Despicable Me (franchise)

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Despicable Me
Despicable Me logo.svg
Creator Sergio Pablos[1]
Films and television
Short films
Video games
  • Despicable Me: The Game
  • Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
  • Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Theme parks

Despicable Me is a computer-animated comedy film franchise distributed by Universal Pictures and produced by Illumination Entertainment, that consists of three feature films, six short films and additional merchandise. It centers on Gru, a super-villain; his yellow-colored Minions; and on three orphans, Margo, Edith and Agnes. It began with the 2010 film, Despicable Me, and its 2013 sequel, Despicable Me 2. A spin-off/prequel featuring Gru's minions, titled Minions, is set to be released in 2015. The franchise also includes a simulator ride attraction Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Feature films[edit]

Despicable Me (2010)[edit]

Main article: Despicable Me

Despicable Me, the first film in the series, and the first film from Illumination Entertainment, was released on July 9, 2010. It was directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, based on an original story by Sergio Pablos. The film stars Steve Carell as the voice of Gru, Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, Dana Gaier as Edith, Elsie Fisher as Agnes, Jason Segel as Vector, Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario and Julie Andrews as Marlena, Gru's mother. It tells the story of Gru, a super-villain who adopts three girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes, from an orphanage to try and steal a shrink ray from Vector (otherwise known as Victor), his rival, to shrink and steal the Earth's moon. Despicable Me received positive reviews, and grossed over $543 million worldwide, against a budget of $69 million, launching a new franchise.

Despicable Me 2 (2013)[edit]

Main article: Despicable Me 2

A sequel, titled Despicable Me 2, released on July 3, 2013, was directed again by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier,[2] and Elsie Fisher[3] retake their roles as Gru, Doctor Nefario, Margo, Edith and Agnes, respectively.[4] Kristen Wiig, who voiced Miss Hattie in the first film, voices Lucy Wilde, an agent of the Anti-Villain League who recruits Gru to take down a new villain. New cast members include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo, the film's main antagonist;[5] Bratt replaced the previously cast Al Pacino.[6] Steve Coogan voices Silas Ramsbottom, head of the Anti-Villain League (AVL).[4] The sequel met with positive reviews and grossed more than its predecessor with over $970 million worldwide.[7][8]

Despicable Me 3 (2017)[edit]

Steve Burke, the NBCUniversal CEO, confirmed in September 2013, that a third film in the Despicable Me series is in the works.[9] In January 2014, it was announced to be released on June 30, 2017.[10]

Spin-off films[edit]

Minions (2015)[edit]

Main article: Minions (film)

A spin-off prequel feature film, featuring the Minions as the main characters, is scheduled to be released on July 10, 2015.[11] Written by Brian Lynch, it will be directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healey.[12] Sandra Bullock will voice Scarlet Overkill, the villain of the film[13] and Jon Hamm will voice her husband and inventor, Herb Overkill.[14]

The film will focus on the Minions, which are yellow henchmen who have existed since the beginning of time, serving history's most ambitious villains. Destroying all bad guys through their ineptitude, the story picks up in 1968, where three of the Minions set out to find a new evil master. Arriving at a villain convention, they compete for the right to be henchmen for Scarlet Overkill, a stylish and ambitious villain determined to dominate the world and become the first female super-villain.[13][14]

Short films[edit]

Three short films based on the Despicable Me films, Home Makeover, Orientation Day and Banana were released in 2010, on the film's DVD and Blu-ray.[15] Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray release in 2013 included another three short films: Puppy, Panic in the Mailroom, and Training Wheels.[16] A series of Minions short films will screen in 2015 with Minions.[17]

Home Makeover (2010)[edit]

Two minions help Margo, Edith and Agnes renovate Gru's house, so the inspector does not take the girls back to Miss Hattie's Home for Girls.

Orientation Day (2010)[edit]

Three new minions go for bomb-carrying duty, which was harder than they thought when they suddenly have an argument with two others carrying a giant bomb.

Banana (2010)[edit]

Three minions fight over a banana, in the process they wreak havoc in the Minions' workplace.

