Despicable Me started out like a lamb in 2010 and after a few weeks in theaters became a lion. Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s animated movie grossed more than $540 million and became the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. So the new 2013 Despicable Me 2 has a lot of pressure to measure up to.
Gru (voice of Steve Carell), who was a villain in the first movie, is now reformed since he became the adopted father of the adorable girls Margo (voice of Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voice of Dana Gaier) and Agnes (voice of Elsie Fisher).
Dads have dual duty in trying to make a living and giving their children enough attention. So Cru must expand his Minion world, and decides to have them made jelly and jams. But how exciting can that be when he’s been a super-agent spy? Luckily, Gru is contacted by a secret organization dedicated to fight evil around the globe. He takes on the job but is not excited to find out his new partner is the wise-cracking Lucy Wilde (voice of Kristen Wiig).
Basically, there are three subplots in this film. That Cru went from rigid bad guy to unbelievable father is extremely touching. When he can’t find a fairy princess to appear at little Agnes’s birthday party, his heart takes over. He becomes the princess dressed in a huge pink gown and arrives to the delight of the children. Every moment, no matter what matter needs to have his attention on his business; Cru is all about the children. He’s there for them every moment.
Directors, Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, along with writers, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, create different personalities in the three girls. Margo is the oldest and while she’s becoming a typical teen who wants to spend time on her cell phone and be with her friends, she’s always there for her sisters. Edith is a mischievous tomboy, always wanting to know what her dad is up to and how she can be a superhero. In Agnes, the animators have created an adorable, sweet, moon-eyed little girl everyone would want to take home. She really melts Cru’s heart.
Now, there’s someone new to share Cru’s affection as he and Lucy slowly gain affection for each other. The girls push for her and Cru to get together, but Lucy is an agent who has an exciting job that takes her around the world. Would she give all that up to be a mother to three girls?
The third story is about Cru and Lucy trying to save the world. Cru losses his faithful friend Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) to the bad side, and has to figure out if Eduardo (voice of Benjamin Bratt) is really the charming and owner of the Salsa & Salsa restaurant, or has he too gone to the dark side.
There’s much to like about this film. Watchers get warm and fuzzy feelings from the family aspects of the characters. The Minions keep everyone laughing all the way through, even when they turn purple and are supposed to be bad minions. The young kids will really enjoy the animated sequences where things appear to jump out right at them.
Yet, I was disappointed in some elements I think when too far in a movie for kids. In the beginning of the film, Cru comes out at the birthday party with what looks like an Ak47. He pulls the trigger and out pops a balloon. “REALLY!” Parts of the mission to save the world end up in a lot of battles that to me resembled too much of real war, something I think was a little over the top for a children’s movie.
That said, Despicable Me 2 is cute and funny and while it’s hard to create the same diamond twice, it’s still a great getaway for kids and parents.