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Is it ever fair to judge a book by its cover? Can someone change? Can a villain with a big, blue, light-bulb-shaped head find love? The new children's animated movie Megamind aims to find out.

Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) escapes to Earth as a baby from a dying planet. Unfortunately, he arrives at the same time as Metro Man (Brad Pitt), a strong, flying, good-haired jewel of an interplanetary refugee. Metro Man fills the role of superhero, so Megamind is cast in the only remaining role: evil villain.

For a while, their rivalry works beautifully, Megamind hatching devious schemes only to be thwarted by Metro Man and his winning smile. One day, however, Megamind succeeds beyond his wildest dreams and finds it's not so much fun being a villain without a hero. Megamind languishes in his evil lair with his piranha-in-a-jar sidekick, Minon, and an army of brain bots. Turns out, subjecting a city to domination of fear and horror just isn't as much fun as it's cracked up to be.

His attempt to create a replacement superhero named Titan, misunderstood as Tighten (Jonah Hill), ends in disaster. Could it be possible for Megamind to switch roles, become the hero, and win the intrepid reporter Roxanne (Tina Fey) in the process?

Packed into this funny and engaging story we find a lesson on redemption. Megamind, who thought stealing all the artwork in the museum and painting his name all over town would be satisfying, finds he cares more about the respect of one woman than the subjugation of Metro City. Maybe he never really wanted to be bad after all. Maybe he can change.

Rated PG, the movie provokes lots of laughs and will entertain parents as well as children, without resorting to potty humor. While not quite up to the level of Pixar's Toy Story 3, this movie is certainly one of the best animated films of the year.

Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a former WORLD correspondent.


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