Posted by: greercn | February 12, 2011

Megamind

Other than gorgeous pictures, it’s almost impossible to imagine what children would get out of this intelligent and funny animated movie from DreamWorks.

From the first frames, you are giggling and this develops into real belly laughs. “Megamind” (voiced by Will Farrell) is sent in a space rocket from his home planet to earth, in a rather loving homage to Superman. His parents tell him what his destiny is – and give him a minion (David Cross voicing a fish) to take with him – but he doesn’t hear the “purpose” bit as he is launched through space.

His journey features the first of his encounters with Metro Man (Brad Pitt). Metro Man becomes a superhero and Megamind becomes a bad guy. The scenes from their divergent school days are moving . Quite a lot is made of the theme of being an outsider.

Great writing is evident in a script by Alan J Schoolcraft and Brent Simons that is fresh and original, yet familiar and warm.  It feels different after the straightforward stories of recent Pixar films. Where there is an offbeat possibility, director Tom McGrath goes for it, with real panache.

The story twists and turns through sly comments on celebrity, the nature of evil, great humour at the expense of “finding yourself” and superb effects. It’s 95 minutes of laughter, with enough ideas to draw you in and it provides glorious entertainment.

Tina Fey is the voice of reporter Roxanne Ritchie and Jonah Hill voices her cameraman,  who becomes a rather unlikely hero/villain.

Anyone out there have young kids? Most of the people in the Stratford Picturehouse were there with youngsters and the adults split their sides way more than the kiddies did. When you see it, let me know what’s in it for your children, because it seems to be very adult in the approach it takes.

This is beyond and above  the normally-high DreamWorks standard. With this punchy script, time flies and the images are just full of depth and style. If you’re looking for an afternoon animation that won’t scare any but the youngest children, do go see this or buy the DVD when it comes out.

The music is conventional and familiar, yet that enhances some of the loopy complexities of the distinctive costumes, robots and cars. There is a rather creative use of truly ghastly original music, but that forms one of many plot surprises here.

It’s all deeply loveable without being facile or glib. The science is interesting although I think the illiteracy beam may already be real rather than imaginary.

It’s been successful and has made loads of money. I think this must be based on adults telling other adults to see this unusual take on the conventions of being a superhero. If you love animation, do see this.

There are still tickets available for “My Kidnapper” and the question and answer session with Mark Henderson at the Stratford Picturehouse on Tuesday, February 15th. Go to the website at www.picturehouses.co.uk for information and booking. Have a peek at my interview and review if you want more information on the movie.

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