BLU-RAY REVIEW: Megamind
Dreamworks does it again with an animated superhero comedy for the whole family...
What else can I say: I love Megamind. It's a unique, heart-felt super hero story filled with tension, action, drama and plenty of laughs. In fact, of all the recently released animated films, it's Megamind that will resonate with the super hero fans and comic collectors. Like The Incredibles before it, Megamind does an awesome job of introducing viewers to an intriguing tale of two aliens - one the big-headed, blue skinned Megamind (Will Ferrell), typecast the villain; the other the tall, handsome super strong hero Metro Man (Brad Pitt). While the story plays on the time-old balancing act between good and evil and the need for each in our modern day society, the story also addresses what happens when evil wins and, unfortunately (and comically), finds itself bored.
Like other Dreamworks' animated pictures, the animation and voice work are both excellent, perfectly capturing the mood of the surrounding story while remaining enticing enough to entertain. While some themes might be a bit mature for some younger audiences, Megamind is no doubt a family film which can and will cause conversation on the need for us to do right, no matter our circumstance or situation. With luck, the film also helps everyone understand no matter who they are, they have redemptive qualities which can find them being the hero, no matter their past.
The video transfer is solid, clean and for the most part excellent. There are a number of scenes in which the picture suffers from issues like blurs and shimmering bars, and, though these are a distraction, they are also rare. As for the soundtrack, the blu-ray features a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless track, a 5.1 Dolby Digital track, and 5.1 tracks in Spanish and Portuguese. The TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack obviously delivers the best bang, impressive in its use of the side and rear speakers. Be it a car or truck driving past, a caped super hero (or villain) flying by, or electrifying eye beams, the audio perfectly enfolds viewers taking advantage of the surround tracks.
As for special features, this 2-disc blu-ray/DVD set includes plenty. 3 in-film tracks allow plenty of viewing options: a "Trivia Track" for those interested in behind-the-scenes type info about the film; an "Animator's Corner" track featuring picture-in-picture pop-ups throughout the film, providing viewers with even more info about the film's creation (from storyboards to animation comparisons and CGI) and lastly, a feature commentary track with director Tom McGrath, producers Lara Breay and Denise Nolan Cascino, and writers Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons provides viewers (listeners) with a full cross-section of the film, to include pre-production ideas, directing info, writer's comments and more.
Other special features include the fun "Comic Creator," which allows users the opportunity to make their own comic using nine different scenes, and adding their own phrases, words, etc. Viewers can even save their favorites to play back for friends later. A "Behind the Mind" feature allows viewers to get a better understanding of the character and his wares, including "Hideouts," "Inventions," and "Vehicles." A 10-minute "Meet the Cast of Megamind" introduces viewers to the voice actors and how they played their parts and became their characters.
A 7-minute feature, "Inside Megamind's Lair", shows fans the character's hangout, costumes, and gadgets while a "You Can Draw Megamind" short shows viewers - with the help of story artist Andy Schuler - how to draw the villainous hero. Other special features fans may want to check out include a short on what it is the animators really do, a "Mega Rap" song, and a "The Reign of Megamind" comic book. Lastly, a single, short deleted scenes ("The Toothbrush Scene") is also include.
Dreamworks continues to impress with their recent animated releases and, while Megamind might not be the next blockbuster animated film series (ie - Toy Story), it's one of the most fun, entertaining, and exciting, putting it right up there with other recent fan-favorites like Kung Fu Panda, Despicable Me, and The Incredibles.
Megamind is available now on blu-ray and DVD wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley