Megamind belongs to a very particular, very promising subset of recent films, coming from different sources but united by a handful of shared traits. It's not quite the subgenre of what we might call "subversive superhero" films, although yes, Megamind does include spot-on send-ups of the Superman mythology and it blurs distinctions between hero and villain archetypes. It's also something of a little brother to The Incredibles, and, to a lesser extent, live-action comic book revisions like Mystery Men and Unbreakable.
But what I really mean is this: Megamind is an all-ages animated blockbuster that's so across-the-board excellent in its storytelling that it comes reasonably close to attaining Pixar-like levels of glory, and thus belongs on the shelf beside recent (non-Pixar) classics like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sony Pictures Animation) and How to Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks). I doubt that the Pixar crew is worried; they've got enough classics to ensure that they'll be the champs for a long time. But their stranglehold on this kind of filmmaking isn't absolute, and Megamind is a solid contender from the DreamWorks team.
It's one of the better animated flicks from DreamWorks, which also did Monsters vs. Aliens, a far inferior film to this. They also did Kung Fu Panda, the Shrek movies, and Madagascar, and, I'd say Megamind is more satisfying than any of those.
They also did How to Train Your Dragon, and if this film isn't quite as strong as that one, it's at least smart enough to borrow some of its most basic values. There's a clear, simple focus on storytelling that's actually a bit startling: With its roots in a sort of Superman spoof, you'd think Megamind would have pop culture on its brain, but, save for a couple of DC Comics in-jokes and one very funny visual homage to the old Donkey Kong video game, it's devoid of those kinds of references.
It's a movie made with integrity, which means that Will Ferrell is hilarious as the lead voice actor, but he never pushes his schtick so far that it overwhelms his character; it studiously avoids political or faux-psychological pandering, which means that, despite Tina Fey's presence as a gutsy reporter, there's none of the pseudo-feminist bullying of Monsters vs. Aliens; and it is, really and truly, an all-ages movie, no awkward innuendos or cheap-shot bathroom jokes to be found.
It's also very funny, and its sense of humor reminds me, more than anything, of the cheerful irreverence of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I imagine the folks who made that movie would love this film's Donkey Kong tribute, but also its playful jabs at the Superman tale. There's a hilarious reference, early in the film, to how it seems like the same woman is always being kidnapped by the bad-guys, and it works best if you're a big comic books fan but still plays fine even if you're not.
In terms of content, it most closely resembles The Incredibles. The story begins with Megamind (Ferrell) explaining his Superman-style exile from his home planet, mere seconds before the whole place blew up, and his initial difficulties fitting in with the Earthlings with whom he now shares a globe. At first, he realizes the only thing he's truly good at is being bad—and thus, sets out to become the Metrocity's (pronounced either Metro-City, or like atrocity, depending on who you ask) greatest supervillain.