Despicable Me
Created bySergio Pablos[1]
Original workDespicable Me (2010)
OwnerUniversal Pictures (via Illumination)
Years2010–present
Films and television
Film(s)Despicable Me feature films
Short film(s)Despicable Me short films
Web seriesSaturday Morning Minions (2021–present)
Television special(s)Minions Holiday Special (2020)
Games
Video game(s)Despicable Me video games
Miscellaneous
Theme park attraction(s)Despicable Me Minion Mayhem (2012–present)

Despicable Me is a computer-animated media franchise centering on Gru, a reformed super-villain (who later becomes a father, husband, and secret agent), and his yellow-colored Minions. It is produced by Illumination and distributed by its parent company Universal Pictures.

The franchise began with the 2010 film of the same name, which is followed by two sequels: Despicable Me 2 (2013) and Despicable Me 3 (2017); and two spin-off prequels: Minions (2015) and the upcoming Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). The franchise also includes many short films, a television special, several video games, and a theme park attraction. The franchise is the highest-grossing animated film franchise and the 15th highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $3.7 billion at the global box office.

Feature films

Main series

Film Release date Directed by Co-Directed by Screenplay by Story by Produced by
Despicable Me July 9, 2010 (2010-07-09) Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin n/a Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio Sergio Pablos Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and John Cohen
Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 (2013-07-03) Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 (2017-06-30) Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Eric Guillon

Despicable Me (2010)

Main article: Despicable Me (film)

Felonious Gru, a super-villain who adopts three girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, from an orphanage to try and steal a shrink ray from his rival Vector (otherwise known as Victor), to shrink and steal the Moon.

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Main article: Despicable Me 2

Lucy Wilde recruits Gru to the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to try defeating El Macho, a supervillain who reportedly died by riding a shark into an active volcano with 250 pounds of dynamite strapped to his chest and whose body was never found; and his evil Minions, whom he transformed into rabid and indestructible monsters using the stolen PX-41 serum.

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Main article: Despicable Me 3

Gru teams up with his long-lost twin brother Dru in order to defeat a new enemy named Balthazar Bratt, a former child actor, obsessed with the 1980s, who grows up to become a villain after having his show cancelled following adolescence.

Despicable Me 4

Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri revealed in an interview in September 2017 that a fourth Despicable Me film is in development.[2]

Prequel series

Film(s) Release date Directed by Co-Directed by Written by Produced by
Minions July 10, 2015 (2015-07-10) Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda n/a Brian Lynch Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Minions: The Rise of Gru July 1, 2022 (2022-07-01) Kyle Balda Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val Brian Lynch and Matthew Fogel[3] Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and Chris Renaud

Minions (2015)

Logo of the first Minions film
Logo of the first Minions film

Main article: Minions (film)

Minions Kevin, Stuart, and Bob set out to find a new master, and are recruited by supervillain Scarlet Overkill, who later tries to kill them after they steal Queen Elizabeth's crown.

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

Main article: Minions: The Rise of Gru

12-year-old Felonious Gru tries to become evil enough to join the supervillain group the Vicious 6. With the help of his Minions, he must stop the Vicious 6 after he stole a precious object.

Short films

A total of 14 short films have been released in the franchise. Three short films based on Despicable Me (2010) were released in December 2010 on the film's DVD and Blu-ray.[4][5] The Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray, released in December 2013, included another three short films.[6] Three short films were released in 2015 on the Blu-ray and DVD of Minions,[7][8] while one short film was released in the Blu-ray and DVD of Despicable Me 3 (2017).[9]

A short film titled Mower Minions, was released in 2016 with The Secret Life of Pets, being the first short Minions film released theatrically.[10] A second theatrical short film was released in 2018 with The Grinch (2018), while another one was released in The Grinch's DVD and Blu-ray.[11]


Home Makeover (2010)

Released in Despicable Me (2010) DVD and Blu-ray.[4][5]

After the events of Despicable Me, the Minions help Margo, Edith, and Agnes renovate Gru's house, so the social worker does not take the girls back to Miss Hattie's Home for Girls.

Orientation Day (2010)

Released in Despicable Me (2010) DVD and Blu-ray.[4][5]

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.

Banana (2010)

Released in Despicable Me DVD and Blu-ray.[4][5]

Three Minions fight over a banana. In the process, they wreak havoc in the Minions' workplace.

Puppy (2013)

Released in Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[6][12]

A Minion watches neighbors walking their dogs on the street, which leads him to search for a puppy of his own. After several failed attempts, he comes across a UFO that takes the role of a puppy for him.

Panic in the Mailroom (2013)

Released in Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[6][12]

Two Minions work sending parcels through the lab. 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 one of them into an evil Minion.

