Rating: 14/20 (Jen: 16/20; Dylan: 14/20; Emma: 16/20; Abbey: 20/20)
Plot: Oddly-shaped supervillain Gru is losing his touch. He's finding it increasingly difficult to get funding through the Bank of Evil for his evil-doings, and the neophyte criminal mastermind Vector, a guy who managed to steal the a pyramid of Giza, is stealing his thunder. Gru decides to use a shrink ray gun to shrink and then steal the moon. Unfortunately, Vector snags his shrink gun and Gru is having a difficult time retrieving it. When he finds out that his nemesis has a weakness for cookies sold by a triad of orphans, he decides to adopt the children and use them to get his shrink gun back.
Newcomer Illumination Studios combines a hilarious script, some wonderful visual humor, lovable characters, great voice talents, and some good old-fashioned cartoony funk to create a very good first full-length feature. It's strange because I really didn't think I was enjoying this very much, but the characters and story grew on me quickly. I wasn't sure what Steve Carell was doing with his voice, but that grew on me, too. Without the central character working, this wouldn't have succeeded at all, but Gru has the right combination of dim-witted and criminal genius, submerged emotional stuff and genuine mean-spiritedness. I enjoyed watching him do his evil thang throughout the story and bought his predictable transformation. The narrative is paced well with the right amounts of action, humor, and emotion, but there were some moments that seemed extraneous and unnecessary. The music's a little hit or miss, too. My biggest gripe would be with the Minions, the yellow pill-shaped guys. They're there, I suppose, to add to the cuteness and general hilarity, but a lot of the time, they're just kind of obnoxious. Overall, however, this is some fun animation, and everybody in my family enjoyed it. Their exact words, when asked:
Jen: It was fun.
Emma: It was fun.
Abbey: It was funny.
Dylan: It was fun.