We all know there have been many films about orphans and the way they fall into some unsuspecting Joe’s life who has never had children before. We also all know that by the end of the story their usual carefree lifestyle has been significantly changed by the presence of unwanted responsibility and the unexpected rewards that raising children can bring.  Usually this change and mentality in our new parent’s life is a positive one and everyone lives happily ever after.

            Despicable Me proves to be much more than this.  Sure, it follows this basic concept and you can almost guess how everything is going to turn out but what is not predictable about the film is how the characters arrive at the end of the story.  Therefore it is not your average bachelor meets orphans fairytale.

            Our hero… or villain Gru (Steve Carrell), which is actually what he is in the movie, is seen as a disappointment across the “bad guy world”.  Although he has the smarts, the evil scientist/inventor sidekick, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), and around a ka-jillion silly childlike, yellow minions who are just waiting to do his every bidding, he still seems to fall short on the super-villain scale.  The new kid in town, Vector (Jason Segel), pulls off one of the greatest diabolical plans in the apparent history of evilness and leaves Gru wondering why he didn’t think of it first.

            In an attempt to finally cement his place as one of the greatest evil minds ever, he hatches an even better plan but in order to pull it off he needs the, unbeknownst to them, help of three little orphan girls.  So he adopts Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) to assist him in the completion of his plan.

            Gru’s character in general, even though he is a very cold and tentatively mean person, is quite funny to watch.  At the very beginning the audience gets a look into his everyday life and can’t help but laugh at his mean exploits toward the citizens in his town.  His unpleasantness continues after he decides to bring the three orphan girls into his home and life.  Despite his negative attitude towards these very sweet children, they maintain their hope that they have finally been adopted by someone who is going to care and love them the way they have always hoped.  Their smiles of positivity, little by little begin to break though their foster parent’s tough exterior in the most hilarious ways.

            With a main story that dials up the funny combined with many more than amusing side tidbits (like a carnival booth worker picking his nose and desperately trying to wipe his findings on the booth counter) to consistently keep the audience’s attention, there is almost never a dull moment.  Just when you think there’s going to be a break in jokes, there isn’t.  Right after you have finished processing one gut buster, another line or occurrence that will have you covering your mouth because you think you might be too loud will happen to keep the funny going.

            Of course there are some mushy moments that are obviously expected in an animated children’s film about a mean person and a group of orphans.  But they come at the right time and aren’t overly concentrated on because you know they are going to happen.  There are a few minor adult moments that children will not really understand but you can tell the cast and crew probably had the parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and family friends who sacrificed their weekend afternoons to entertain young children, in mind when they put them in the film.

            With the “It’s so Fluffy!!” and the constant rough housing of the minions being my favorite parts and thoroughly enjoying the outrageous lows and highs that this animated ride from Universal takes you on, I give Despicable Me “4.5 little, yellow dedicated minions out of 5”.

-“Tonight we’re going to read a different bedtime story”-“What happened to ‘Three Little Kittens’?”

-“That book was accidentally destroyed…maliciously”      

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