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February 1, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

This app version of the Dreamworks movie Megamind (2010) is a visually beautiful book on the iPad. It captures all the major plot points from the movie while doing a nice retelling of the story of super-villain Megamind as he kills his nemesis, Metro Man. Then he needs a new challenge, so he creates a new villain, Titan. This gives Megamind the opportunity to become the hero for the first time in his life. For fans of the movie, this iPad book version will be a fun trip through all their favorite scenes.

This book has a small silver diamond that appears when in "read to me" mode only.  Tap this button and a short audio clip plays.  There are a few animated clips as well, but they are very short.  These clips are a nice addition to the book from a parents perspective because they don't overwhelm the storytelling in any way.  Kids expecting an 'animated' title will be underwhelmed by these features, but I realize that this book might be a nice bedtime treat for a child who loves the movie, something that wouldn't be as easy to pull off with a very stimulating title.

One word of caution to parents, though.  A prominent "i" appears on the front page and tapping it takes you to the book's settings.  This includes the choice to "Browse More Books".  In addition, there is a setting to "Subscribe to iStoryTime Newsletter" and another to "Tell a friend ..." and the latter actually opens up your email program.  So, it's best to supervise the set-up of this book for your child if you are concerned that they might play with the settings.

But once it's set up, auto-play is delightful for this book, especially since it has a lot of page turns (65 in all) for a story that lasts barely 6 minutes on autoplay.  There isn't anything interactive to require stopping on each page, either.  This simple, narrated tale set against eye-popping movie graphics, will be a hit with kids who love the movie.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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February 1, 2011

By: Carisa Kluver

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FrogDog Media

Length (time):
6 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 10 +

English •

Length (pages):
65 Pages


Story Synopsis - Megamind

The book follows the movie's plot synopsis very closely:

The film opens with a flashback: as two planets are sucked into a black hole, each one sends out a rocket ship carrying an infant boy of that planet, the last of their kind. One child, a handsome child endowed with superpowers, landed in a mansion and was admired by all; he became the superhero Metro Man. The other, a blue-skinned baby with super genius, ended up in a prison and was shunned by society; he became the supervillain Megamind, Metro Mans rival.

All is as usual in Metro City: the town felicitates Metro Man with the inauguration of his own museum, when Megamind gatecrashes the event and announces that he has (once again) escaped from prison with the help of his childhood friend-henchman Minion and kidnapped Metro Mans girlfriend, reporter Roxanne Ritchi. Megamind lures Metro Man into a sealed observatory which will be blown up by a laser, but the laser takes too long to start up, so once more Megamind has failed and Metro Man is victorious... but Metro Man cant escape the observatory. He states that the observatory is lined with copper, which drains his powers, and the laser activates and incinerates Metro Man to a skeleton. Megamind has fulfilled the supervillains dream, to the shock of everyone (including Megamind himself): he has vanquished the superhero, and Metro City is now his to take over!

Megamind revels in his victory, and sets about vandalizing and pillaging Metro City. However,as time passes he becomes depressed and empty. He realizes that a supervillain has no point without a superhero to fight: without Metro Man, his life has lost all fun, challenge and purpose. He pays a visit to the Metro Man museum to express his condolences, and there meets Roxanne, who has come for the same reason. He disguises himself as the museum curator Bernard, but the two establish a connection with each other. Roxanne is optimistic that a hero will soon rise to oppose Megaminds villainy, and this gives Megamind an idea: he will create a hero to fight, and thus restore balance to Metro City and purpose to his life!

Megamind uses Metro Mans DNA to forge a special serum that provides superpowers. However, Roxanne sneaks into Megaminds lair to find out what his plans are, and in the resulting melee the serum is accidentally ingested by Roxannes friend Hal Stewart, a smug lazy cameraman who has an obsessive crush on Roxanne and whos been overlooked and ignored his whole life. Despite these qualities, Megamind feels Hal was chosen by destiny for heroics. Megamind, disguised as a Space Dad,trains Hal into Titan, Metro Citys new hero. Titan appears to Roxanne and carries out superhuman feats to impress her, but she rejects him because she likes Bernard.

In the meantime, Megamind carries on a romance with Roxanne through his Bernard alias, which starts to give him hope about a normal life, beyond villainy. This unfortunately creates conflict with Minion, who believes that as villains theyll never find romance or acceptance. A quarrel ensues between the duo, which ends with Minion leaving because he thinks Megamind doesnt need him anymore. Later, at a romantic dinner, Roxanne discovers Megaminds disguise and rejects him, for being a supervillain.

Heartbroken and friendless, Megamind does what supervillains do: start a rampage across town and a battle with a superhero. But Titan doesnt show up, and eventually Megamind has to head over to Hals apartment to pick him up. There he discovers Titan has had enough of rejection, and has decided to strike back and become a supervillain. Megamind reveals his Space Dad and Bernard identities to Titan, successfully provoking a superhuman fight. But Titan, gone over the edge, tries to murder Megamind even after defeating him; Megamind barely escapes, and Titan proclaims himself Metro Citys new supervillain and starts tearing up the town.

Noting that a copper-based attack proved ineffective on Titan, Megamind convinces a reluctant Roxanne to head to Metro Mans lair to check for anything that could help stop Titan. They both check out the base, and discover to their shock that Metro Man is staying there, alive! He explains to them that hed always wanted to be a musician, but just like Megamind he got typecast and trapped as a superhero, and eventually the role became too unbearable; he thus faked his weakness to copper and subsequent death, to forever rid himself of heroism. He refuses to return, and nominates Megamind as his successor and Roxanne backs him up, but Megamind refuses as hes condemned to be a villain for life.

Megamind turns himself into the prison he was raised, while Roxanne heads into Metro City to try to reason with Titan. Later, Titan makes a TV broadcast to call outMegamind, showing that hes captured Roxanne. Roxanne begs Megamind to save her and Metro City from Titan, and Minion returns to stand by Megaminds side; this finally inspires him to escape from prison. A fierce battle follows across Metro City, where Megamind eventually defeats Titan by stripping him of his powers, turning him back into Hal.

The film ends with Hal in Megaminds prison cell, and Megamind being accepted and hailed by Metro City as its new hero, with Roxanne as his girlfriend, felicitating his own museum and approval from a disguised Metro Man. [Source: IMDb.com]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read Myself, Read to Me, Autoplay, Narration On/Off, AutoPage Turn, Highlight Text On/Off

App Release Date:


Size: 33.2 MB

Version: 1.3

Lite Version Available: No




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