Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions attempt to start a legitimate jam and jellies business in order to stay out of the villain business, for his young daughters' sake. This doesn't last too long as the ex-villain gets approached by the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to help catch a new villain that has managed to steal a chemical that can change anything into an evil version of itself. Gru teams up with AVL agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to corner the mastermind, while also making sure that his teenage daughter Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) stays away from boys.
What we thought:
"It's so fluffy!" Agnes' words from the previous Despicable Me accurately describe the sequel to this lovely original story. While rubbing your laughing muscles afterwards you can scarcely believe that this comedic gold is not a Disney-Pixar animation.
The fresh jokes, that I already see becoming popular gifs, and unconventional good guys make for a movie that caters to everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. The girls and minions provide laughter for the younger minds, while Margo's exposure to boys appeals to the high-schoolers. And then of course Gru's over-protectiveness of his family and his anxiety over the dating scene caters to the parents and older audience who know can easily relate.
The newest addition to the Despicable Me family is the strange, somewhat psychotic love interest of Gru's, Lucy Wilde. She is part of the AVL and despite working for the good guys, she has some villainy tendencies. It is refreshing to see a different kind of female secret agent – she is no femme fatale despite her high heels. The voice Kristen Wiig from Saturday Night Live fame is a good match for Steve Carell and I hope to see the duo work together again in the future.
Agnes, along with the Minions, steals the whole show, unicorn and all, and quite possibly completely overshadows Carell and Wiig. The pony-tailed heroine is the youngest of Gru's daughters and is so unbelievably cute that it borders on creepy. And when you see the nine-year-old actress, Elsie Kate Fisher, who plays her, you understand why the animators filmed her tapings so that they can model Agnes' facial features after her.
The Minions got more screen time this time round, and was probably the best choice the production company Illumination Entertainment could have made. Their silly antics, dress-ups and nonsensical speech provide for some hilarious scenes, especially at the end which will leave you crying. It is no wonder that they are already working on a 2014 spin-off that will have the Minions as the leads.
The animators put in a lot of effort and design into their personalities, which is quite impressive for an army that's basically just clones of each other. And the fact that you can tell what they are saying without knowing what they are saying just shows this company can give Pixar a go for its animated money. Make sure to stay through the credits for some more antics from the little yellow... things.
Despicable Me 2 will blow Monsters University out of the water for Best Animation of the Year, partly due to Illumination's use of 3D. There are parts of the movie where you feel like you are one of the characters and the children in the cinema where reaching out to grab some of the many things that jump out at you.
If you don’t know what to do with your kids this holiday, spend the money and go see it with them in 3D. The villains-turned-heroes will definitely lift any winter blues.