The Epic Animals Epic Movie
Theatrical release poster
Directed By IAmBagel
Written By IAmBagel
Ralf Hat
Starring Keith Ferguson
Crispin Freeman
Laura Bailey
Liam Neeson
Music By Mark Mothersbaugh
Production Company Kingson Films
Distributed By Paramount Pictures
Release Dates July 3, 2002
Running Time 93 minutes
Budget $30 million
Box Office $180 million
Country United States of America
Language English
The Epic Animals Epic Movie is a 2002 animated action comedy-drama film based off of the animated television series The Epic Animals, directed by series creator IAmBagel. The film centers around titular trio being thrusted into an alternate future where an villainous version of Catnip rules over Earth. With their friendship on the verge of a breakdown, the trio attempt to piece together what happened that lead to Catnip's eventual downfall and attempt to rewrite history, while also questioning what it truly means to be a hero as their friendship hangs in the balance.

Kingson originally offered IAmBagel to make a film based off the series when the series third season premiered in Summer 2000. While skeptical about the idea at first, he eventually gave in and the film started production in December of that year. Knowing that the typical plotline and style of the television show would not work at all in a feature production, IAmBagel and Ralf Hat conceived a plotline that tested the ideals and ideas that the television show stood for, including the gang's friendship and their endless quest for approval and heroism.

The film was released on July 3, 2002, to generally favorable reviews, with critics praising its storyline, character development and doing something radically different from the television series while also still capturing its feel. It grossed $180 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, making it a box office success as well as the third highest-grossing animated film of 2002 behind Lilo & Stitch and Ice Age. The film made its network premiere on Kingson on May 25, 2003, with the premiere garnering over 6 million viewers.


The Epic Animals have been doing the same exact shtick for years: attempt to defeat a villain, fail, rinse and repeat. This begins to upset the trio, mostly Catnip, who feels as if he isn't suitable to be a hero. As their friendship begins to take a toll, Illinois is suddenly attacked by a robotic, futuristic army, who is led by a seeming older, robotic version of Catnip. Through unforeseen circumstances, the trio end up in the future after the invasion, where Catnip has complete control over Illinois and has killed off every major hero on Earth, effectively making him a supervillain. Confused, upset and angered by this revelation, the trio attempt to discover what lead to Catnip's downfall and reverse it, but the further revelations of this journey may be too big for their friendship to handle. Meanwhile, Diane and Squirmer, still in the past, band together the heroes and villains of Illinois and plot to overthrow Future Catnip's grip over their city.


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In the far-off year of 2069, we see a cloaked figure strolling through a massive, technologically advanced laboratory. He enters a room where we see various hooded figures at work, typing away on a large console. The cloaked figure asks the hooded figures if the device is ready, to which they all nod. Smirking, the figure places a purple gem inside a hole in the console's control panel, which causes the entire setting to violently shake. As the shaking stops, a large, green portal appears in front of the building. The cloaked man orders the hooded figures to "send the fleet" into the portal, and they begin to erratically scurry out of the room and enter multiple spaceships, flying into the portal. Laughing, the cloaked man presses a button on the console which converts the building he is in into a spaceship, and flies into the portal.

In the present day, the city of Illinois, Wisconsin, known for it's superhero and supervillain activity, is under threat when the villains of the city enact a plan to detonate a bomb in the middle of the city. Coming to the city's aid to stop them, unfortunately, is a trio of infamous superhero wannabes known as The Epic Animals. The villains are unimpressed by their adversaries, as they have been known to fail every attempt they make at saving the city. Nevertheless, the trio enact their plan to take down the villains, but, as usual, fail quite horribly. As the more competent heroes of Illinois arrive and take them down, the trio sulk back to their base in defeat.

As the trio enter their apartment, Catnip appears to be as eager and optimistic as ever after a villain defeat fails, confident that they'll "get it right tomorrow". Cotton joins him in his joyous mood, but Fred, who usually responds with "yeah okay whatever", remains silent, giving a look at Catnip before heading off to his room. Confused, Catnip checks up on Fred to see what's up with his sudden shift in behavior. As he confronts him, Fred explains to Catnip that he's getting tired of doing the whole "heroic shtick" all the time and that it would be the right choice for Catnip to just give up, as it's getting them nowhere in their lives. After he threatens to leave, Catnip, not wanting to give up his childhood dream nor his childhood friend, inadvertently snaps at Fred, calling him out for wanting to abandon his friend over something as petty as this, finally realizing that their lack of cooperation and trust is exactly why they fail as a team. Fred apologizes, and then promises Catnip that he won't leave him behind. After promising to be better friends to eachother, the two head off to bed.

The next day, a ceremony celebrating the recent accomplishments of Illinois' heroes is being held in the middle of the city, while the trio are at Diane's home, partaking in their usual B-Movie marathon day. However, as the ceremony progresses, Mayor T begins to notice a strange blue flicker constantly appear in the sky, before it reveals itself as a portal. The citizens stare in awe as a gigantic fleet of airships slowly charge, firing lasers and missiles at the city. The trio and Diane notice the attack, with Fred suggesting that they take cover and "let the real heroes handle it", per the norm. Catnip doesn't agree, per the norm, and forces the trio outside to fight off whatever is causing havoc. Per the norm.

