Photo Credit: Paramount
Hollywood has a long tradition of animated films in which primary characters are either completely good or completely evil (example: Cinderella). Films later evolved to feature troubled good guys, good guys-in-the-making or good guys who needed an extra push to succeed (The Incredibles, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda). But with the introduction of Despicable Me and, most recently, Megamind, we have a brand new archetype: The truly bad guy who maybe (no spoilers here!) transforms into a truly good guy.
This is really good news for kids because it reinforces the message that anyone, anyone, can be a good guy (and that not all "good guys" are perfect).
Kids need to believe in complete redemption, not just for themselves, but for others. That way, faith in idols like Michael Vick, Chris Brown, Tiger Woods, Kanye West, John Mayer and Marion Jones can be restored, should these stars prove themselves so worthy. (The jury's out on Lindsay Lohan, but probably in on Charlie Sheen).
Megamind's (possible) reformation puts the responsibility of having an open mind not just on his big blue head, but in the people of Metro City... and every kid in the audience as well.
But while we're on the subject of renovating modern stereotypes, was it so necessary to have Roxanne (voiced by Tina Fey) be such a super-heavily made-up, Christina Hendricks-figured femme? Female empowerment is nice to see (and a modern 'do as well), but in a world where bad guys can actually be good guys, women shouldn't need to be drawn as doe-eyed, voluptuous cover girls. Especially in a family movie.
Do you think Megamind sends a good message? Chime in now!