Sunday, 4 October 2015

Narrative - Megamind Archetypes Film Review

Fig. 1. Megamind poster.

Megamind (2008) is an animated movie directed by Tom McGrath and created by DreamWorks who have also made movies such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, etc. Megamind explains the story of a super intelligent villain named Megamind who finally succeeds in defeating his rival, the super hero Metro Man. The balance of good and evil is lost which causes Megamind to lose his way, now he must seek a new meaning to the life in which he created.

The purpose of this review is to break down the possible archetypes that can be found in Megamind. The characters in the movie don’t necessarily stick to one archetype the whole way through; they change gradually which adapts how the viewer associates with each character and it also appears that some characters have multiple archetypes.

Fig. 2. Megamind still.

To expand on the different archetypes it might be easier if each character is explored separately. Megamind is the main character thus making him a good place to start; it appears that Megamind has multiple archetypes that change throughout the movie. At the start he could possibly be the herald archetype, as he is narrating the story to the viewers which sets up the beginning of the adventure. Throughout the whole movie Megamind offers a huge amount of comedy, his attempts to be evil are mostly hilarious and his overall persona has comedy at the heart, this makes him the perfect candidate for the trickster archetype. One of the reasons that he is hugely successful at providing comedy may be due to his voice actor Will Ferrell, who has starred in multiple comedy movies. For at least the first half of the movie Megamind is trying to be the shadow archetype, he for one is a super villain and enjoys his attempts at trying to kill Metro Man and take over Metrocity. However this archetype changes drastically by the end of the movie, Megamind transforms from the shadow to the hero, this is due to finding the right thing to fight for, which in this case is love. The movie ends with Megamind standing as the new hero of Metrocity with an adoring crowd.

Fig. 3. Metro Man still.

Next we have Metro Man, the perfect hero. He is Megaminds rival for the first third of the film; he is loved by all and possesses super strength, flying and laser beam eyes. Throughout the beginning of the film he swats all of Megaminds attempts at being evil and carries the burden of being the hero. Metro man also poses as the threshold guardian for Megamind, as he is the metaphorical wall that Megamind has to break through to realise his true destiny. Megamind captures and kills Metro Man or so we are led to believe, later on in the movie we find out that Metro Man faked his own death so he could find his own path in life. It is at this point that Metro Man becomes the mentor for Megamind, he gives him a few words of advice in the effort to help him change. Ultimately he helps Megamind become the hero by the end of the movie, he even stands proudly in the crowd at the end watching Megaminds success.

Fig. 4. Titan still.

The shapeshifter Hal who is later known as Titan is a strange character who is difficult to read. At the beginning he is a nerdy, slightly fat cameraman who is overly obsessed with Roxanne Ritchie the news reporter. His loyalties are unknown for most of the movie; he appears neither good nor evil. This is until Megamind accidentally makes him into a hero with Metro Mans powers. Megamind trys to establish whether Hal is the right person for the job, he attempts to mould him into a hero so he can have epic battles again. For the most part this appears to work and Hal becomes Titan, the new hero of Metrocity. This doesn’t last long, Titan takes Roxanne and flies around town throwing her around and ‘saving’ her from falling to her death. He tells her that they should be together but Roxanne refuses, this is where Titan starts to fall apart as a character, he becomes angry and flies away. Titan starts to become the shadow, he witnesses Roxanne on a date with a disguised Megaman and he starts to transition into the darkness. Titan truly becomes the shadow when he attempts to kill Megamind and rules over Metrocity, shortly after this he also holds Roxanne hostage as he challenges Megamind to a fight.

Fig. 5. Roxanne Ritchie still.

Roxanne Ritchie the news reporter who captures the heart of Megamind is the maiden archetype. At the beginning she isn’t really an interest of Megaminds apart from using her as a hostage, however as the story unfolds Megamind slowly becomes attracted to her. He disguises himself as Bernard an employee from the Metro Man museum and meets with her multiple times to discuss what they think Megamind is up to. Later Roxanne finds out that Megamind has been in disguise this whole time and she leaves him. After this she gets captured by Titan and Megamind comes to save her, this is when she begins to like Megamind and cements her place as the maiden.

Fig. 6. Minion still.

Lastly we have Megaminds allies which come in the form of a fish like creature named Minion. Megamind and Minion have been together since he was born and have always worked together. Minion supports Megamind in everything he attempts to do, from being bad to being good. He also has a very innocent and childlike behaviour that could possibly make him the child archetype. Megamind does have some additional allies which are all of his various creations that protect and serve him.

To conclude Megamind is a fun animation with a few interesting characters in it that have multiple archetypes. The characters that change archetypes make it enjoyable to watch and slightly more unpredictable than stories in which the archetypes remain the same throughout. Like a lot of DreamWorks animations, Megamind ends on a positive note that good conquers evil and that love is worth fighting for.

Illustration List:
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 1. Megamind poster. (Accessed 04/10/2015)
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 2. Megamind still. (Accessed 04/10/2015)
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 3. Metro Man still. (Accessed 04/10/2015)
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 4. Titan still. (Accessed 04/10/2015)
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 5. Roxanne Ritchie still. (Accessed 04/10/2015)
McGrath, T. (2010). Figure 6. Minion still. (Accessed 04/10/2015)

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