Training Wheels (2013)

Released in Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[6][12]

Agnes is unsatisfied with her toy bike after collapsing off it while attempting to catch up to an ice cream truck with Margo, Edith, and their friends. Three Minions then volunteer to modify the bike and help Agnes improve her skills.

Binky Nelson Unpacified (2015)

Released in Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[7][8]

The Nelsons' youngest son Binky, having lost his pacificer after a successful robbery at a museum, sets out on a mission to retrieve it.

Competition (2015)

Released in Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[7][8]

Two Minions challenge themselves to numerous attacks, ending up on the lab's conveyor belt in the process.

Cro Minion (2015)

Released in Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[7][8]

Two Minions look after a cave baby while their caveman boss goes to find a bull to eat for lunch. But it is harder than the Minions think.

Mower Minions (2016)

Released theatrically with The Secret Life of Pets (2016).[10]

A group of Minions try to earn some money by mowing a lawn at a local old people's home. But their work results turn out to be chaotic.

The Secret Life of Kyle (2017)

Released in Despicable Me 3 DVD and Blu-ray.[13]

After the events of Despicable Me 3, we follow Kyle and his secret life when Gru and his family are gone.

Yellow is the New Black (2018)

Released theatrically with The Grinch (2018).[11]

Before they all make their big escape from prison in Despicable Me 3, a couple of lucky Minions get a taste of freedom as they break free with the help of one of their fellow human inmates.

Santa's Little Helpers (2019)

Released in The Grinch DVD and Blu-ray.[11]

Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, having been accidentally dropped off at the North Pole, make the most of the situation by trying to become elves.

Minion Scouts (2019)

Released in The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) DVD and Blu-ray.[14]

After being dazzled by the girls, a group of Minions become scouts in an attempt to earn badges.

Minions & Monsters (2021)

Aired on NBC on June 11, 2021.[better source needed]

A rookie Minion join some other Minions in a tabletop role-playing game.

Other media

Television special

Minions Holiday Special is a half-hour compilation of Minions mini-movies, containing Santa's Little Helpers, Training Wheels, Puppy, and Minion Scouts. Additionally, the special includes holiday-themed interstitials featuring characters from Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets and Sing franchises. The special aired on NBC on November 27, 2020.[15]

Miranda Cosgrove, who previously voices Margo in the films, provides narration between the short segments.

Digital series

Saturday Morning Minions debuted on Instagram and Facebook pages of Illumination on June 9, 2021, releasing weekly on Saturdays, and will consist of 40 episodes. The series features a 2D animation style.[16]

Books

In May 2010, three books related to Despicable Me have been published, as well as the children's puppet book featured in the film. The first, My Dad the Super Villain (ISBN 0-316-08382-8), was rated as a preschool book.[17] The second, Despicable Me: The Junior Novel (ISBN 0-316-08380-1), was rated as being a Junior Reader for ages 8 to 12.[18] The third, Despicable Me: The World's Greatest Villain (ISBN 0-316-08377-1), was rated for ages 3–6 years.[19] The puppet book Sleepy Kittens (ISBN 0-316-08381-X) was written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and illustrated by Eric Guillon.[20]

Six books have been released for Despicable Me 2: Despicable Me 2: The Junior Novel,[21] The Anti-Villain League Handbook,[22] Undercover Super Spies,[23] Attack of the Evil Minions!,[24] Make a Minion,[25] and Meet the Minions.[26]

Outside media

Video games

The video game, titled Despicable Me: The Game, was released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii.[27] A Nintendo DS version was released under the name Despicable Me: The Game - Minion Mayhem.[28] Namco also released on July 6, 2010 a version for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch platform entitled Despicable Me: Minion Mania, developed by Anino Games. The game was removed for the App Store on January 1, 2013.[29]

The action video game, titled Despicable Me: Minion Rush, was released on June 13, 2013. The game, developed by Gameloft, was adapted for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone devices.[30] Played as one of the Minions, it allows customization of the character, who must perform various tasks, including defeating Vector and a new villain created for the game, to earn the title of Minion of the Year.[30][31] The game was downloaded more than 100 million times in the first three months after its release,[32] and won a British Academy Children's Award in the category BAFTA's Kids' Vote.[33] By June 2021, the game hit 1 billion downloads worldwide across iOS, Android, and other devices.[34]

The free-to-play mobile game developed by Electronic Arts (otherwise known as EA), titled Minions Paradise, was released in the summer of 2015.[35] Playing as Phil, players will help Minions design and build their own utopia set in a tropical environment.[35]

Theme park attraction

Main article: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a simulator ride that opened on July 2, 2012, at Universal Studios Florida and on April 12, 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. A similar attraction (featuring a Japanese voice cast) opened on April 21, 2017, at Universal Studios Japan.

Characters

Main characters

Antagonists

Cast and crew

Voice cast

Characters Main films Attraction Spin-off films Television special
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Minions Minions: The Rise of Gru Minions Holiday Special
2010 2013 2017 2012 2015 2022 2020
Felonious Gru Steve Carell Silent role
Margo Miranda Cosgrove
Edith Dana Gaier
Agnes Elsie Fisher Nev Scharrel Elsie Fisher
Dr. Nefario Russell Brand Silent role Russell Brand
Minions Pierre Coffin
(Kevin, Stuart, Bob, Tim, Mark, and Phil)
Pierre Coffin Pierre Coffin
Chris Renaud
(Dave)
Chris Renaud
(Additional and Evil Minions)
Jemaine Clement
(Jerry)
Victor "Vector" Perkins Jason Segel
Mr. Perkins Will Arnett
Miss Hattie Kristen Wiig
Marlena Julie Andrews Silent cameo Julie Andrews Silent cameo Julie Andrews
Lucy Wilde Kristen Wiig
Eduardo Perez / El Macho Benjamin Bratt Silent cameo
Silas Ramsbottom Steve Coogan
Antonio Pérez Moisés Arias
Balthazar Bratt Trey Parker
Dru Steve Carell
Fritz Steve Coogan
Clive Andy Nyman
Scarlet Overkill Sandra Bullock
Herb Overkill Jon Hamm
Queen Elizabeth II Jennifer Saunders
Walter Nelson Michael Keaton
Madge Nelson Allison Janney
Belle Bottom Taraji P. Henson
Jean Clawed Jean-Claude Van Damme
Nunchuck Lucy Lawless
Svengeance Dolph Lundgren
Stronghold Danny Trejo
Wild Knuckles Alan Arkin
Master Chow Michelle Yeoh
TBA RZA

Crew

Role Main films Spin-offs
Despicable Me
(2010)
Despicable Me 2
(2013)
Despicable Me 3
(2017)
Minions
(2015)
Minions: The Rise of Gru
(2022)
Directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda
Co-director:
Eric Guillon
Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Kyle Balda
Co-directors:
Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val[47]
Producers Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and John Cohen Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy and Chris Renaud
Writer(s) Screenplay:
Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Story:
Sergio Pablos
Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio Brian Lynch Brian Lynch[48] and Matthew Fogel[49]
Composer(s) Heitor Pereira
Original Songs and Themes by:
Pharrell Williams
Heitor Pereira
Editor(s) Pamela Ziegenhagen-Shefland and Gregory Perler Gregory Perler Claire Dodgson
Production company Illumination
Distributor Universal Pictures

Reception

Box office performance

The franchise has grossed a total of more than $3.7 billion,[50] making the Despicable Me franchise the highest-grossing animated film franchise,[51] and the 15th highest-grossing film franchise of all time.[52]

Film U.S. release date Box office gross All-time ranking Budget Ref(s)
U.S. and Canada Other territories Worldwide U.S. and Canada Worldwide
Despicable Me July 9, 2010 $251,513,985 $291,600,000 $543,113,985 110 163 $69 million [53]
Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 $368,061,265 $602,700,620 $970,761,885 38 34 $76 million [54]
Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 $264,624,300 $770,175,109 $1,034,799,409 96 25 $80 million [55]
Despicable Me films $884,199,550 $1,664,475,729 $2,548,675,279 $225 million
Minions July 10, 2015 $336,045,770 $823,352,627 $1,159,398,397 49 14 $74 million [56]
Minions: The Rise of Gru July 1, 2022
Total $1,220,245,320 $2,487,828,356 $3,708,073,676 18 13 $299 million [50][57]

Critical and public response

Film Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[58]
Despicable Me 81% (202 reviews)[59] 72 (35 reviews)[60] A
Despicable Me 2 75% (186 reviews)[61] 62 (39 reviews)[62] A
Minions 55% (222 reviews)[63] 56 (35 reviews)[64] A
Despicable Me 3 59% (198 reviews)[65] 49 (37 reviews)[66] A–

Accolades

Academy Awards

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Animated Feature Nominated[67]
Original Song Nominated[67]

Golden Globe Awards

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Best Animated Feature Film Nominated[68] Nominated[69]

BAFTA Awards

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Animated Film Nominated[70] Nominated[71] Nominated[72]

Critic's Choice Awards

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Best Animated Feature Nominated[73] Nominated[74] Nominated[75]

Annie Awards

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Best Animated Film Nominated[76] Nominated[77] Nominated[78]

Producers Guild of America Award

Award Main series Spin-offs
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 3 Minions
Best Animated Motion Picture Nominated[79] Nominated[80] Nominated[81] Nominated[82]

References

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