Puppy (2013)[edit]

Dave the minion watches neighbors walking their dogs on the street, which leads him to search for a pet puppy of his own. Despite several attempts failing, he comes across a stray UFO that adopts the role of a puppy for him.

Panic in the Mailroom (2013)[edit]

Two Minions (Ken and Mike) are working in a package room to send parcels through different parts of the lab, while Ken is busy playing a handheld video game. When a package containing expired PX-41 (the serum that El Macho used to transform the Minions in Despicable Me 2) gets jammed in the pneumatic delivery system, it transforms Mike into an Evil Minion- but he keeps shifting back and forth, much to Ken's amusement.

Training Wheels (2013)[edit]

Agnes is unsatisfied with her toy bike after collapsing off it while riding to get ice cream. Three minions then volunteer to modify it and help Agnes improve her skills.


Main characters[edit]

  • Felonious Gru: The strong, smart, big, hot tempered, yet reluctant and serious, blue-eyed protagonist of the Despicable Me franchise, voiced by Steve Carell. He has a Russian accent (even though, according to an interview, he comes from Albuquerque, New Mexico), is the adoptive father of Margo, Edith and Agnes, and the current boss of the Minions. At the beginning of the original film, Gru is ambitious, delighted only in his own thefts, and tried to gain approval from his mother, until the girls, who became his daughters soon after, taught him to be more emotional, also that life is more than just being the best and famous, despite Gru seeing them as a threat to his villainous reputation at first. Whenever Gru has an idea, he says "Light bulb." In the second film, Gru leaves his villainous past behind and joins forces - willingly - with the Anti-Villain League (AVL), teaming up with fellow agent Lucy Wilde, whom he would later fall in love with during the film and marry in the end (after 147 dates).
  • The Girls: Gru's three adoptive daughters that somehow boss him around and make him act as someone more emotional, caring and friendly.
    • Margo: Gru's oldest, cynical, sarcastic, somewhat bossy, yet cool, brown-eyed daughter, voiced by Miranda Cosgrove. Of the three girls, Margo is the smartest. She wears glasses, is overprotective of Agnes, and only sees Gru as her father if she thinks he doesn't act too bizarrely to her. In the original film, among the trio, Margo was the most suspicious of Gru when encountering him for the first time, so she took a liking to everything of Gru's possessions the last.
    • Edith: The middle, curious, grey-eyed, tomboy child of the family who (ironically) likes pink, voiced by Dana Gaier. She likes to scare her siblings, but is easily irritated when Agnes sings. Among the girls, Edith in her tomboy personality got into the iron maiden in Gru's house and was the first to take a liking to Gru's weapons (and play with them), minions and talent as both father and villain when he adopted them, then when they were throwing toilet paper everywhere, Edith stated that a minion (mistaking the minion as Gru's cousin) had the idea to do it.
    • Agnes: The happy-go-lucky youngest child, brown-eyed, fond of unicorns and anything that's fluffy, voiced by Elsie Fisher. Agnes is very trusting as seen in the first Despicable Me film, where she was eating candy out of Gru's dog Kyle's food bowl and helping Edith hold the freeze ray, though among Gru's daughters, Agnes likes her father and Kyle, the most, rather than seeing them with suspicion.
  • Minions: Gru's tiny, yellow, loyal yet childish and funny, genetically-mutated henchmen. The Minions mostly speak their own gobbledygook-like language called "Minionese", although they do appear to understand English. They have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single yellow cell organisms into beings, who have only one purpose - "to seek out and serve the most despicable master they can find."[18] In the short film "Banana," the Minions are revealed to have an uncontrollable craving for fruits, especially apples and bananas (and particularly the latter). They also like to sing karaoke and blow things up. They also appear to have a strange obsession with butt jokes (evident by photocopying their own butts in the first film, then laughing at Silas Ramsbottom's surname in the second).
  • Lucy Wilde: A relatively recent member of AVL and Gru's partner in the second film, voice by Kristen Wiig. Being a big fan of his work as a villain, Lucy is anxious to prove her skills. Eventually the pair fall in love and marry at the film's end (after 147 dates).
  • Dr. Nefario: Gru's hearing-impaired gadget man and best friend, voiced by Russell Brand. Even though he likes being with his friend Gru, also he enjoys being with the minions and the girls (since the second film), in Despicable Me 2, Nefario first priority was to be evil, however when Eduardo "El Macho" wants to mutate the minions and shoot Lucy Wilde into the volcano, knowing this will affect Gru and his family, Dr. Nefario gives up his evil ways to be with Gru, the girls and the minions, who he now credits as his family. He seems to have a romantic interest in Gru's mother.
  • Marlena Gru: Gru's mother. She is shown to be very neglectful towards her son, evident whenever Gru makes whatever success he had (such as making a picturesque of him and the moon, making a macaroni-model of a rocket, and even building a successful prototype of the same rocket), she just seems to ignore him. Her neglect and ignorance towards Gru was considered one of the main reasons why he became a supervillain and his cold behavior towards her. However, she admits that she is proud of him of how he raised the three girls, believing him to be a better parent than she is. She also takes an interest towards Dr. Nefario. She is voiced by Julie Andrews in the first film and later makes a silent cameo appearance in the second film.
  • Silas Ramsbottom: Head of the anti-villain league in Despicable Me 2. The minions tend to make fun of his name, Ramsbottom.


