epic Tails,” an optimistic and “book smart” mouse named Pattie (voiced by Ellie Zeiler) dreams of becoming a nautical adventurer, just like her hero Jason, who is famous for his Argo ship and Argonauts crew. Pattie is ridiculed by her peers for having this goal. Pattie’s best friend, who is also a father figure to her, is an overprotective cat named Sam (voiced by Mark Camacho), who agrees to go with Pattie to find Jason. They are accompanied by a friendly rat named Luigi (voiced by Wyatt Bowen), who is a somewhat goofy sidekick.

Meanwhile, Greek god king Zeus (who is portrayed as an egotistical leader) is gloating over a new statue of himself built by the citizens of the port city of Yolcos. Zeus’ brother Poseidon (voiced by Terrence Scammell)—the god of large bodies of water, earthquakes and horses—gets very jealous, so Poseidon goes to Yolcos and tells the citizens that they must build a grand statue of Poseidon in seven days. If they don’t do what he tells them to do by the deadline, Poseidon says he will destroy Yolcos.

“Epic Tails” does so little with the Greek gods and goddesses in the movie, none of them except for Poseidon are listed in the film’s end credits as characters. Hermes’ speed superpowers are briefly mentioned, but that’s about it. The Greek gods and goddesses are just shown doing things like hanging out in a hot tub and looking down from the heavens at some of the action happening in Greece.

Meanwhile, Pattie, Sam, and Luigi find the famous Argo ship and find Jason (also voiced by Scammell), who is now a physically weak, elderly man. All of Jason’s Argonauts are dead, but Pattie finds a way to resurrect all the Argonauts (don’t ask), who steer the ship slowly because they’re supposed to be a bunch of old skeletons. Pattie finds a treasure map and is convinced that they can find the treasure. Somehow, she gets mixed up in finding a valuable trident that needs to go on the statue of Poseidon.

During this very monotonous “adventure,” Pattie and her friends meet a talkative seagull named Chickos (also voiced by Bowen) and mischievous twin rats named Bernardo (voiced by Kwasi Songui) and Gerardo (voiced by Patrick Emmanuel Abellard). The members of this motley crew encounter some obstacles, such as a giant octopus that vomits green slime and a Cyclops that operates a giant rock robot. Pattie and Sam have an argument that separates them, but you just know that they will eventually reconcile.

There is absolutely nothing that’s surprising about “Epic Tails,” which has basic animation, unimpressive voice performances, and a story that is so sloppy, there are many time-wasting scenes with insipid dialogue. (For whatever reason, Poseidon has a weird habit of saying, “Hasta la vista!”) The movie’s hero characters go out of their way to appease Poseidon, who does not face any consequences and is unapologetic for his bullying. It’s a horrible message in an equally horrible film targeted to children and families.

Viva Pictures released “Epic Tails” in select U.S. cinemas on April 5, 2024. The movie was released in Europe, Asia, and Brazil in 2023.

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