Despicable Me (franchise)
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|Films and television|
Despicable Me is a computer-animated comedy film franchise distributed by Universal Pictures and produced by Illumination Entertainment. It consists of three feature films, six short films and additional merchandise. It centers on Gru, a super-villain (who later becomes a dad and superhero); his yellow-coloured Minions; and his three orphan girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes. It began with the 2010 film, Despicable Me, and its 2013 sequel, Despicable Me 2. A prequel featuring Gru's minions, titled Minions, was released in 2015. The franchise also includes a simulator ride attraction Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.
- 1 Films
- 2 Spin-off
- 3 Short films
- 4 Characters
- 5 Principal cast
- 6 Principal crew
- 7 Reception
- 8 Video games
- 9 Books
- 10 Theme park attractions
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Despicable Me (2010)
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)
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, and Elsie Fisher reprise their roles as Gru, Doctor Nefario, Margo, Edith and Agnes, respectively. 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; Bratt replaced the previously cast Al Pacino. Steve Coogan voices Silas Ramsbottom, lead director of the Anti-Villain League (AVL). The sequel was met with positive reviews and grossed more than its predecessor with over $970 million worldwide.
Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Steve Burke, the NBCUniversal CEO, confirmed in September 2013, that a third film in the Despicable Me series is in the works. In January 2014, it was announced to be released on June 30, 2017. Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the writers of the first two films, will also return to write the screenplay for the third film.
A prequel, featuring the Minions as the protagonists, was released on July 10, 2015. Written by Brian Lynch, it was directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healey. Sandra Bullock voiced Scarlet Overkill, the villain of the film and Jon Hamm voiced her husband and inventor, Herb Overkill.
The film focuses on the Minions, which are yellow creatures 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 (Kevin, Bob and Stuart) set out to find a new evil master. Arriving at a villain convention, they compete for the right to be henchmen for Scarlet Overkill, the first stylish and ambitious female super-villain.
The spin-off met with mixed reviews, grossing over $1 billion, outgrossing the main movies, making it the 23rd film to gross over $1 billion and the 3rd animated film to do so, after Toy Story 3 and Frozen.
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. Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray release in 2013 included another three short films: Puppy, Panic in the Mailroom, and Training Wheels. A series of Minions short films will screen in 2015 with Minions.
Home Makeover (2010)
After the events of Despicable Me, 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)
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.
Three minions fight over a banana. In the process, they wreak havoc in the Minions' workplace.
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 takes the role of a puppy for him.
Panic in the Mailroom (2013)
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 and himself 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)
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.
Binky Nelson Unpacified (2015)
After a successful robbery at a museum, the Nelsons tell their youngest son Binky (who lost his pacifier in the theft) that now he is a big boy and has to leave his pacifier. Binky at night sneaks into the museum and finds his pacifier. Just as he takes it the guard comes and finds all the museum artefacts missing and finds Binky and tells him to return all the property but instead he causes a statue to fall over the guard and takes his pacifier. In the end the Nelson parents return to see Binky at night in his room and find him sleeping calmly. As they leave the room Binky takes out the pacifier and the guards hat and wears it.
Two Minions challenge themselves to numerous attacks, ending up on the lab's conveyor belt in the process.
Cro Minion (2015)
Two Minions are set to look after a cave baby while a caveman (a prehistoric creature that goes in between homo sapiens and modern human on the evolution chart) goes to find a bull (a male bovine) to eat for lunch. But it's harder than the Minions think.
- Felonious Gru (voiced by Steve Carell): The protagonist of the Despicable Me franchise. He is the adoptive father of Margo, Edith, and Agnes, husband of Lucy, and the current boss of the Minions. At the beginning of the original film, Gru is ambitious, and seeks approval from his mother, until the adoption of the trio convinces him that their happiness is important. In the second film, Gru leaves his villainous past behind to care for the girls, but then soon joins forces - unwillingly - with secret agent Lucy Wilde, whom he later marries.
- The Girls: Gru's three adoptive daughters, whom he constantly seeks to please.
- Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove): Gru's oldest daughter. In the original film, among the trio, Margo was the most suspicious of Gru initially; but came to trust him in the epilogue. She is something of a protectress to her sisters.
- Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier): The tomboyish middle daughter; the first to enjoy Gru's eclectic possessions, when adopted by him. Practices martial arts in the second film.
- Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher): The happy-go-lucky youngest child, and the quickest to trust Gru in the initial film. She is sometimes presented as an innocent, against her more worldly sisters.
- Minions: Gru's small, yellow, comical henchmen who have one or two eyes. The Minions mostly speak their own polyglot-like language called "Minionese", which is partly derived from French, English, Italian, Spanish and Hindi language. Although seemingly nonsensical, the English-sounding words are dubbed for every country, in order to make them recognizable. It is shown in Minions that they have existed since the beginning of life on Earth, and desire above all else to serve the most terrible of villains. In the short film "Banana", the Minions are revealed to have an uncontrollable craving for fruits, especially bananas. The principal minions are Kevin, Bob and Stuart, the heroes in Minions. Bob always carries his teddy bear with him and befriends small animals. Mentioned in the films and other media are Dave, Stuart, Kevin, Jerry, Carl, Phil, Paul, Jorge, Tim, Donny, Mark, Lance, Mike, Ken, Tom, John, Steve, Norbert, Bob, Tony, Chris and Eric.
- Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig): A cunning secret agent who has teamed up with Gru to hunt down an extremely dangerous super-villain. She loves one-upping Gru with her quirky gadgets and has perfected her own form of martial arts by combining jujitsu, krav maga, Aztec warfare and krumping. After 147 dates, she marries Gru and becomes the girls' mother.
- Dr. Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand): Gru's hearing-impaired inventor and partner-in-crime. He seems to have a romantic interest in Gru's mother.
- Marlena (voiced by Julie Andrews): Gru's mother. Her neglect of Gru's ambitions is identified among the main reasons why he became a supervillain. In the denouement of the first film, she admits to him that he is a better parent than her. She later makes a silent cameo appearance in the second film at Gru and Lucy's wedding.
- Silas Ramsbottom (voiced by Steve Coogan): Director of the Anti-Villain League in Despicable Me 2. The minions (and Gru) make fun of his surname.
- Victor "Vector" Perkins (voiced by Jason Segel): The main antagonist of the first film; Gru's rival, and the son of Mr. Perkins, the President of the Bank of Evil that supplies loans to villains in their schemes (formerly including Gru).
- Mr. Perkins (voiced by Will Arnett): The enormously fat and equally strong President of the Bank of Evil, responsible for giving out loans to villains in their schemes. It is unknown what happened to him following Vector's defeat.
- Miss Hattie (voiced by Kristen Wiig in a Southern accent): The charismatic but cruel owner of the orphanage from which Gru adopts his daughters. She often uses child labor to punish her charges.
- Eduardo Perez/El Macho (voiced by Benjamin Bratt; formerly by Al Pacino, who left a month before the film's premiere): A supervillain and the primary antagonist of the second film. 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, with whom Margo is infatuated 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 by Gru and Nefario.
- Meena: A stalker and very bad girl. She only appears in Despicable Me: Minion Rush where, she is the boss of Gru's Street (Residence Area). She launches Cookie-Bots to the Selected Minion, but if the elusive, defeating ends, she will tell her mum.
- Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock): The primary antagonist of the prequel/spin-off Minions. She is the world's first female super-villain who is fierce and bent on world domination. She was furious to take her revenge on the Minions and threatened to kill them after Bob took the throne.
|Characters||Main films||Spin-off film|
|Despicable Me||Despicable Me 2||Despicable Me 3||Minions|
|Felonious Gru||Steve Carell||TBA||Steve Carell|
|Dr. Nefario||Russell Brand||TBA||Silent Cameo|
|Minions||Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud and Jemaine Clement||Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud||TBA||Pierre Coffin|
|Mr. Perkins||Will Arnett||TBA|
|Marlena||Julie Andrews||Silent Role||TBA||Silent Cameo|
|Miss Hattie||Kristen Wiig||TBA|
|Lucy Wilde||Kristen Wiig||TBA|
|Silas Ramsbottom||Steve Coogan||TBA|
|El Macho||Benjamin Bratt||TBA|
|Scarlet Overkill||Sandra Bullock|
|Herb Overkill||Jon Hamm|
- Note: A gray cell indicates that the character did not appear in that medium.
|Despicable Me||Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin||Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and John Cohen||screenplay by:
Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
original songs and themes by:
|Gregory Perler and Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland|
|Despicable Me 2||Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy||Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio||Gregory Perler|
|Despicable Me 3||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Minions||Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda||Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy||Brian Lynch||Heitor Pereira||Claire Dodgson|
Box office performance
The film series has grossed a total of $2.668 billion, with an average of $889.4 million per film, making the Despicable Me franchise the third highest-grossing animated film franchise (behind Shrek and Ice Age), and the 18th highest-grossing film franchises. Despicable Me franchise is the only animated franchise to have two spots in the top five highest-grossing animated films of all time and holds the highest average box office gross per film among all animated franchises in box office history.
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
|Despicable Me||July 9, 2010||$251,513,985||$291,600,000||$543,113,985||#89||#125||$69,000,000|||
|Despicable Me 2||July 3, 2013||$368,061,265||$602,700,620||$970,761,885||#28
|Despicable Me films||$619,575,250||$894,300,620||$1,513,875,870||$145,000,000|
|Minions||July 10, 2015||$334,849,695||$819,533,183||$1,154,382,878||#36
Critical and public response
|Despicable Me||81% (192 reviews)||72 (35 reviews)||A|
|Despicable Me 2||74% (171 reviews)||62 (39 reviews)||A|
|Minions||54% (182 reviews)||56 (35 reviews)||A|
Despicable Me: The Game
Despicable Me: The Game is an adventure/action game released with the first film, on PlayStation 2, Wii, and PlayStation Portable systems. 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. Instead of controlling Gru himself, the player controls his Minions.
Despicable Me: Minion Rush
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, Android and Blackberry 10 devices.
A free-to-play mobile game developed by Electronic Arts, titled Minions Paradise, was released in summer 2015. Playing as Phil, players will help Minions design and build their own utopia set in a tropical environment.
Theme park attractions
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.
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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.
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We just started writing Despicable Me 3,...
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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."
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