The idea of releasing the first five minutes of your movie online as a way of promoting it is something that we’ve only started to see in the last few years, and it was sort of novel the first few times. I remember watching the opening scene of “28 Days Later” online and immediately needing to see the whole thing. It was just a perfect compelling taste of what Danny Boyle had in mind. It’s a good example, because if you’re going to release the opening scenes of your film as a way of promoting it, they’d better grab you right away.
I’ll let you be the judge if Dreamworks Animation has accomplished that with their new film “Megamind,” which I had a chance to see earlier this week.
I’ll be reviewing it once we get a little closer to release, but I think it’s safe to say that this has been one of the very best years Dreamworks Animation has ever had. People have a lot of justified love for “How To Train Your Dragon,” and I think you’ll see a similar reaction to this film when people finally get to see it.
When I moderate the panel for “Megamind” at this year’s Comic-Con, we showed some early scenes that were quite striking, and that hinted at the film’s “big idea,” about a supervillain who finally kills the superhero he is always fighting, only to realize that without a hero, there is no meaning to his life. It’s a great existential dilemma to give a lead character, and in order to make that really work, you’ve got to have some sense of why this character is a bad guy in the first place.
That’s where this footage comes in:
There’s actually a little bit more before that, so it’s not the exact first five minutes, but that is indeed the set-up for the character played by Will Ferrell in the film, Megamind, as well as his goody-goody opposite Metro Man, voiced by Brad Pitt. This film, like “The Incredibles” before it, demonstrates a really sharp understanding of the tropes of superhero storytelling and just how to tweak them. I’ll reserve further comments for the review, but since you’ve seen five minutes of the film now, I want to hear from you.
What did you think?
“Megamind” opens in theaters everywhere November 5th.
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