Megamind, Dreamworks’ new animated superhero movie, looks to go where no animated superhero movies have gone before by taking a look at what happens when the bad guy actually does prevail. So will Megamind be a mega hit, and does the trailer look promising? In a world where so few animated superhero movies ever make it to theaters, its rare genre and brave new premise could make Megamind’s large noggin expand even more or deflate it like a big blue balloon.
So what other animated superhero movies have made it to theaters?
Considering the fact that most superheroes start out in ink, it’s amazing that so few animated superhero movies ever make it to theaters. Sure there’s a slew of direct-to-video superhero movies based on the adventures of some of our favorites like Batman and Wonder Woman, but only a handful of animated superhero movies have been released on the silver screen.
The traditionally animated ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ was based on the popular animated series, but it was released in theaters on such short notice that it received dismal box office returns (however, it did much better when it was released on VHS).
‘The Powerpuff Girls Movie’ was another of the few superhero movies based on an animated series to make it to the big screen, and it also didn’t do to well at the box office (but, like the Batman movie, it did garner quite a bit of critical acclaim).
And besides these two traditionally animated superhero movies, there are only three others I have been able to identify that have been released in theaters. ‘Astro Boy’ is a CGI film also based on an animated series, and, like the two above, it also was not a box office success.
‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ is actually a film by Dreamworks that did very well at the box office, one of the few animated superhero movies with an original storyline. However, in this twisted tale about superheroes, they are considered “monsters”.
And that brings us to the movie that Dreamworks’ ‘Megamind’ is most likely trying to emulate, rival Pixar’s incredible animated superhero movie ‘The Incredibles’, a creative tale about a world where superheroes are hated and litigated, forced to hide their super identities and do their best to live normal lives. And it’s this fresh new take on the world of superheroes that helped make ‘The Incredibles’ a big box office success and beloved instant classic, something ‘Megamind’ would surely love to replicate.
What makes ‘Megamind’ different from other superhero movies?
In Megamind, the superhero world is also turned upside down. The trailer begins by showing us two babies being sent to Earth, Superman-style. One resembles a baby Superman, while the other is a blue-skinned baby with a big head and large eyes. And it’s obvious from the beginning that these two are going to be rivals.
As they get older, they become archenemies, with Metroman having legions of Earthling fans, never failing to save the day and always getting in Megamind’s way. Until one day the evil genius accidentally takes him down.
So what does a supervillain who has just lost his superhero do? Well, he creates a new superhero to outsmart. But, unfortunately for Megamind, his new creation Titan thinks it’s a lot more fun to try and destroy the world than to protect it, forcing Megamind to switch roles and become the hero that he once so hated.
So how does the trailer for ‘Megamind’ look?
In the trailer, Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) looks like he has a mega ego, despite his many failures. He wears boots made out of the skin of baby seals and has an incredibly bizarre-looking sidekick, a fish-looking thing that lives in a bowl attached to a mechanical body. Metroman (voiced by Brad Pitt) is a handsome and dashing superhero that can juggle babies and draw large crowds to his appearances. We also meet Roxanne Ritchi, a sardonic reporter voiced by Tina Fey that seems to often find herself in the “damsel in distress” position (although she doesn’t seem all that distressed). I’m guessing in the trailer Jonah Hill’s character hasn’t been transformed into Titan yet, because he just looks like an animated version of Jonah Hill (he’s also wearing a geeky T-shirt that reads “error 404 request not found”, so I’m guessing he’s a superhero fanboy chosen by Megamind for a super makeover).
The trailer doesn’t have a lot of laughs, but it still looks like a promising movie that kids and adults might both enjoy watching. (Oh yeah, it also lets us know the movie will be in 3D. Surprise, surprise.)
So is ‘Megamind’ Oscar for Best Animated Feature material?
I’d wager that it’s going to be very hard to beat Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 3’ at the Academy Awards this year when it comes to the Best Animated Feature, and Megamind also has some competition in the way of another evil genius who might end up going good in Universal’s ‘Despicable Me’. However, I’d love to see an animated feature good enough to steal it from Pixar for once, and ‘Megamind’ does look a little more polished and primed to do so than ‘Despicable Me’.
So will Megamind become one of the best animated superhero movies to make it to the silver screen? I don’t know if his big ego needs that kind of affirmation, but check out this unique superhero movie on November 5, 2010 to find out.