As the various heroes are overwhelmed by the attack and some even surrender, the trio, using Cotton's various powers, break into the largest airship to confront whoever is in charge of the ordeal. Their attempt fails, however, as they discover that nobody is inside and that the ship is heading back into the portal from where it came due to Catnip messing around with various buttons. Before it fully reaches the portal, however, the trio look outside and gaze upon Illinois' destruction as the supposed ringleader of the attack exits an airship, looking suspiciously like Catnip. As the airship travels back into the future, the ship malfunctions and explodes, with our heroes barely escaping with their lives.





As the series itself began to grow in popularity during 1999 and 2000, Paramount Pictures took notice and began negotiating with Kingson executives about a possible theatrical film based on the series. While the two initially agreed on the film idea, the production crew behind the show itself was skeptical, feeling that the show's style would not work well for a 90-minute film. After further negotiations, however, IAmBagel and the rest of the crew eventually agreed to make the film in July 2000.

Despite the film being placed into production, the crew was at a loss of what to do concerning the plot and themes, citing that the show's overly silly comedic themes would not work well in a full-length film intended for multiple audiences, including fans of the show. Wanting to do something bigger and overall more serious, IAmBagel and Ralf Hat began work on a story that expanded more upon the themes that the television show revolved around (the trio's friendship and heroism). Despite wanting to do a more serious storyline, IAmBagel still wanted comedy to be a strong focus and found several ways to keep the show's comedy style into the film without distracting it from the plot. However, many liberties had to be taken in order to ensure that the film's themes and overall plot would be portrayed strongly, which lead to certain characters being reduced to minor roles, cameos, or being excluded from the film. Mr. Narrator and Mayor T in particular are both major characters in the show itself, but do not have any real relevance to the plot. Mr. Narrator for example, who has many lines of dialogue in most episodes and interacts with the cast, only has 5 lines of dialogue in the film, only appears during the beginning and end of the film, and does not interact with the cast at all.

In August of 2000, Paramount set the film for a March 29, 2002 release, but later pushed it to June 7, 2002, as they felt the film was more akin to a summer blockbuster and would therefore be more successful in that release span. After the 9/11 attacks occurred, the crew was forced to re-write and re-animate the final act of the film, which caused Paramount to push it once more to a July 3, 2002 release.



The film stars the series' main cast members, Keith Ferguson as Catnip, Crispin Freeman as Fred, Laura Bailey as Cotton, Grey DeLisle as Diane, Billy West as Squirmer, and Mr. T as Mayor T. In addition to the series' cast, it was reported in October 2001 that Liam Neeson had signed on to portray the film's antagonist, with George Clooney and Samuel L. Jackson also appearing in supporting roles, all three portraying future versions of the titular trio.


A teaser trailer was released in November 2001 and was shown in front of films such as Monsters, Inc., Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusThe official trailer was released in March 2002 and was shown in front of films such as Ice Age and Star Wars Episode ll: Attack of the Clones.

Prior to release, Paramount excessively promoted the film, which included merchandise from the film (clothing, toys, etc), tie-in promotions with certain restaurants and stores, as well as a video game released on several major consoles.


The Epic Animals Epic Movie Epic Soundtrack: Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture


Soundtrack album by Mark Mothersbaugh
Released July 2, 2002
Recorded 2001-2002
Genre Film soundtrack, film score
Label Interscope Records
Producer Mark Mothersbaugh, IAmBagel

A soundtrack containing songs from the film and the film's musical score titled The Epic Animals Epic Movie Epic Soundtrack: Music From and Inspired By the Movie was released on July 2, 2002, one day before the film was released in theaters. The film's musical score (tracks 8-28) was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, the same composer of the television series. The musical score combines the jazz/techno from the original series with orchestrated and grand themes most commonly heard in superhero films. The first two tracks of the album are the only songs actually featured in the film itself (One Little Victory being the end credits theme and Holding Out for a Hero playing during the final battle).

No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. One Little Victory Rush 5:08
2. Holding Out for a Hero Bonnie Tyler 4:45
3. Got To Do It Andrew W.K. 3:55
4. Optimistic Radiohead 5:16
5. For Once in My Life Stevie Wonder 2:58
6. My Hero Foo Fighters 4:20
7. Divine Hammer The Breeders 2:41
8. Epic Suite Mark Mothersbaugh 2:18
9. Failure 3:01
10. The Fight 1:18
11. Invasion 2:48
12. The Potral 1:09
13. Welcome to the Future 1:26
14. Future Selves 1:53
15. What Happened That Day 2:51
16. Destiny 1:33
17. Recruiting Heroes & Villains 3:03
18. He's Coming Hard 1:02
19. City Destruction 3:39
20. Base Infiltration 2:06
21. Time Machine 1:57
22. You Left Anyways 2:05
23. Separated 2:20
24. The Void 2:17
25. Rescue Mission 1:02
26. True Heroes 3:03
27. Fighting the Future 5:12
28. Hug it Out 2:34


