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 ...1
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