FAN THEORY THURSDAY: Who is the Real Megamind? Part One
Even though our favorite blue alien threatens to return to supervillainy just so that he can fry me with a giant laser every time I say it: SPOILER WARNING!
Yes, that’s right! After weeks of a seemingly endless busy schedule, I am finally back! Did you miss me? (Just lie and say “yes.” LOL.) One thing has not changed in my absence: I’m not any better at uploading these on time. This post is still a bit late, going up well after midnight, but, as the sun's not quite up, I am still calling this Thursday.
Also, just to confuse everyone, this is going to be a two-part post because, upon realizing how long the first section was growing to be, I decided to be merciful. You’re welcome.
Today’s blog article will look at Megamind’s actual personality type, while next week’s will delve into his persona, his tastes, etc. So you can look forward to more of over-thought insanity to come. Enjoy!
Megamind is an undeniably interesting character, as the mere fact that he still has so many fans, more than a decade later, proves. Part of the reason for this is that he presents an unusually deep and complex personality for an animated film protagonist. This, however, raises the question of exactly how intricate his character really is. What is Megamind’s true personality? Behind the cloak and the spikes, who is he really? Let’s explore that question.
Megamind May Have an ENFP Personality
The DreamWorks team clearly spent considerable effort on developing Megamind’s character, so much so that he can actually be psychologically analyzed. In fact, fans have put a surprising amount of thought into exactly what Megamind’s personality type is. On the FunkyMBTIfiction Tumblr page, MysteryLover123’s submission suggests that the Blue Defender is an ENFP on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Certainly, many of the alien’s actions and traits seem to support this. According to Very Well Mind, ENFP stands for Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceptive, and people with this personality are enthusiastic, creative, inventive, charming, independent, emotional yet logical, and highly energetic. (If that doesn’t sound like our favorite villain-turned-hero, I don’t know what does!) It doesn’t stop there, however, and looking deeper we can see several more ENFP traits in Megamind’s character.
Future Focused and Goal Oriented
This particular personality type is known to be focused on the future, and, in the beginning of the movie, Megamind is obviously dedicated to his goal of one day defeating Metroman and ruling the city. When he achieves his aim, however, the blue man quickly becomes unhappy, and that, too, is an ENFP trait. People with this personality are adaptable, as well as fond of change and challenges, but they harbor a great dislike for dull routines, and tend to become bored and unhappy when they feel stuck in a rut. Relating back to the earlier point, because of their tendency to focus on what’s ahead, they can often fall into this feeling of “melon-coloy” stasis when there is no clear goal.
A Brilliant Mess
Thanks to the combination of inventiveness, creativity, perception, intuition, and adaptability, ENFPs often excel at thinking outside the proverbial box, generating plans and ideas, problem solving, and making new things. (Does that remind you of any animated characters we all know?) However, they also tend to be disorganized and need to feel enthusiastic about something before they can get it done. When they are excited about a task, (which usually means it relates to their future goals,) they may procrastinate a little, but will then throw themselves headlong into it and work almost obsessively to finish it on time. If they decide whatever they’re doing is boring and uninspiring, however, they will procrastinate a lot, be easily distracted, and may simply wander away and never come back to it.
Quite a few of these traits are evident in Megamind’s life and the state of his Lair. The former supervillain’s home is a riot of machines, parts, hanging idea clouds, tools, and seemingly random sundry. (I mean, he used an altered Karate Kid poster mounted in a gilt frame to represent his planned New Hero Training Process rather than simply hanging a note card reading “train new hero” because, apparently, that made more sense to him.) In fact, his creative process is so chaotic that the clearly clean and organized Roxanne had to recreate his hanging idea cloud to have any hope of deciphering his plan.
Furthermore, in both the movie and the comics, Minion is the one who appears to do all the cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning, while the brainbots are responsible for organizing tools and other items. All of this indicates that Megamind probably has a great distaste for the monotony of repetitive chores. Finally, we can also deduce from both the prequel comic The Reign of Megamind and from Roxanne Ritchi’s comments about his plans always failing that, while the blue man’s designs appear to be brilliant, the execution may be rushed, leading to regular mechanical failures. This could very well be due to a tendency to procrastinate.
Caring but Criminal
There are a few more ENFP traits that fit Megamind perfectly, but I’ll focus on just a couple of them. Specifically, ENFPs tend to exhibit “a strong desire to be true to themselves and their values,” as well as a wish to ideally make the world around them match those values. However, they also feel deeply and sincerely care about other people. Perhaps because of this, combined with some of the aforementioned traits, they have a tendency to step into leadership roles. (In fact, they can sometimes be very dominant. That plus all the black leather has led fans’ minds to some rather adult suppositions. I’m just saying.) Indeed, these qualities may be part of why ENFPs have a distinct tendency to disregard rules and butt heads with authority.
Again, all of this might as well be describing our favorite blue alien. Many fans suggest that the mistreatment Megamind endured as a child could have prompted him to decide his local society needed to change and he needed to be the one who changed it. That may be the original reason why he wanted to take over the city, thus putting himself in a leadership role.
In fact, as I mentioned in a previous post, The Not-So-Evil Overlord, a popular fan theory holds that Megamind ruled Metro City’s criminal underworld as a supervillain (and perhaps continues to do so as a hero) in large part because it allowed him to curb violet crime and set certain limits for the good of the city as a whole.