  • Victor "Vector" Perkins: A young hotshot villain and the main antagonist of the first film, voiced by Jason Segel. He is most well known for stealing the Great Pyramid of Giza and creating weapons involving sea creatures, such as the Piranha Gun and the Squid Launcher. Because of this, he is made the number one villain of the entire world, surpassing Gru. He is also the son of Mr. Perkins, who is the President of the Bank of Evil that supplies loans to villains in their schemes (formerly including Gru). Vector planned to steal the Moon (which was Gru's idea) with a shrink ray to remain the number-one villain he is now. He is willing to do anything to get his ways, even if it means kidnapping children, such as kidnapping Gru's adoptive daughters to coerce Gru into giving him the shrunken moon. In the end, Vector is left stranded on the Moon's surface as the Moon grows back to its normal size and orbit (since the shrink ray effects are temporary and will wear off faster due to the huge mass of the moon, something Dr. Nefario calls "the Nefario Principle"), much to his dismay.
  • Mr. Perkins: The enormously fat President of the Bank of Evil, voiced by Will Arnett. He is responsible for giving out loans to villain in their schemes, especially Gru. However, he expects his son Vector to take over Gru's plan to steal the Moon, even when Gru successfully shows his plan by taking possession of the Shrink Ray from Vector, Mr. Perkins instead closes his accounts, still believing that Vector should be the right person to get the job done. It is unknown what happened to him following Vector's defeat.
  • Miss Hattie: The charismatic but cruel owner of Miss Hattie's Home for Girls orphanage, voiced by Kristen Wiig. At first, she appears to be sweet, but turns out to be more demanding and selfish. She often uses child labor to run the orphanage, such as telling Margo, Edith and Agnes to clean 'something of hers' after they sell cookies to their customers, and would subject punishment to kids who don't meet up with her demands for the weekend. Gru would later attempt to adopt the three girls from Miss Hattie's orphanage in an attempt to steal the shrink ray before abandoning the girls, but decides that being with them is more important.
  • Eduardo Perez/El Macho: A supervillain and the primary antagonist of the second film, voiced by Benjamin Bratt, formerly voiced by Al Pacino, who left a month before the movie's premiere. As El Macho, he was believed to have died after strapping 250 lbs. of TNT on himself and riding a shark into an active volcano. However, it turns out that he actually faked his death, and he became the owner of a Mexican restaurant. He has a son named Antonio, whom Margo is infatuated with at first, until Antonio abandons her. It turns out that Eduardo was aware of Gru's life as a villain and plans to kidnap most of Gru's minions and mutate them into purple-furred monsters with a dangerous chemical compound he stole called PX-41, and send the mutated Minions to major cities to take over the world. In the final battle, as Gru manages to restore the mutated Minions to normal, Eduardo drinks the compound himself, turning into a big furry monster to fight Gru. He is defeated when Gru uses Lucy's Lipstick Taser to knock him out, and Dr. Nefario incapacitates Eduardo with a Fart Gun. It is unknown what happened to Eduardo after this, though it is most likely he was reverted to normal by the antidote, arrested by the AVL, and sent to prison for life.

