Animated movies have really come into their own in the past 15 years. Sure, they’ve been around since movies were invented but ten years into the 21st century the availability of computer technology has really made the medium come to life. The latest offering is the DreamWorks Animation offering Megmnind, which features the voice talents of Saturday Night Live alums Will Ferrell and Tina Fey. Other voice actors include Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.
The story is reminiscent of the Superman story, but with a few changes and told from Megamind’s (Ferrelll) point of view. Both he and Metroman, (Pitt) are sent to earth as infants from separate planets that are about to be destroyed by a black hole. They are charted on totally different paths, Megamind headed on a rough voyage through the galaxy and a crash landing in a prison yard and Metroman getting a smooth trip with a landing in a posh mansion.
The story of the two characters is typical of a superhero/super villain, with Metroman doing everything right and Megamind getting put in time out in school and after repeated situations the blue skinned genius has the epiphany to pursue his destiny of becoming a super villain.
Every evil genius needs a damsel to put in distress and that is Roxanne Richie (Fey). She is not a shrinking violet who screams while tied to a chair over a pool of hungry alligators, she is a tough cookie who has endured many, many Megamind kidnappings and Metroman rescues. Megamind kidnaps her when Metro City is about to honor Metroman with the opening of a museum and it all takes off from there.
The movie is very funny and while it has the trappings of being a kids movie, it is typical of recent animated features with enough inside jokes to keep grown-ups interested. The music selections, heavy on AC-DC, Ozzy Osbourne and Guns and Roses, favors the MTV generation of parents as well The movie has cartoonish violence which, while flashy and very visually compelling it didn’t prompt me to explain what was going on to my ten-year-old son.
A drawback to the movie is that for the most part, the best parts of the movie have been shown in the TV ads and what’s in between doesn’t add very much to it’s balance. This is to say that I came away from the theater with a sense that I had seen the movie before I had actually sat down and watched it on the big screen, if that makes any sense.
My son loved it, of course, but anything animated is pretty much a grand slam with him.
The movie is rated PG for cartoon violence and language, but on the language side I don’t really see why. There’s nary a four letter word in it. It is offered in 2D and 3D versions.