Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Animated Film Catch-Up: Despicable Me

For those just tuning in, I'm doing my annual marathon screening of every animated film I had a mild interest in seeing over the past few years.  I call this my Animated Film Catch-Up.  We continue now with....

Despicable Me

Animation Studio and Best Known Franchise Illumination Entertainment.  Umm...this is their first film!

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Starring the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russel Brand, Will Arnet, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, and Julie Andrews

The Source of My Mild Interest:  Well, we got a new kid on the block for animation studios.  Illumination Entertainment, made of some former Blue Sky and Dreamworks executives, where they promptly set up shop at Universal Pictures to be Universal's animation provider.  Add to it some shockingly good reviews (including some saying that it was robbed for not getting a Best Animated Film Oscar nomination), and I figured it would be worth checking out.

Plot:  Gru is one of the world's foremost super-villains, and he's finally come up with a plot that will make him #1.  He's going to steal...the Moon!  But in order to accomplish this, he needs a shrink ray, in order to shrink down the Moon and make it pocket-sized.  Now, the shrink ray is currently in the possession of his arch-rival, the villain Vector.  When Gru discovers that Vector has a sweet tooth, Gru figures he'll adopt three little girls, and when the girls sell cookies to Vector, he can steal the shrink ray!  However, these three little girls promptly turn Gru's life upside down.  Will Gru be able to steal the Moon and become the world's top super villain?  Or will these little girls melt his heart before then?

What I Liked:  This is a genuinely funny movie.  And it doesn't come from pop culture references!  It relies quite heavily on good ol' slapstick.  There's some great voice acting going on, too.  Steve Carrel came up with some kind of weird accent for Gru, but it works.  There's some neat concepts, like "the Bank of Evil," which provides funding for super-villains.  And throw in a great jazzy, hip-hop flavoured score, and it's just cool.

What I Didn't Like:  Plot, as you can imagine, is very cliched.  The plot actually isn't that strong, as there's several asides done strictly for comedic purposes.  That gets a little cloying after a while. 

Final Verdict:  It's a cute film that brought the funny.  I kind of liked it.

3 Nibs

I could squeeze in one more before the evening is done...I'm going with Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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