The film made it's world premiere on June 26, 2002, at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The film was released in the United States and Canada on July 3, 2002, opening alongside the highly anticipated sci-fi comedy Men in Black II, sports comedy Like Mike, and fellow television show adaption The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

Box Office

Box office pundits expected the film to gross $20-25 million on opening weekend and $35 million overall from it's Wednesday launch, but proved to exceed expectations in the following days. The film grossed $9,001,034 on it's opening day with a $3,051 per theater average, debuting at #2 behind Men in Black II, as well as setting a record for the biggest opening day for an American animated film based on a television series (which would be surpassed in 2004 by Shapes: Race Against Time). The film grossed $30,914,540 on its opening weekend, being released in 3,052 theaters, leaving it #2 during the weekend behind Men in Black ll. The film grossed $119,657,394 in North America and $60,902,879 in other countries, with a total gross of $180,560,273 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing animated film based on a television series until it was surpassed in 2004 by Shapes: Race Against Time.

Critical Reception

The Epic Animals Epic Movie received positive reviews from critics. Based on 101 reviews, the film holds a 81% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating "While it somewhat differs from the television series, The Epic Animals Epic Movie still delivers family-oriented fun while also showing more depth and emotion to it's already well-known characters". It holds a score of 68% on Metacritic, indicating "Generally favorable reviews. It holds a 6.9 on the Internet Movie Database. Fan reception has been more mixed than positive, however, with many criticizing the film for abandoning the superhero satire and parody in favor of a character-driven dramatic storyline, feeling that it completely abandons the essence of the show.

Home media

The film was released onto VHS and DVD on November 19, 2002 in both wide-screen and full-screen formats by Paramount Home Entertainment. The DVD includes various special features, such as an 20-minute behind the scenes featurette entitled The Epic Story Behind The Epic Animals Epic Movie, featuring interviews with the principal cast and crew. It was re-released onto Blu-ray on January 8, 2013.

Awards and Nominations

Real-Life Nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2003 Annie Awards
Best Animated Feature
Music in a Feature Production
Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated
Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Keith Ferguson as Catnip Nominated
7th Golden Satellite Awards
Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Assosciation
Best Animated Film
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Assosciation
Best Animated Feature
Choiceawardfilml Congratulations!
The Epic Animals Epic Movie has won the title
of "Best Movie" during the 2014
NickFanon Choice Awards Logo 2

International Information

Country Release date Rating Gross
United States of America July 3, 2002 PG (for action violence and rude humor) $119,657,394
Canada July 3, 2002 PG (most territories), G (Quebec) TBA
France July 10, 2002 U €6,122,191 ($5,971,705)
Germany July 11, 2002 6 €8,217,773 ($8,015,776)
Austria July 11, 2002 6+ TBA
Switzerland July 11, 2002 6 TBA
Sweden July 12, 2002 Btl TBA
United Kingdom July 19, 2002 PG (for mild threat and scary scenes) £7,623,068 ($12,045,998)
Ireland July 19, 2002 G (very mild rude humor and some scary scenes) £7,623,068 ($12,045,998) (Shared with U.K)
South Africa July 19, 2002 PGl TBA
Mexico July 19, 2002 A Mex$5,040,588 ($5,127,917)
Chile July 19, 2002 TE TBA
Brazil July 19, 2002 L TBA
Spain July 19, 2002 7 TBA
Taiwan July 19, 2002 6+ TBA
Thailand July 19, 2002 G TBA
Poland July 19, 2002 N/A TBA
Venezuela July 19, 2002 B TBA
Greece July 19, 2002 Unrestricted TBA
Russia July 19, 2002 6+ TBA
Netherlands July 19, 2002 6 €2,549,725 ($2,515,018)
Bulgaria July 19, 2002 A TBA
Malaysia July 26, 2002 U TBA
Peru July 26, 2002 Apt. TBA
Norway July 26, 2002 7 TBA
Hungary July 26, 2002 6 TBA
Italy July 26, 2002 T TBA
Philippines July 26, 2002 G TBA
Turkey July 26, 2002 7+ TBA
India August 2, 2002 U TBA
Finland August 2, 2002 7 TBA
Indonesia August 2, 2002 SU TBA
Denmark August 9, 2002 7 TBA
Colombia August 16, 2002 N/A TBA
Iceland August 16, 2002 6 12,918,270 ISK ($140,157)
Belgium August 21, 2002 CAT.1 TBA
South Korea September 6, 2002 All TBA
New Zealand September 26, 2002 PG $NZ2,000,210 ($1,003,165)
Australia October 3, 2002 PG (for mild animated violence and peril and mild themes) AU$9,141,572 ($5,016,778)
Japan November 2, 2002 G TBA


  • The film was originally scheduled for release on March 29, 2002, but was later rescheduled to June 7, 2002, as Paramount believed the film would be more successful if it switched to a summer release date. It then switched to July 3, 2002, as the animation and writing crew were forced to scrap sections of the film's final act.



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