Pixar has upped the ante for animated flicks. They are no longer just “kid’s movies.” Pixar has turned animated films into a powerful, lightweight form of art that absolutely anyone can enjoy. While other studios have succeeded in reproducing the similar effect (How To Train Your Dragon, Fantastic Mr. Fox), there are many more that attempt and fail. Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me is one of the failures.
In the world of Despicable Me, old school villains are constantly having to out-do their previous heists in order to keep up with the new school. When a new young villain named Vector (voiced by Jason Segel, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) steals a pyramid, old school Gru (voiced by Steve Carell, The Office) must plan the biggest heist of all time – he is going to steal the moon.
Of course, this requires more than any man can possibly do, so Gru must first steal the world’s first shrink-gun in order to make it possible. Shortly after doing so, Vector steals the gun from Gru, making it impossible to complete his heist. In a last-ditch effort to get the gun back, Gru must penetrate Vector’s fortress using his only weakness – the inability to turn down girl scout-esque cookies. For this feat, Gru adopts three orphans that end up helping him in many more ways than he originally intends.
This successful new breed of animated films that Pixar has created is both humorous and heartfelt. Despicable Me uses unoriginal potty humor for laughs and textbook manipulation for heart. The result of these two elements ends up making Despicable Me the type of movie that kids enjoy and their parents hate. Instead of being made by filmmakers that are truly passionate about their project, it feels like it was designed simply for profit.
Full of toilet jokes and bad physical gags, there isn’t much here that any adult would find entertaining – it’s all lowbrow, common denominator. Parents, instead of taking your children to see Despicable Me, save yourself 95 minutes and ump-teen dollars (because it is in 3-D) and let the grandparents take them to see this boring tale.
Photo credit: Universal Pictures