Move over How to Train Your Dragon, Universal Pictures is releasing their animated feature Despicable Me in hopes of cashing in on some that 3D family-fun. The film stars “The Office’sSteve Carell, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segel and Get Him to the Greek’s Russell Brand. With those 3 as the main actors it sounds like a match made in comedy heaven, right? The movie does have its funny moments and is filled with plenty of entertaining material but it’s in no shape or form the best animated film of the season (Toy Story 3 took that honor)…

The Players:

  • Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
  • Writers: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul, Sergio Pablos (story)
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove,Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Julie Andrews
  • Original Music By: Heitor Pereira, Pharrell Williams

The Plot:

Despicable Me centers on a villain named Gru, who plans on taking over the world. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he runs into a trio of orphan girls whom he adopts and plans on using as pawns to defeat his arch rival.

The Good:

  • Voices: Using “name actors” can sometimes distract the audience from an animated character because they visualize them doing the voice. That wasn’t the case here. They all put on an accent of some sort that took away from their persona, which allows you to focus on the character and not the “star” behind the mic.
  • Music: When hip hop artist Pharrell Williams was hired to do some of the music I was worried for various reasons but I shouldn’t have been. The original songs he added to the film fit perfectly. They were catchy but not too over the top. My personal favorite is Gru’s opening tune, the self-titled “Despicable Me.”
  • 3D: The 3D here was nowhere near as amazing as How to Train Your Dragon’s but it was still well done. After a year of sub-par 3D conversions this film was a breath of fresh air.

The Bad:

  • Pace: The beginning of the film is a bit on the slow side. The build up doesn’t exactly keep your attention, which is unfortunate because the last act is thoroughly enjoyable.

The So-So:

  • Story: There’s nothing really original about the story but they try to make it unique in their own way. We’ve seen plenty of bad guys turn to mush in movies before but it’s the emotion that the actor’s put into their performances that sell it.


Despicable Me is a decent animated film marketed towards the family crowd. It has its fair share of problems but in the end it still manages to deliver a nice message about finding family in the most unexpected places.

Rating: 8/10

Despicable Me hits theaters on July 9, 2010.



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Are you interested in seeing Despicable Me this weekend?