Meet Emma Kenney from the Movie EPIC!

Meet Emma Kenney from the Movie EPIC!

Epic_BD_SpineThe movie EPIC is being released by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Blu-ray and DVD on August 20, 2013, and I recently had the chance to chat with the delightful Emma Kenney, the voice of Marigold Girl in the movie. (Photo of Marigold and Mother below courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.)  I asked her what she thought kids would like about the movie and she enthusiastically explained that it is a “fun story of good and evil, set in a magical forest.” She felt both boys and girls would appreciate the fantasy and the action of the flower fairies and the tiny warriors riding on saddled hummingbirds through the forest. Emma stressed the film was not just for kids, but that all ages would enjoy the story and the many funny parts. Emma’s favorite characters were Mub and Grub, a humorous slug and snail pair that play an important but hilarious role in the story.

I learned that this was Emma’s first full length film, and the voice over work took place over a one-year period. In the studio, director Chris Wedge (who also directed the Ice Age franchise) would explain how he wanted her to say her lines, and they would work side by side in the booth going over each line 20 or 30 times with different emotions. Emma said that it was very exciting to work one-on-one with the director. She indicated she never worked directly with the other actors, so I asked what it was like to see the film for the first time in its entirety. Emma said it was “very exciting, it’s such a great story,” and added that every now and then she would realize it was her voice she was hearing. She proudly indicated she would be out buying a copy of EPIC on August 20th!

EPIC is the story of when transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence – and ours – from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, and Steven Tyler! For more information about the film visit

EPICEmma KenneyEPIC may have been Emma’s first full length animated film, but she is an accomplished actress and director! She currently stars as the precocious ‘Debbie Gallagher’ on Showtime’s hit series Shameless.   I was also impressed to hear about how at the age of nine she decided to make a film of her own. She explained that she has always loved movies, and decided to write a script.   Her film was filmed at the houses of her friends and she was involved in every aspect of the making of the movie which resulted in being honored as a finalist in the New Jersey International Film Festival, making her the youngest filmmaker ever to receive that honor. I asked if she had any advice for kids that are interested in acting and without hesitation she said, “go for it, it is so creative and fun.” After pausing, she recommended taking acting classes and attending acting summer camps, too!

Emma currently splits her time between New Jersey and Los Angeles, so I asked her what she likes to do when she is in Los Angeles. She says when she is here she is usually working, but sometimes on the weekends she has a chance to go to Universal Studios, or CityWalk to catch a movie.

For more fun related to EPIC, find some links below to activities for your kids including a bird race, book mark, observation game and a video promo for a new coloring app based on EPIC.

EPIC color bookmarks click here
EPIC bird race activity click here
EPIC nature observation game click here
EPIC Video Promo for Coloring App click here

I saw EPIC in the theater back in June with my husband and two kids ages 18 and 7 and all of us enjoyed it! I think this movie would be a great addition to any home collection.  I highly recommend tying in a trip to a local garden such as the South Coast Botanical Garden to get your children interested in exploring nature. EPIC will have them seeing tiny intrigue in every flower!


Authored by: Cindy Donnelly

Cindy has worked for What's Up for Kids for over 19 years and is thrilled to take over as owner/publisher. She loves helping South Bay parents connect with resources and working with camps, schools and other businesses to get the word out about their quality programs and services for families. For marketing information you can contact her at

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