Principal cast[edit]

Despicable Me characters
Character Main films Spin-offs Short films Other
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Minions Home Makeover Orientation Day Banana Puppy Panic in the Mailroom Training Wheels Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Felonious Gru Steve Carell Silent Cameo Silent Cameo Steve Carell
Dr. Nefario Russell Brand Silent Cameo
Margo Miranda Cosgrove Miranda Cosgrove Silent Cameo Miranda Cosgrove
Edith Dana Gaier Dana Gaier Silent Cameo Dana Gaier
Agnes Elsie Fisher Elsie Fisher Silent Cameo Elsie Fisher
Minions Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Jemaine Clement Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Pierre Coffin
Vector Jason Segel
Mr. Perkins Will Arnett
Marlena Julie Andrews Silent Cameo
Miss Hattie Kristen Wiig (Mentioned only)
Lucy Wilde Kristen Wiig
Silas Ramsbottom Steve Coogan
El Macho Benjamin Bratt
Evil Minions Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Pierre Coffin
Scarlet Overkill Sandra Bullock
Herb Overkill Jon Hamm
Note: A gray cell indicates that the character did not appear in that medium.

Principal crew[edit]

Film Director Producer Writer Composer Editor
Main series
Despicable Me Pierre Coffin
Chris Renaud
Chris Meledandri
Janet Healy
John Cohen
Cinco Paul
Ken Daurio
Sergio Pablos
Heitor Pereira
Pharrell Williams
Gregory Perler
Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland
Despicable Me 2 Chris Meledandri
Janet Healy
Cinco Paul
Ken Daurio
Gregory Perler
Minions Pierre Coffin
Kyle Balda
Chris Meledandri
Janet Healy
Brian Lynch Heitor Pereira N/A


For more details on the reception of each film, see the "Reception" section on each film's article.

Box office performance[edit]

The film series has grossed a total of $1.513 billion,[26] with an average of $756 million per film, making the Despicable Me franchise the fifth highest-grossing animated franchise (behind Shrek, Ice Age, Toy Story, and Madagascar).

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Despicable Me July 9, 2010 $251,513,985 $291,600,000 $543,113,985 #78 #106 $69,000,000 [27]
Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 $368,061,265 $602,000,000 $970,761,885 #26 #20 $76,000,000 [8]
Total $619,575,250 $893,600,000 $1,513,175,250 $145,000,000 [26]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Despicable Me 81% (191 reviews)[28] 72% (35 reviews)[29] A[30]
Despicable Me 2 75% (165 reviews)[7] 62% (39 reviews)[31] A[30]

Video games[edit]

Despicable Me: The Game[edit]

Despicable Me: The Game is an adventure/action game released with the first film, on PlayStation 2, Wii, and PlayStation Portable systems.[32] During the game, the player controls Gru as he fights off enemies. Despicable Me: The Game – Minion Mayhem, on the other hand, is released on Nintendo DS systems only.[32] Instead of controlling Gru himself, the player controls his Minions.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush[edit]

Despicable Me: Minion Rush app logo

A mobile action video game (developed by Gameloft), titled Despicable Me: Minion Rush, also played as a Minion who must defeat Vector and a villain made for the game, was released with the second film, on iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Android devices.[33][34]

Minions Paradise[edit]

Main article: Minions Paradise

A free-to-play mobile game, titled Minions Paradise, will be released in mid-2015.[35] Playing as Phil, players will help Minions design and build their own utopia set in a tropical environment.[35]


Novels written by Annie Auerbach are based on the films.[36][37][38]

Theme park attractions[edit]

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a simulator ride that opened on July 2, 2012 at Universal Studios Florida and on April 10, 2014 at Universal Studios Hollywood, starring Steve Carell as Gru, Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, Dana Gaier as Edith, Elsie Fisher as Agnes, and Pierre Coffin as the Minions.


