Its been really some time that I have watched a good animation movie. To be honest, I am quite put off by what is being released over the past year or so, quantity clearly does not make for quality. With advancements in animation technology, movies seem like “experimenting” grounds for what visual wonders can be created rather than an entertaining and meaningful experience. This trend is going slightly over the edge with 3D movies. Sometimes I get the feeling that movies are becoming more gimmicky and contain less of “story-telling”. I think the last animation movies that I truly enjoyed were Kung Fu Panda (for its humor) and Wall-e (for its poignant message and animation).
Anything else that I have watched after that is honestly a blur. However, one of the stay-at-home weekends, hubby and I decided to just watch “cartoons” for a change. We incidentally picked two very similar movies. Here’s my brief review about both of them.
This movie was brilliant. Non-stop funny. In this story, the world’s greatest villain Gru (brllliantly voiced by Steve Carrell) has recently been upstaged by a pyramid stealing newbie. Clearly, he has to establish his supremacy and he hatches a brilliant plan, which is to – wait for it!- steal the moon! But moon-jacking equipment can be expensive and even a super-villain has debt issues. The underworld bank (Lehman Brothers! – I kid you not) will only loan him the money if he can procure a key weapon. To do that he must adopt 3 cookie selling orphan girls – why, what, how can be answered when you watch the movie.
It is hilarious to watch this evil but soft spoken villain, become a reluctant parent to these adorable girls. Even more entertaining are the minions creatures that work in his factory . The movie is full of both in your face slaptstick as well as subtle understated humor. I was laughing throughout.
The story of a special blue boy sent to Earth by his loving parents as their planet collapsed about them. They told him that he was destined for greatness. And no this is not “Superman”. At the same time, another boy was sent to Earth, by his loving parents, as their planet collapsed about them. Why is Earth the destination for all alien spawn, I don’t know.
Anyway, the blue boy obviously suffers from bad luck. He lands in a prison, and from childhoold all his attempts at greatness fail and he just appears to be making wrong, almost criminal choices. He is often upstaged by the other boy (who looks completely human), and is a savior of all humans. Frustrated by his unpopularity and his inherent destructive nature – he decides to be the greatest villain of his time – Megamind. The good boy goes on to become the all American hero – Metro Man- the guardian angel of Metro city.
As I read back my synopsis, this is sounding like an extremely emotional and intellectual kind of movie. Its not. Its funny and sometimes hilarious, when you see Megamind’s attempt to constantly destroy Metro Man in repeated almost cliched ways. Things go awry and the fun really begins, when Megamind actually succeeds in killing Metro Man, and taking over the city.
Will Ferrel, Brad Pitt and Tina Fey lend their voices to the leading characters. The script is okay but needed to pack more punch for an animation movie. I found myself yawning more than once. The twist in the tale is actually the movie–saver , and the twist-in-the-twist in the tale is just meh. Still, the concept is refreshingly different and sort of nice to see a cartoon where the villain is the hero.