Despicable Me, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2010)
Animation feature; Voices of Steve Carell & Julie Andrews
Directors: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Producer: Chris Meledandri
Studio: Illumination/Universal 61112489 [12/14/10]
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 color 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DD 2.0, French or Spanish DTS 5.1
Extras: 3 Mini-Movies of the Minions: Orientation Day, Home Makeover, Banana; Gru-Control; Pocket BLU; BD-Live features; “The World of Despicable Me;” Despicable Beats; Gru’s Rocket Builder; Miss Hattie’s Top Secret Cooke Recipes; Commentary track with the directors & the Minions; “The Voices of Despicable Me;” Super Silly Fun Land; D-Box signals; more
Length: 1 hr. 35 min.
While not quite up to Pixar animation level, Despicable Me surprised me by being very funny and enjoyable, though often silly to the point of appealing more to kids than adults. Chris Meledandri also gave us Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who! Gru is supposed to be the world’s top villain, though he is aging and threatened by the young villain Vector – who looks like a young Bill Gates in an orange jump suit. (The voice of Jason Segel.) Vector has just stolen the pyramid of Giza by shrinking it with his shrink ray. Gru – Steve Carell voicing a highly fake Russian accent – plans to outdo Vector by stealing his shrink ray and using it to shrink and steal the moon. Which involves a few setbacks.
He is aided in his nefarious doings by his aged scientist sidekick Dr. Nefario and a whole basement of tiny Minions who build the freeze guns, rockets, robots designed as chocolate chip cookies, and other really evil gear that Gru employs. The Minions are little yellow cylinders with one or two goggle eyes who don’t speak much – sort of similar to Mini-Me multiplied by the hundreds. (The three mini-movies in the extras are all about the Minions; view them after seeing the feature or they won’t make much sense. Actually, the third one doesn’t make much sense even after seeing the feature.)
Somehow or other Gru decides he needs to adopt three little orphan girls to further his plans. Their attempts to get him to be a good daddy are quite funny, and eventually Gru is shown to have a good heart under all that villainy. Though the humor is often juvenile, it’s an imaginative family movie that should entertain. It’s also now available in a 3D version, which I’m told is quite effective.
— John Sunier