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Movie Review

MegaMind also known as “Oobermind,” “Master Mind,” “Megaagy,” “Megahjerne,” “Megalofyis,” “Megamente,” “Megamind: Superschurk”

MPAA Rating: PG for action and some language.

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens
Genre:
Family Superhero Comedy Animation 3D Imax
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
November 5, 2010 (wide—3,500+ theaters)
DVD: February 22, 2011
Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation

pride vs. humility

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

sin

wisdom

mercy

Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer


Fun and learning
Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: voices of—Will Ferrell (Megamind), Brad Pitt (Metro Man), Tina Fey (Roxanne Ritchi), Jonah Hill (Tighten), Ben Stiller (Megamind’s Father), J.K. Simmons (Warden), more »
Director: Tom McGrath
Producer: DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Red Hour Films, Ben Stiller, more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation

“It’s big for a reason.”

Ever since “Shrek” arrived and turned the world of fairy tales upside down, the new trend in animated “family” films is to take a slightly politically correct approach to traditional family films. In this case, you take a superhero cartoon, and you make the superhero a spoiled brat and discover that he is not so heroic, and you take the evil arch-villain and discover that he is… well… not so evil after all. Such is the premise of “Megamind.”

Now “Megamind” is a well-made film that will appeal to parents, as well as children. Although it isn’t as good as its animated rival film, “Despicable Me,” it is bound to be a hit, and it is entertaining. The plot, as aforementioned, revolves around a superhero/arch-villain rivalry. Megamind, the evil genius, always seems to lose to the spoiled, and vain, superhero Metroman, but one day it appears that Megamind has actually won. Metroman is dead! Or so it seems.

Now, Megamind is left to plunder the city, but he soon finds his life is empty without a nemesis, so he attempts to create a new superhero rival, only to find that the new superhero is, in fact, more evil than Megamind. Will Megamind save the day? Will Megamind become a superhero or remain an arch-villain.

Certainly, there are good elements of the film. Megamind hardly repents of his sins, and we cannot honestly say that he finds redemption, but the ability to turn one’s life around is a good moral message for children.

Unfortunately, the film excels in the moral ambiguities of Hollywood. Never does Megamind really distinguish between right and wrong. He finds his life is empty and meaningless, but he doesn’t really know why, nor does the film honestly answer that question. This is my biggest problem with the movie. Properly done, the film could be a great moral lesson, but, as written, it is yet another politically correct tale that makes the hero something less than noble, and the villain becomes the sympathetic character.

Morally, there a few words like “cr*p” which make their sudden and unneeded appearance in the film. There is a kissing scene, but the real problem morally, aside from the moral ambiguity of the film, is the amount of violence for a children’s movie. Although there is no blood, there is an ample supply of comic violence including the destruction of numerous buildings which are done in all to realistic a manner (visually speaking). Given the sensibilities of a post-911 world, I couldn’t help but think of the Twin Towers (although no attempt was made to emulate that). Seeing buildings collapse and fall with very realistic animation graphics is certainly something which adds to the already somewhat heavy comic violence of the film, so be aware that this is not a “gentle” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” kind of film. Go to it expecting plenty of fighting, smashing of buildings, cars, and mayhem. In short, it may not be appropriate for really young children. Pre-teenagers, however, will love the action and comedy.

Overall, “Megamind” is an entertaining spin on superheroes and villains, which suffers from Hollywood’s moral ambiguities which might not be appropriate for young children, but the prospect of redemption is one which parents can emphasize to their children upon exiting the theater. It can be a fun film, if parents explain the difference in right and wrong and explain that true redemption comes only through the Lord Jesus.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—“Megamind” is an excellent movie that teaches the value of heroism and courage. I recommend this movie to parents with older kids, because the violence is a little extreme, and there are a few jokes that are a bit over the top, but outside of that, I believe it is one of the best animated films to come out this year. See it in 3-D if you can!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jacob Airey, age 22 (USA)
Positive—I’ll be honest. When I first saw the previews for “Megamind,” several months ago, I said, “Nah, this doesn’t look like a film worth spending 10 dollars on!” However, I knew my friend really wanted to see this movie, so we decided to head to our local theater and see Megamind in Digital 3D. Well, next thing you know, I walked out of the theater saying, “That was pretty good.” Dreamworks has never ceased to amaze me in what they are able to accomplish in their films.

As the Dr. Criswell stated, “Megamind” wasn’t as good as “Despicable Me,” but it was close. The movie-making quality was jaw-dropping. The acting was well done by everyone, Tina Fey, Will Ferrel, Jonah Hill, and even Brad Pitt. The moral of this story? People can change. Megamind proved this in the movie. Everyone thought he was the villain, but suddenly he had to become the hero and WANTED to be the hero.

The same principle applies to our walk in Christ. God can change people’s hearts, even the most unlikely of people. There’s nothing that God can’t do. So, do I recommend this movie? Yes. Is as good as “Despicable Me.” Sadly, no. However, Dreamworks serves as an example to Hollywood how clean films CAN be made. Good job Dreamworks!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Alexander Malsan, age 20 (USA)
Positive—When I first saw the trailers for this movie, I decided that I would probably wait for DVD… But I’m so glad that I didn’t! This is an incredibly well-made movie, with excellent voice casting and a surprisingly miniscule amount of bathroom humor for a Dreamworks animated film. While it might be a little deep for younger kids, I think anyone 10 and up with a love for superheroes would enjoy this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kadie Joseph, age 18 (USA)
Positive—This movie was ADORABLE! I am careful about movies I watch, and I just thought the story line was so cute. Evil man turned good. But the characters were really cute, as well. Megamind, his personality was endearing, because, at first, he didn’t even want to be evil. Me and my husband liked it so much, we watched it twice, it was so cute. It’s totally appropriate for children, as well. Great movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Samantha Taylor, age 36 (USA)
Positive—Today as I watched “Megamind,” I stumbled upon the religious hints in the film, for instance, the scene where the woman kisses “metro man’s” feet, he walks on water, and when he splashes the water up, a rainbow can be seen.

I started reasearching and have stumbled on a lot of negatives about this movie, however I feel that maybe people are overlooking the positive that can be seen. In my opinion, I feel the film is a positive in its “religous” aspects. Metro man seems to be portrayed as Jesus, Megamind as an evil person, Earth or “Metrocity” as their battle field. Metro Man seems to die, but, in fact, is alive, with Metro Man being unseen, Megamind changes his ways from evil to good. However, there are clues in the film that hint Metro Man is always watching, for instance, there is one part where Megamind is talking that he needs a “ying for his yang,” when he discovers Metro Man is alive, metro man also comments to Megamind, “there’s a ying to every yang” hinting perhaps Metro Man stepped out of the way to let him find his way.

more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cole, age 24 (USA)
Positive—I finally saw this movie for the first time on video, and it was even better than I had thought it would be. The humor was very creative and highly original, with minimal crudeness and the production quality was likewise excellent. I wanted to comment on a couple of thematic elements that numerous other viewers have discussed.

1. Megamind’s moral transformation is not just a matter of convenience, but reflects his growth as a person. His evil-villain identity is clearly depicted as a result of unique circumstances that did not give him a clear-cut model of good and evil. By choosing to be “evil,” he was, in effect, trying to be “cool”—to use his creative abilities to please those in his milieu. The problem was that his milieu consisted of inmates at a prison for genius criminals. Note the obvious unlikelihood of this and how it works into his character development. At heart, he was not the villain that he had built himself up to be, and his evil persona was a response to his own flawed understanding of society’s expectations of him. His only model for good—after all—was the nepotistic “Metro Man,” he had been fighting evil for the same reason that Megamind was creating it: to get attention. Their “glorious rivalry” is just a big game to both of them, and the whole story is about them “finding themselves”.

2. I thought that the musical choices (songs by Ozzy O., GnR, AC/DC, etc.) were very appropriate, considering the character development. The way that “Highway to H*ll” kept getting cut off right before the word H*ll was especially hilarious to those familiar with the song. To be offended, as if the movie producers were in some way approving of or promoting the original message of such songs is to totally miss the way the songs are being used to contribute to the humor of the movie.

From a Christian stand point, I felt that the primary moral objections was not the matters mentioned above, but the reliance on the concept of eastern dualism to explain the relationship of good and evil. The yin-yang idea is a convenient way to present the belief that good will always arise to confront evil (itself a good idea that Christians can appreciate) without having to explain where it arises from (i.e., Providence). If we look beyond that detail, we can find some really good truth nestled in this story (as with “Kung-Fu Panda,” which also relies too much on the yin-yang concept).

All-in-all, this was a ridiculously hilarious movie about personal transformation that I will definitely be adding to our family’s collection.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jon Whitmer, age 41 (USA)
Positive—Wow. I’m pretty conservative, but even some of the negative reviewers comments shocked me. “Megamind” is a story about a little boy who never really had a chance to find out who he really was. He was labeled a criminal from the start and raised by prisoners. I am completely appalled by those who say that he was genuinely evil. No he wasn’t! He began life as a little boy who wanted to make friends and none of the kids wanted anything to do with him. He was never accepted, so is it any wonder that he tries to win Roxanne by deception?

He perceived himself as bad because his science experiments and creations were perceived that way by others, and so was he. Throughout the movie, you see signs that he never even was evil. But it was expected of him. Accidents, mistakes, were seen as confirmation of an evil spirit. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Amy, age 35 (USA)
Positive—This is such a funny, cute movie! The only thing I found offensive about this movie was Metroman using the Lord’s name in vain once, and Metroman walking on water while talking to the people (I found this wrong, since only Jesus can walk on water). But, besides that, this is a fun, cute, entertaining and exciting film. Really, it is.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Marianne, age 18 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I cannot recommend this movie to a conservative Christian family (spoilers follow):

1) Good and evil are confused (more detail in the review)

2) A certain bad trait (arrogance) is placed on a “superhero”, which can confuse someone as to what traits are good to have

3) Contains a couple blasphemies (one of these most people don’t consider a blasphemy, but I am not so sure it’s clean) and one curse word (the curse word might be missed). The word “bu-t” is used around 3 times.

4) There is a medium amount of violence (no blood) and lots of thematic moments.

5) There is not much sexual content. One guy moves too fast with relationships but the average American viewer will find that nothing objectionable is shown (see below [sexual content] for details. Two characters kiss.

Review: ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***: I would like to say that I eagerly awaited in anticipation to see this movie in theaters because I had seen the trailers, and they were hilarious. However, I was disappointed with the movie during the first 5 minutes, because it was different so far than what the trailers were implying was in the movie. The trailer had actually cut up the movie and moved different scenes and spoken lines out of context in order to make the trailers funny. Also, I think I got the wrong idea of Megamind’s point of view from the trailers.

Overall though, to me (again, non-conservative) it was an ok movie. Some parents could take some time to explain to their kids what you shouldn’t copy in this movie because it isn’t the best role model. I enjoyed the plot twist where the villain chose to become good. I like that concept, and I liked it that it was in this movie.

The positives: 1) The movie shows that a “bad-guy” can turn good. 2) Movie style: It’s cute and funny. Actually, the fact that Megamind acts very cute and funny makes his arrogance bearable:) 3) Movie making quality: The movie quality is very good. The characters are smooth (non-pixelated, they look real instead of like boxes) and the animation is smooth. I noticed that 3D animation (with this movie) is getting even more realistic because I could see the characters chests moving (male and female) when they were breathing hard. (It’s personal preference whether you like more realistic or not, but I just thought I’d put it here:))

The negatives:

1) The main character (Megamind) is a villain (no fault of his own, his spaceship just crash landed in the wrong spot, and he was raised by a bunch of villains)

2) The concept of super hero and super villain is confused. Megamind is at first a super villain, then he turns into a hero. His nemesis Metroman (the superhero of the city) is an arrogant hero, totally the opposite of most cartoon “heroes” I grew up with (they were humble).

3) Both Megamind and Metroman (the superhero of the city) are extremely arrogant. This might teach kids that it’s ok to be arrogant, especially because the superhero is proud (I believe having pride is against the Bible. Some might disagree with me, though, but that’s just my belief.).

4) At one point Megamind (remember, he’s the villain) appears to have actually killed Metroman. He’s in shock at first, that his scheme actually worked, but after a few seconds instead of mourning a death he celebrates the final defeat of his enemy. I read somewhere that a mother and her child were watching a movie where someone appeared to have died but was revived and the mother was so happy she shook her child in excitement saying “He’s alive!”. I would prefer the mother’s reaction to Megamind’s. This movie could teach kids some bad morals, or at least expose them to bad morals.

5) In the beginning Megamind believes that fate is what decides your plot in life (or something about fate). In the end of the movie he decides that it’s not fate but it’s your own choice and free will that determines how your life goes. I put this in negative because I believe it’s both your choice and God’s in control (some call it fate).

6) Language: The word “bu*t” is said around three times (all in one scene). The h-word is used once when “the highway to h***” is played on a CD player (The music for this song is played a lot during this movie and seems to be Megamind’s “theme song”) and when the fish in a robot suit messes up and gets two songs to over and over the h-word pops up. I think I heard it anyway, but I’m very fine tuned for listening for any sort of language because I’m very picky. It might be missed if you aren’t paying attention because my father who watched it with me said he didn’t hear it. The Lord’s name was taken in vain twice: Metroman says “Good L…” and Megamind says “G…! How I’ve messed up!” (I forgot exactly what Megamind says) in the context that Megamind was in trouble and he could have actually been talking to God (and it’s fine for anyone to talk to God).

7) Violence: There is a medium amount of violence but no blood. There is a lot of thematic material that may scare little kids. Death is an ongoing theme in this movie (but brought about in a humorous way so that it isn’t taken as too scary). Buildings are destroyed, one character is slapped around by a man with superpowers and goes flying multiple times, another man is flicked in the forehead by this same man with superpowers and goes flying. Someone gets hit in the jaw. One scene where the new super-powered guy finds out how he thinks he can win his crush’s heart is where he repeatedly puts her in danger himself just to rescue her because he was told that if you rescue the girl a few times she’ll fall for you. The girl is obviously terrified but he doesn’t seem to notice; he’s too busy “wowing” her by his “heroic deeds” of rescuing her.

8) Sexual content: Not a ton, but it’s still sort of present. The guy who has a crush on the girl also has problems with socializing and he tries to speed through a relationship and get romantic too fast. There is a little bit of physical contact as he does pick her up a few times but that’s it for physical contact. He does say a few things like “Oh! The party’s just for the two of us!” when she doesn’t want to be around a bunch of people. Megamind and a woman share a romantic and dramatic kiss. I personally loved this. (I don’t like dramas, but a little drama every once in a while I enjoy). This scene and a couple others could get a child bored, but humor follows the kissing scene so the child will be able to laugh. After the kiss the two of them go off and another slow scene comes up, this one has no humor so the kids will be bored.

Overall, the movie is filled with childish humor and will be fun for children; and the second half of the movie has some slow dramatic parts so adults will have something to enjoy. And for anyone who skipped down here to the bottom of the review without seeing the top, I cannot recommend this movie to a conservative Christian family because it contains a medium amount of violence (no blood), many action packed scenes that could scare young children, and a little bit of bad language. For those who don’t mind these things it is an interesting movie, humorous (childish humor) and has an interesting plot twist (the main villain decides he wants to become a good-guy).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Gina Moceri, age 24 (USA)
Negative
Negative—“Megamind” as a whole was a “fun” film. I did take my kids to see it. Ages 10, 8, 5. Here are some negatives that crossed my mind while watching it.

1. It blends good and evil. Calling evil-good and good-evil.

2. It blends what once was considered satanic music into “fun”. It uses music from ACDC (“Highway to H*ll”), Guns and Roses (“Welcome to the Jungle”), and a couple of Ozzy Osborne song (“Crazy Train” and I think another one), and to top it off with Michael Jackson (“Bad”). Leaving kids humming right along as if they were whistling Dixie. These songs are slowly creeping in to common music listened to in stadiums etc.

3. The librarian that Megamind changes himself into look like never does appear alive again in the movie, his life possibly just discarded while Megamind has turned “good” and everyone is rooting for him.

4. The good guy Metro Man. I would suspect the name was carefully chosen, not just because the live in a Metropolitan area but because he is “Metro” (feminine man).

5. Metro man carried out a lie which was depicted as good overall.

6. The only reasons “Megamind” turns “good” is that he is bored with his evil, he has conquered everything using his evil. He misses battling good or “Metro Man.” Also because he falls “in love” with the girl and tries to get her using deception.

7. I think there is also mention of making the Titan character into a “god” (not absolutely certain about this but I think so).

8. “Megamind” breaks out of prison and is not seen as a big deal as the warden is left tied up, telling them “good luck.”

9. It leaves viewers accepting, enjoying, and even rooting for “Megamind” and his evil practices throughout the movie.

I probably should not have taken my kids to see and enjoy this film. It was a mistake on my part. I can not undo them seeing this film, now I am left trying to explain things.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Adam, age 39 (USA)
Negative—offensive because it undermined what the Bible states as truth: i.e.: Megaman walking on water, coming down from the clouds-welcomed as the savior to the town-depicts Jesus… kissing Megaman’s feet—treating him like the savior: songs: “Highway to hell,” subtle statements like heaven was evil—the subtle impartation of the deception of lies through the characters was offensive to me. Then it ended with a Michael Jackson song: I bad! this opens the door to the Explain Spirit—anyone who wants to know, go on YouTube and do search under: exposing Michael Jackson and the nephilim spirit. Multiple levels of deception and what the movie was really about. Christians need to wake up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Judy Strong, age 60 (USA)
Negative—I am amazed at how subtle the devil is in infiltrating his evil tricks and subliminal message. There is one line which says: Evil heaven. This added to the music of AC DC, Highway to hell and Ozzy Osbournes Black Sabbath music “Crazy Train” being played only tells where it will lead children. If it entices to go through the highway to hell, of course people will see heaven as evil. Same goes for Jack Black’s new coming movie: “Gulliver…” where there is an appearance of KISS in the movie. Please let us stop promoting these types of films where we see all these actors, including Will Farrell mocking God and being offensive to our beliefs. Sorry, but just because there are funny lines in a movie doesn’t get my approval in seeing the true intentions of the directors to misguide people to say bad is good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Ozzie Barletta, age 52 (USA)
Negative—Reviewing the movie without considering morals, I would say it was average. It developed the characters okay. The story moved quickly. The action was good. I found different parts funny. If a person were not trying to find the symbolism in the movie, then it would be an average movie, overall.

As a Christian, I watched the city worship Metro Man. He then proceeds to walk on water. I saw this as a clear message that Metro Man symbolized Jesus Christ. Later in the movie, we find that Metro Man has forsaken man by no longer fighting evil. At that point, I see that the movie wants to send the message that the city can no longer have any hope in Metro Man. In the last scene, Metro Man appears as an anonymous man in the crowd providing no direction or hope for the future of man.

more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Robert, age 38 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—“Megamind” was very funny and well made. The characters were well developed throughout, and the plot was original and exciting. With the movie being a spoof of the old Superman movies, it was very enjoyable for my mother and I to see those subtle elements from those movies. Morally, I would say that “Megamind” is fairly good. I only heard once the Lord’s name taken in vain, but it was so brief, my mother missed hearing it. The theme of the story is mainly that anyone can change for better or worse no matter what the person was originally. It also illustrates the power of the environment children are raised in and the way they are treated in shaping the direction of their lives.

I would recommend this movie to anyone, and I believe it was worth the money and the wait at the ticket window.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Emily, age 17 (USA)