DreamWorks’ ‘Megamind’ brings out the best in Will Ferrell

Posted by · 9:57 am · October 25th, 2010

Was I just in a really good mood Saturday night or did DreamWorks’ “Megamind” send me out of the theater with a legitimate smile on my face?  The 3D never gets in the way, the concept is sound and crisp, the voice talent is top notch and it doesn’t feel like everyone’s just going through the motions (probably because Will Ferrell was passionate about the story, which he had a hand in conceiving).

Most importantly, it was a damn good time at the movies.

I’m fairly high on animation in general this year.  Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” of course, is one of the year’s best, as is DreamWorks’ own “How to Train Your Dragon.” Disney’s “Tangled” manages to stay fresh and progressive within the familiarity of the studio’s classic fairytale offerings and Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” is as touching as they come (with the year’s best score to boot — though a recently filed lawsuit over the copyright of the title could keep the film off the books this year).

I wasn’t as keen on Universal’s “Despicable Me,” though it certainly has its fans, and I haven’t caught “Shrek Forever After” (which surprisingly has its share of supporters) or “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” (which is said to offer up some gorgeous animation and breathtaking imagery).  Now I kind of want to dive into the fringe titles – “My Dog Tulip,” “Summer Wars,” etc. — but there are still only 14 submissions so far.  And two of them — “Idiots and Angels” and “Yogi Bear” — may not qualify for different reasons.  Meanwhile, the submissions deadline is a week from today.  But to have just three, that’s a shame, because obviously, some good animation will be left out in the cold.

But back to “Megamind,” I was kind of reminded of “The Incredibles” throughout.  It’s not fair to compare, but that 2004 Pixar entry never got me as excited as it did most everyone else.  There was always something arbitrary about it, though it was certainly a fun ride.  “Megamind” manages to really turn some of these concepts on their ear, and it works well without being lofty or overly profound or anything.  I headlined my Comic-Con entry on the film’s presentation “‘Megamind’ inverts comic genre tropes,” and it’s still applicable, I think.

Plus, I was chuckling throughout.  I rarely laugh much at Ferrell’s antics, but married with the animation and this concept, it worked for me.

If there were five nominations, I might consider this a legitimate contender, but it’s just going to be difficult with three.  Anne and I discussed how the field might play out in Friday’s podcast, and nothing much will change, I’m betting.

“Megamind” opens nationwide November 5.

(P.S.: If you’re one of those who was up in arms at the gall of the most recent trailer, which seemed to give away some key plot elements — well, yes and no.  That’s all I’ll say.)

→ 12 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 10-25-2010 at 10:01 am

    James said...

    This is good. I liked the previous trailers, but I was also somewhat tired of the promotion. I still have yet to see How to Train Your Dragon so I missed out on the whole 3D actually advancing the flick.

  • 2 10-25-2010 at 10:07 am

    americanrequiem said...

    funny, it may be a strong year for animation, but ironicly its a very weak year for animated trailers. if i went off only the trailers i would never see this, Tangled or How to Train Your Dragon. GLad to hear these later entries haven’t disappointed

  • 3 10-25-2010 at 11:24 am

    Fitz said...

    I would consider seeing this, but I never had any interest in How to Train Your Dragon.

  • 4 10-25-2010 at 1:06 pm

    Pete said...

    I can’t help but wonder if, in the year of three, two strong DreamWorks Animation titles could possible end up splitting each other’s vote. Seems unlikely but…

  • 5 10-25-2010 at 3:09 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I haven’t had a huge interest in seeing this, but I’m glad to hear it’s a good movie.

    I don’t think this and Dragon will split their votes, it seems more likely that this and Despicable Me might end up splitting votes for favourite “nice guy villain” animated feature of the year. But that’s all good, as it’ll help The Illusionist secure that third slot.

  • 6 10-25-2010 at 3:29 pm

    matsunaga said...

    This must have been really good to be associated to “The Incredibles”… I’ll give it a try….

  • 7 10-25-2010 at 3:52 pm

    Jake G. said...

    How To Train Your Dragon is better than Toy Story 3 and I would like to see How to Train Your Dragon win Best Animated Film!!!

  • 8 10-25-2010 at 3:55 pm

    Estefan said...

    “But that’s all good, as it’ll help The Illusionist secure that third slot.”

    You mean Tangled, right? ;-)

  • 9 10-25-2010 at 5:51 pm

    Speaking English said...

    You didn’t menti0n “Chico & Rita!”

  • 10 10-26-2010 at 3:12 am

    Angry Shark said...

    bleagh. This looks awful. The character designs are really ugly to me.

  • 11 10-28-2010 at 8:58 am

    The Movie Doc said...

    Well it does look like Dreamworks attempting to do their own Incredibles, but at least they care about quality now (they did at first, and then we got stuff like Shrek 3).

  • 12 11-07-2010 at 10:57 am

    Jasmine said...

    I thought this film looked rather average but after your review I think I will give it a go.

    I don’t think it could come close to The Incredibles, though, and How to Train Your Dragon was the surprise of the year for me! I loved it!!!

    It’s a shame there can’t be 5 nominations, it would be interesting to see what else would make the cut.