That may seem odd at first, but consider this: in the same aforementioned post, I detailed evidence that Megamind usually set his plots in unpopulated areas, where bystanders would be unlikely to be hurt, as well as refusing to engage in anything worse than vandalism and theft once he had the city at his mercy. Furthermore, when Metro City was truly in danger, Megamind sought Roxanne’s help to save it despite the facts that his choice put his life at risk and that he could have easily fled. So, clearly, he not only legitimately cares about other people but also possessed a drive to lead and, to some extent, protect even when he identified himself as a supervillain. But, of course, however good his intentions may have been, it can’t be denied that he also was clearly comfortable ignoring laws when it suited him.
Then Again, Megamind May NOT Have an ENFP Personality
There are, of course, some fans that disagree with the theory that Megamind is an ENFP. A few suggest that he may actually be an ENTP, as he exhibits several of those traits as well. Because of this there is some discussion among the fandom about which one the blue alien actually is. (That’s hardly surprising since, as you might guess, ENTP and ENFP personalities have several things in common.) To explore this, let’s look at Very Well Mind again. Like their ENFP counterparts, ENTPs are inventive, creative, and independent. They also both share the same dislike for routines and schedules. Unlike ENFPs, ENTPs like a good argument or debate, which could possibly be extended to include Megamind’s apparent enjoyment of banter. Beyond that, as the names suggests, while both are Extroverted, Intuitive, and Perceptive, ENTPs are Thinking rather than Feeling. With an intellect like his, thinking is certainly something the former-villain is known for.
Indeed, ENTPs highly value knowledge, and this definitely seems to fit the Blue Defender’s personality. In fact, it is itself cause for some discussion. A few fans point toward Megamind’s attraction to Roxanne Ritchi’s intelligence as stemming from the value he places on intellect while a larger number suggest that this attraction is actually cultural or biological.
Personally, I think it’s the latter. Among a species clearly adapted for enormous intellects who likely place cultural significance on mental prowess, it would be only natural for high intelligence to be deemed a desirable quality in a mate. In fact, there are related fan theories, supported to an extent by details of the film and other sources, that suggest that Megamind’s high collars—which draw attention to his large head—and drive to show off his brilliant inventions in front of Roxanne may all be a sort of “peacocking” courtship behavior. (For more on that, please read the post entitled Why Kidnap Roxanne.) If this is true, then the appeal of Roxanne’s mental acumen to Megamind’s desires is almost certainly cultural and/or instinctive, not an individual personality trait.
Another aspect of ENTP personalities many fans point to is the fact that ENTPs tend to be less empathetic. Because the emotional aspects of their personal characters are less developed, they can have a harder time remembering to show compassion to others. Well-developed, psychologically healthy, and socialized ENTPs can overcome this enough to be charming and charismatic, but otherwise they often seem unkind and aloof.
Some fans suggest that Megamind’s treatment of Minion is evidence of this trait, but others argue that it might not be. After all, during the film, the former-villain calls Minion his “fantastic fish” and his “best friend.” Despite ordering the henchman around, Megamind can also be seen showing him affection as a child, having destructive fun with him after taking over the city, and displaying great concern for him after his injury near the end. This hardly seems like the actions of someone who is “aloof.” Furthermore, there seems to be a difference between the way Megamind treats Minion when they are alone and the way he treats him when others are around, leading many to suggest that the super-genius’ unfeeling boss act is just that: an act. It is part of his supervillain persona. (We’ll get into that more next week.)
Beyond that, there is another ENTP characteristic which more directly contradicts Megamind’s actions in the movie. People with this particular personality tend to be, if anything, even more focused on the future, so much so that it often excludes serious consideration of the past. Our favorite blue hero, however, specifically says near the end of the movie that “there’s a benefit to losing: you get to learn from your mistakes.” This clearly indicates that he obviously thinks about his past and uses it to inform his present.
So, it appears unlikely that Megamind actually is an ENTP. However, people are not robots installed with particular standard programming, and many possess a large number of one personality’s trait along with a few aspects of another. This may very well be the case with the alien supergenius.
Finally, there are some fans who question whether Megamind actually has either of these personalities. This supposition is based on one particular thing: Megamind’s extroversion is debatable. Those holding this stance argue that the blue alien lives alone with Minion and seems to have no desire for other companionship with the exception of Roxanne Ritchi. In fact, he displays a great distrust for people in general. Could he be an extreme introvert? Again, while others are free to discuss and make up their own minds, personally I have to say no. Megamind’s lack of social interaction stems not from a lack of desire, but from defense mechanisms born out of years of ostracization and bullying, not to mention surviving a childhood in prison.
What makes me so sure? It’s simple. Far from wanting to remain in the background, the blue man clearly enjoys being the center of attention. In fact, he absolutely loves putting on a good show. I mean, he stomps around in giant death machines accompanied by laser light shows and blaring Heavy Metal music. And, just in case someone somehow managed to miss his presence, he broadcasts it all live. You don’t really get much more extroverted than that. That remains true at the end of the film as well. When he becomes a hero, he is perfectly comfortable in front of a large crowd, cracking jokes and dancing on stage.
Considering this, I would argue that his distancing techniques are born of nurture, not nature, and may even be evidence of an anxiety disorder that occasionally rears its ugly head. That would hardly be surprising, given all that he endured during his formative years, and it might explain why he would be so fond of attention while simultaneously distrusting most others.
So, as far as the evidence available from examining Megamind’s character can reveal, it appears that our favorite blue alien is likely an ENFP, possibly with a few ENTP characteristics and an anxiety disorder. Of course, I don’t claim to be a psychiatrist, so this conclusion is certainly open to rebuttal. Whatever his personality may be, however, the mere fact that this animated protagonist can be analyzed this way is more proof of just how much time and effort the DreamWorks team put into developing his character. If anyone ever deserved a sequel, Megamind definitely does!
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