What Makes A Movie An "Epic"?

In this thread , a discussion started about whether an animated film can be an “epic”

I think not, I think that part of what makes a movie an epic is a breathtaking sweep of history with sweeping vistas, crowds of extras, and a sense of historic importance. All this, as far as I know, cannot be done in a small, indie film shot with a couple of friends and a single camera.

With that in mind, what make a movie an “epic”?

Epic Movies:
Lawrence of Arabia
War and Peace
Dr. Zhivago
Star Wars
Zulu Dawn
Lord of the Rings

Not Epic:
To Sir With Love
Roman Holiday

Which version of Dracula are you referring to? The 1992 Coppola version was pretty opulent.

Would It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World be an epic?

It’s long and has a cast of thousands.
Is it even possible to have an Epic comedy?

You know, by golly, I’d have to say that it is.

Tod Browning’s, sorry.

Well, I’d describe Princess Mononoke as epic in its story: it looks at a pretty wide sweep of history, and at contending forces that build up to create history. Just bea=ing animated doesn’t stop it being epic.

Orlando Bloom?

Perhaps I’m in the minority.

I think “epic” I think David lean, I think Peter Jackson I think Zoltan Korda. I have a hard time thinking of cartoons (which I love).

I think cartoons can be epics. Laputa: Castle in the Sky was grand and sweeping and action-packed and had a “cast” of many hundreds, if not thousands. Kiki’s Delivery Service had some hallmarks of an epic, too, although it had a more intimate feel and a narrower dramatic focus.

Couldn’t Lion King be considered epic?

You forgot Gone With the Wind.

Couldn’t Lion King be considered epic?

Life of Brian was an epic of sorts. Brazil, Monsieur Verdoux and The Player too.

What were the most sprawling, lavish, expensive comedies ever made?

The Disastrous Ishtar would have to rank right up there…

A bunch of different sets and a big budget.

A marketing dept.

The Clone Wars cartoons were pretty epic. Also, they were much better than Episodes I-III.

I would also count the anime series Record of Lodoss War and El Hazard: The Magnificent World as epic stories.

Arent epics normally a fair bit longer then normal movies?

I’d certainly consider it, alongside Dreamworks’s Prince of Egypt, Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and potentially Robert Zemeckis’s upcoming CG Beowulf.

The recent Evan Almighty was the most expensive comedy ever filmed, at $175 million. (Apparently they didn’t spend much of that on a script, though.) I guess a comedy can be epic, but I think the best ones work at an intimate level.

In classical literature, an epic must have 12 chapters. This would make “B” serials like Batman vs. the Nips and Son of the Mark of Zorro’s Black Whip the only true film epics.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned “Roots”, which I mentioned in a pit thread.
Yessssssss! I successfully linked to the post I intended. I’m getting the hang of this stuff.