Megamind

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

Let’s get it out of the way first thing. “Megamind” would be a much more enjoyable experience if it wasn’t so close to one of this year’s brightest family pleasures, Despicable Me. Both are stories of the clash of two mega-villains that turn an anti-hero into a lovable guy. Both lead characters suffer because they were not loved and made to feel a source of pride as children. The sidekicks even have the same name.  Megamind has to battle “Despicable Me’s” Gru for the affection of audiences.

It isn’t as good — and it owes a little bit to the incomparable “The Incredibles,” too. But on its own terms it is still a lot of fun and one of the best in a year of spectacular animated features.

Megamind (voice of Will Ferrell) came to earth as a little baby with a big, blue head sent here by rocket before his planet exploded. But at the same time, another set of parents was shooting off their baby towards earth. Megamind’s rocket landed in a prison and he had a childhood of abuse, bullying, and deprivation while his rival was the handsome, charming, popular kid in school who would grow up to be a superhero known as Metro Man (the very manly voice of Brad Pitt).  Megamind decided that if he couldn’t be the best at being good, he’d be the best at being bad.

All goes pretty well until Metro Man is suddenly out of the picture. Without a worthy adversary, Megamind has something of an existential crisis. His brilliant solution is to create a new hero so he have someone to compete with. But that doesn’t go according to plan and Megamind finds himself having to save the day.

Those who are familiar with superhero lore will appreciate the tributes to the Superman origin story and Lois Lane-style intrepid female reporter. There are some references to Cyrano de Bergerac as well; it’s not a coincidence that the female lead is named Roxanne (voice of Tina Fey). It is clever without being snarky, and avoids over-doing the usual pop culture references and air quotes. I especially like the way that the emotions and reactions of the main characters, Megamind, Roxanne, and the new nemesis are very relatable for elementary school kids while giving them something to stretch for with references to Tesla coils and existential discussions and a plot with a couple of extra twists. And Roxanne is far from the usual damsel in distress. “Can someone stamp my frequent kidnapping card?” she asks dryly. “You of all people should know we discontinued that promotion,” Megamind replies. She likes him, not because he’s dangerous, but because she can see how much he really wants to be good. And when he’s bad, he’s very, very bad, but when he’s good, he’s even better.

Related Tags:

 

3D Action/Adventure Animation Comedy Fantasy For the Whole Family Science-Fiction Superhero

Fall Movie Preview

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Here are my thoughts on fall movies:

Sept 24 “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” Director Zach Snyder is known for striking visuals (“300” and “The Watchmen”) so his first family-friendly film, the 3D animated story of Kathryn Lasky’s owl warriors should be something special.

Oct 1 “The Social Network” “The West Wing’s” Aaron Sorkin tells the story of the internet phenomenon that went from a student’s dorm room program to put the school directory online in 2002 to a worldwide phenomenon linking 500 million people, with half of them checking it every day.

secretariat-sm.jpg

Oct 8 “Secretariat” Every autumn brings us some tale of athletic triumph and this is the triumphant tale of the horse that won the triple crown in 1973, setting records still unbroken. Diane Lane plays the owner dismissed as “a housewife” and John Malcovich is the trainer who “dresses like Superfly.”

Oct 22 “The Company Men” A year in the life of three men who’ve been downsized from office jobs, with Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Maria Bello.

Nov 5 “Megamind” Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell provide the voices for this animated story of superhero vs. supervillain — and supervillain vs. even bigger supervillain.

Nov 19 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” The final chapter of the Harry Potter series is so big they made it into two movies. In this one, the final battle begins!

Related Tags:

 

Trailers, Previews, and Clips
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik