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'Megamind': Nature Vs Nurture

Updated on July 16, 2014

Can you be good and evil?

well, of course you can...even Megamind himself had good and bad qualities....
well, of course you can...even Megamind himself had good and bad qualities.... | Source

Taking control

Having gained control Megamind acts like a child and takes everything he wants.
Having gained control Megamind acts like a child and takes everything he wants. | Source
Good/Evil, looks don't portray our roles in society
Good/Evil, looks don't portray our roles in society | Source

The Best back and forth; Megamind vs Metroman

Megamind: In case you’ve noticed, you’ve fallen right into my trap!
Metro Man: You can’t trap justice! It’s an idea, a BELIEF!
Megamind: Even the most heartfelt belief can get corroded with crime!
Metro Man: Justice is a non-corrosive metal!
Megamind: But metals can be melted, by the heat of revaunge!
Metro Man: It’s REVENGE, and it’s best served cold!
Megamind: But it can be easily reheated, in the microwave of evil!
Metro Man: Well, I think your warranty’s about to expire!
Megamind: Maybe I got an extended warranty!
Metro Man: Warranties are invalid, if used beyond their intended purpose!

Cast:

There is a great cast for this animation:

Will Ferrell plays the infamous Megamind, and quite well too. His voice matches the character perfectly, it gives him a funny side even when he's all out evil. Another reason we love Megamind so much.

David Cross plays Minion, a good funny character, but overall, a bit forgettable.

Brad Pitt voices Metroman which is great because his voice is perfectly smug enough to play the overconfident, selfish superhero that ultimately leaves the city in the hands of a super villain. He's the apparently well educated yet still super stupid guy that has all the women of Metro City crying and throwing their babies at him thinking he's all that....sounds like real life eh?

Tina Fey is Roxanne, and although I find her more than annoying in real life, she's actually really good at this character. Sassy and strong, she's the independent and straight talking character that you need in animated films.

Jonah Hill plays Hal, Roxannes camera guy and the man accidentally chosen by Megamind to be the cities new hero: Titan. I'm a huge fan of Jonah Hill, and he's hilarious as the geeky in love-Hal and the bratty, selfsh Titan.

Ben Stiller voices (for like 5 minutes) Bernard, the guy from the museum who eventually turns into Megamind (or who Megamind eventually turns into). A good character as Megamind, but on his own, he's totally forgettable...unusual for a Ben stiller character in my opinion.



A Look at what made Megamind

Dreamworks ‘Megamind’ came out in cinema’s with huge enthusiasm. Having advertised with great effort everyone looked forward to its release. Many say it’s a children’s film with adult sub-text and jokes and it certainly is. Many of the jokes would ring blank to children and even some of the animation (“Shaking in my custom made baby seal leather boots”) but there is another theme that is purely adult: Nature vs nurture. In a society where serial killers and rapists have become part of everday life, the question has been posed over and over. So why not in a children's film right? In fact the studio play with the good/evil roles quite well and mix them up throughout the animation so much so that viewers forget who the villain and the hero is.

Megamind is a blue, big-headed (literally) evil villain. But our stereotypical villain he is not. Throughout the film you will hate, love, sympathise and defend him and why? Well he just doesn't seem like that scary of a guy, yeah he's an alien, an evil overlord and plans on destroying the city of 'Metrocity', but when the viewers are given his backstory at the beginning of the film, we don't immediately assume he will be the bad guy. His home planet is dying and being sucked into a black hole, at eight days old he is put into an egg shaped ship with a fish, Minion, to find a safer place to live. Megaminds own opinion of this event is based solely around him having done something wrong to create this "Broken Home" as he says "eight days old and still living at home...how sad". Just as he's about to be flown away his father says "Son, you are destined for..", the door shuts and neither the viewer nor Megamind know what was said. In my opinion, this is the pivotal point of the film, because Megamind didn't hear what his parents thought and expected of him, he had nothing to build on, nothing to live up to.


In this egg shaped ship he see's another little ship leaving a planet also being sucked into the black hole. the other ship is much sleeker and comfortable, its gold and glides effortlessly through space, while Megaminds ship hits off every asteroid in sight. There is a more human looking baby in the gold egg, who becomes Metro Man. Both children are left to fend for themselves by their parents, however, not in equal ways. Metroman obviously has the better ship and is more likely to be successful in his search for safety, rather than Megamind, who is given no real advantages. When they arrive on earth Metroman accidentally or coincidentally (whichever) takes Megaminds place in a wonderful home with very well off parents and leaving megamind to be brought up by criminals in a prison, where he is taught how to be evil, then when he is old enough he goes to school where Metroman is the most popular and while Megamind tries to get the other children to like him, his intelligently created designs backfire and he becomes an outcast. So did his circumstances dictate what he became?

Stephen Whitty said “Flash forward a couple of decades, and guess who’s the beloved hero, and who’s the hissable villain?” (Whitty, Stephen/The Star Ledger. 'Megamind' review: sleek, shiny — and not very interesting’, NJ.com, 2010) If however we analyze how things turn out we will see that Megamind is much more of a hero than Metroman ever was.


Megamind tried his hardest to be good and was ridiculed and teased in both school and prison. He decides one day to become evil because it works for him as he knows he’s actually good at it. So because nobody was able to accept him he became evil against his original nature in order to survive and he was accepted as a villain, because of his intelligence and also because he looks different to the rest of humanity. Metro man may be alien but he certainly looks human, making him more acceptable as the hero figure. Another point to note here is that while Metroman was given every opportunity to become a good person, Megamind wasn't. If Metroman had not taken Megaminds place when they first came to earth, then his inventions of evil would surely have been inventions of good. If there was somebody there to tell Megamind that his huge brain could be used for good inventions rather than evil ones, he would easily have been a good guy. However, he only knows evil, so obviously he assumes that his intelligence should be used for that. He has obviously not had a very good education, which is where most children learn good vs evil, as he is constantly mispronouncing everyday words like 'school' (which he calls shool) and 'melancholy'. In fact the city is actually called Metro City, but Megamind calls it "Metrocity' probably because it sounds more evil, but in part due to the fact that he wasn't taught the name of the city.


So for years he is the "bad guy" and he takes to it quite well, he's dramatic in his evil plan and always wants to look an evil as possible, but because he puts so much effort into it, it gives the impression that he is just playing a part, because he's not accepted as anything other than evil, he acts as evil as possible. Being bad takes a lot of hard work and effort though, and although he's extremely smart, he always seems to not think of something. So to me, this portrays a person playing a role rather than actually being evil.


There is also something to note in why he always kidnaps the same girl, Roxanne. In a funny scene where Megamind is trying to torture her, she is blatantly not bothered with any of it, having endured years of this type of harassment, its become mundane to her. This seems to annoy and anger Megamind. Roxanne knows she is safe enough with Megamind because Metroman will always save her, similarly, Megamind feels safe knowing that Roxanne wont come to harm for the same reason. He feels safe knowing he wont have to harm her yet when she doesn't 'play along' it upsets him. This reminds him that he needs Metroman to save her in order for him to be the villain. He is very optimistic at his villainy though, saying "He {Metroman} would win some, I would almost win others". He is delusional to the point that he thinks positively of his villainy. In reality, he is just someone who got stuck with a role and is doing his best to live up to that role, looking as positively as possible at every situation.


When Metroman is finally killed by Megamind nobody, including himself, believes it. He questions "I did it?" looking stunned, then realizing that it was what was supposed to happen, he announces with determination " I did it!" Ecstatic with his winning plan, he takes over Metrocity and steals works of art, money and takes over the mayors office. He can't believe the size of the window in the mayors office, giving in to the portrayal that he has been captive for all his life, or imprisoned, metaphorically, by the Villainous role he had no choice but to accept.


He tries to create a hero to restore balance to Metro-City after losing his sense of purpose (when he thinks he killed Metroman) showing that deep down he knows a hero and good is essential to the survival of Metro City. While doing this he also poses as a human and dates Roxanne, pretending it is all for the good of his plan to create a hero, though Minion doesn't believe it. While in this 'normal' role he gets a hug for the first time from Roxanne, and although nothing points to this directly, his eyes widen with surprise at the hug, and he smiles shyly. This is probably the first encounter with a human that shows him he could be the good guy if he wanted to. When he talks to Roxanne about hero's she says the most ingenious thing, one that the whole plot revolves around, she says "hero's aren't born, they are made", and that all that's needed is bravery, intelligence and determination. These are all traits that Megamind, not Metroman has. Megamind though takes it up wrong and literally goes about creating a superhero...Titan.


Titan is far from a hero, he is self obsessed and has no moral compass. He robs banks, and takes what he wants, including Roxanne, whom he kidnaps and drops over the city a few times before catching her, in a bid to make her like him. In trying to defend the city from Titan, both Roxanne and Megamind find Metroman alive, having faked his death to get out of being a hero, and who became "music man"...cleverly so he can keep his trademarked logo. He was tired of being the hero, even though he didn't have to work very hard at it, like superman, he could basically do everything. He was born with powers, but that doesn't mean he was born a hero.


Although Titan turns evil himself with the knowledge of his own power, Megamind takes the heroes place restoring balance showing that although he was accepted as an evil villain, he was misunderstood and forced into that negative role because of societies unwillingness to accept what they didn’t understand. So Nurture and a series of unfortunate events were the cause of his turn to evil, but these events also led to him becoming the hero of the story. Bad backgrounds can make good people, just as good backgrounds can make bad people, in the case of Titan and Metroman, who doesn't want to save Metro City from Titan.


Having saved the day, and got the girl, Megamind is content in knowing that he made the choice to be good, and in an impressively accurate scene where the crowds are gathering around him to congratulate him, he freaks out, takes out a gun and tells them all to stay back "you savages"...assuming that they are being hostile, because he has never felt anything but hostility from people.

So, a series of very unfortunate events, all out of his control turned him into the villain of the story, while choices that he himself made, turned him into the hero. A point on how we all have control in our own lives, regardless of how we blame everything else? I think yes, and a very good point it is too!



Megamind-evil: Nature or nurture

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Minion: the helpful sidekick

Minion is the only friend Megamind has, no wonder he felt alone eh?!
Minion is the only friend Megamind has, no wonder he felt alone eh?! | Source

Official trailer to a must see Film!

My Rating of this Animated film:

5 stars for Megamind:

Why I love this film:

This is an all around fantastic film, a satire on how we as individuals have to adapt to certain roles in society to survive, but its not just about survival, its about living. Megamind survives on Villainy, but it isn't until he takes on the form of Bernard that he starts to live, like riding a bicycle through a park....which he had never done before but found exhilarating.

The subtlety of the humour in this film is amazing, there are so many jokes that you can easily miss, like posters in the background or the fact that a villain is wearing clothes made from animals?! Saying something about our society? yes I think it is.


The animation is also very good, the style of Megamind is hilarious and the fact that he tries to be as evil as possible. Metroman, the good guy is the stereoypical hero, who looks like every other hero out there, but with little attraction to his character. Its clear from the start that we are not supposed to like him.

I love this film because of the way it gets the viewers to identify with the villain rather than the hero.

© 2012 belleart

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