In order of the Despicable Me franchise history:

  1. Minions (2015)
  2. Orientation Day (2010)
  3. Banana (2010)
  4. Despicable Me (2010)
  5. Home Makeover (2010)
  6. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem (2012)
  7. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
  8. Puppy (2013)
  9. Panic in the Mailroom (2013)
  10. Training Wheels (2013)
  11. Despicable Me 3 (2017)


  1. ^ "The SPA Studios". The SPA Studios. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  2. ^ Gaier, Dana (June 26, 2012). "@Emilyxoxo708 yes, i was the voice of edith in despicable me and i am working on the sequel :)". Twitter. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Racheal (July 2, 2012). "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is now open at Universal Studios". Behind the Thrills. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Kit, Borys (May 1, 2012). "Steve Coogan Joining Voice Cast for 'Despicable Me 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Al Pacino Departs Despicable Me 2". CraveOnline. May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 3, 2012). "Al Pacino Makes Animated Film Debut In ‘Despicable Me 2′". Deadline. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Despicable Me 2 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Despicable Me 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Comcast's CEO Presents at Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference (Transcript)". Seeking Alpha. September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. One of the real gems inside our company is Illumination the animation studio led by Chris Meledandri and Despicable Me 2, which came out this summer is the most profitable film in the 100 year history of the Universal and there will obviously be another reopening a film called Minions, which are the minions from Despicable Me next Christmas and then there will be Despicable Me 3. 
  10. ^ "Despicable Me 3 and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Set for 2017". January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Universal Dates Minions Movie Dec. 19, 2014". Deadline. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 23, 2012). "Illumination And Universal Hatch ‘Despicable Me’ Spinoff About The Minions". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (February 11, 2013). "Sandra Bullock To Voice Super-Villain In ‘Minions’ Spinoff For Illumination/Universal". Deadline. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (April 30, 2013). "At Illumination, Jon Hamm Lends Voice To ‘Minions’ Movie; Tito Ortiz Returns As Executive". Deadline. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ Calonge, Juan (September 22, 2010). "Despicable Me Blu-ray and 3D BD Announced". Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray". Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ Shaw, Lucas (July 5, 2013). "France Can Now Offer Film Productions 150 % More Money". The Wrap. Retrieved August 20, 2013. The animated short “Minions series,” which will screen next year with a spin-off of "Despicable Me," just qualified for a rebate, as did Eleanor Coppola's "Bonjour Anne." 
  18. ^ "Exclusive: The Synopsis for Minions". June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Despicable Me Minion Dave Plush". Universal Orlando. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c d e Standal, Jeanne (June 28, 2013). "Meet The Minions: DESPICABLE ME 2 Character Posters With Phil, Carl, Tim, Kevin & Stuart". FilmoFilia. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Desicable Me 2". Happy Meal Toys Collection. June 19, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Despicable Me Minion Jorge Plush". Universal Orlando. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "'Despicable Me 2' Minions: 5 Things to Know". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  26. ^ a b "Franchises - Despicable Me". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Despicable Me". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Despicable Me (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Despicable Me". Metacritic. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "CinemaScore". Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Despicable Me 2". Metacritic. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b D3Publisher (July 6, 2010). "D3Publisher Launches Despicable Me TM: The GameTM for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PlayStation®2 System and PSP® System" (Press release). Business Wire. Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  33. ^ O'Connel, Sean (May 30, 2013). "'Despicable Me' Game: Our Exclusive First Look at 'Minion Rush'". Fandango. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Gameloft, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment Launch "Despicable Me: Minion Rush"". PR Newswire. June 13, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b Morris, Chris (April 7, 2015). "‘Minions Paradise,’ Other Mobile Games Set Under EA Pact with Illumination and Universal". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 
  36. ^ "AudioFile audiobook review: DESPICABLE ME By Annie Auerbach, Read by Tim Curry". AudioFile. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  37. ^ "Book Reviews - Despicable Me: The Junior Novel by Annie Auerbach". DogoBooks. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  38. ^ "Despicable Me 2: The Junior Novel by Annie Auerbach". Goodreads. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 

External links[edit]