The new Dreamworks animated film Megamind opened this past weekend, and encouraged by the delightfulness that was last year’s Monsters vs. Aliens, I decided to check it out. It turned out to be pretty enjoyable, sort of a Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog for the kid set. My review and a couple of mild spoilers below the jump.
First, a quick synopsis. A long time ago, when Megamind was just a baby, his planet imploded or some such. His parents put him in a spaceship and sent him off to try to save his life. At the same time, Metro Man’s planet also exploded, and his parents did the same deal. They both land on earth in Metro City and are adopted by two… well, let’s say very different families. Metro Man constantly outshines Megamind, and he realizes that the only thing he’s good at is being bad. Thus, a super villain is born. They say that the best villain is the hero of his own story, and this movie is Megamind’s story.
I thought the movie was cute, although not quite at the level of awesomeness that Monsters vs. Aliens was. The story made sense without making you jump through a lot of logical hoops (apart from the gadgets, but that’s to be expected). And you really grow to care for and root for the bad guy. It has a lot of wild and childish jokes and sight gags, but it manages to do it without a lot of gross bathroom humor, which is rare for a cartoon aimed at kids nowadays. It’s not all explosions and contraptions, though; there’s actually a lot of sweetness in the middle, after Megamind suffers his existential crisis. And the smartest character by far is Roxanne Ritchi, lady reporter, voiced by Tina Fey, who manages to help Megamind save the day. Even when playing the role of the kidnapped damsel in distress, she’s still a pretty strong lady.
There are a lot of funny jokes in there for the grown ups who attend, as it seems there are in most cartoons nowadays. My favorite was Metro City Hall covered in Obama/Shepard Fairey-style signs featuring Megamind’s face and the slogan, “NO YOU CAN’T.” I also enjoyed Minion in a gorilla suit throwing flaming barrels down a fire escape a la Donkey Kong. And the music is awesome! In addition to the original score, the soundtrack also includes Highway to Hell, A Little Less Conversation, Crazy Train, Back in Black, Bad, Welcome to the Jungle, and Bad to the Bone. Rock it out, Megamind. Rock it out.