Movie #178 2020: Megamind (2010)

You may notice the light-heartedness and fun movies that are currently dominating The Quayside Review. Well, we are getting to the pointy end of lockdown now in the UK, and tensions and anxieties are higher than ever. So in order to get through that, I’m reviewing only the most fun movies to try and get people through it!

On this fine Friday afternoon, I bring you Megamind, the Dreamworks animated picture from 2010.

Megamind is the story of a young alien boy who is sent to school on earth, only to realise that he is a better supervillain than he is a superhero. His arch nemesis from school and ever since, Metro Man, is the talk of the town – a parody of Superman, if you will. One day, Megamind finally defeats Metro Man and is left to dominate the entire town of Metrocity.

One thing leads to another, with Megamind realising there is no meaning to his life without a superhero to defeat… so he creates one himself. Anything else would be a spoiler at this point, but you get the jist.

Who ever thought this cute little animated movie would end up teaching us so many important lessons? Such topics within it include human morality, mental health, nature vs. nurture and toxic masculinity, which I certainly wasn’t expecting, and I’d assume you didn’t come here thinking that would be the case either. Touché, Dreamworks. Touché.

Although not as continuously funny as I thought it would be, there are some killer one-liners courtesy of Will Ferrell in particular, who clearly ad-libbed quite a lot of them. Other comedy highlights among the cast include voice acting from Tina Fey and Arrested Development‘s David Cross, as Brad Pitt plays heartthrob Metro Man. We all know by now that animated films draw in star-studded talent nowadays, but this one is a cut above. There’s not a single mis-cast within it, and all of them contribute something different and do so brilliantly.

I mentioned the moral teachings of this movie being unexpected, but another unexpected facet came with it’s soundtrack. As in… it’s filled with absolute bangers! AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson and more – I’m not entirely sure I’ve even noticed an animated movie’s soundtrack before (other than the onslaught of songs in Trolls World Tour), so this was so much fun. I didn’t expect it, was pleasantly surprised, and it was pop/rock/punk perfection.

The visuals within Megamind are also note-worthy, with it containing some animation that is quite ahead of its time for 2010. The use of shadowing particularly stands out as advanced and very well done alongside the 3D animated design also being very successful. There’s some good character development throughout too, both through the main character and some of the secondary players, which can be in short supply in many animated movies.

On the whole, this is definitely one of Dreamworks’ better features. While there’s no talk surrounding a sequel (mainly because Despicable Me did better at the box office), it certainly deserves one, and I’d be surprised if any child doesn’t enjoy it as much as I did!

Megamind is available to stream on Netflix, Sky Go, and Now TV in the UK.

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