Evil genius adopts three orphans to aid him in his battle against another evil genius. In the course of his travails he finds himself changing to accommodate his newest minions.
Sounds cute, eh?
Well, it is. Very cute. In fact, going in, my big concern in going to see Despicable Me was that it would be overly cute. I mean, kiddie movie, right? Not everyone can be Pixar. The traditional mistake is to go overboard on the sweetness and cute for kiddie fare—you may recall how “edgy” Nickelodeon was by having kid game shows involving a lot of goo—though Dreamworks often goes the other way.
Despicable me does a delicate balancing act, being at times sweet, silly, and also lightly dark and edgy with some nice grown up humor.
The cast is wall-to-wall celebrity, with Steve Carrell playing the lead “villain”, Gru, with a Eastern European-ish accent, Jason Segel as Vector, his Bill Gates-ish nemesis, Russell Brand as Gru’s assistant and Julie Andrews as his mom.
But they’re actually voice acting, so you don’t necessarily hear them, which is kind of nice. I mean, if celebrities are going to take jobs from real voice actors, they could at least, you know, do some real voice acting!
We had a full contingent for this one, with The Old Man, The Boy, The Flower and The Barbarienne all giving thumbs up. And me, too.