Despicable Me
Created bySergio Pablos[1]
Original workDespicable Me (2010)
OwnerUniversal Pictures (via Illumination)
Years2010–present
Films and television
Film(s)Main series: Prequel series:
Short film(s)Despicable Me short films
Web seriesDespicable Me digital series
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 an American media franchise created by Sergio Pablos. It centers on a former supervillain turned secret agent named Gru and his yellow-colored Minions. The franchise is produced by Illumination and distributed by its parent company Universal Pictures.

The franchise began with the 2010 film of the same name, which was followed by two sequels, Despicable Me 2 (2013) and Despicable Me 3 (2017), with a sequel, Despicable Me 4, coming on July 3, 2024; and by two spin-off prequels, Minions (2015) and Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). The franchise also includes many short films, a television special, several video games, and a theme park attraction. It is the highest-grossing animated film franchise, the 15th highest-grossing film franchise of all time and also one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Feature films

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
Main series
Despicable Me July 9, 2010 Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and Sergio Pablos Chris Meledandri, John Cohen, and Janet Healy
Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda
Co-director:
Eric Guillon
Despicable Me 4 July 3, 2024 Chris Renaud
Co-director:
Patrick Delage
Mike White and Ken Daurio Chris Meledandri and Brett Hoffman
Prequel series
Minions July 10, 2015 Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda Brian Lynch Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy
Minions: The Rise of Gru July 1, 2022 Kyle Balda
Co-directors:
Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val
Brian Lynch and Matthew Fogel Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy, and Chris Renaud

Main series

Despicable Me (2010)

Main article: Despicable Me (film)

Longtime supervillain Gru formulates a plan to steal the Moon. Meanwhile, he starts a family by adopting three orphan girls, and must decide where his commitments lie.[2][3]

Despicable Me debuted at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 9, 2010,[4] and was released in the United States on July 9.[5]

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Main article: Despicable Me 2

Gru is recruited by agent Lucy Wilde, who is investigating a theft of the mutagen called PX-41, stolen from the Arctic Circle. During their investigations,[6][7][8] they extract Eduardo Pérez / El Macho,[9][10] a supervillain with the goal of causing world domination after faking his death.[6][10]

Despicable Me 2 debuted in Australia on June 5, 2013,[11] and was released in the United States on July 3.[12]

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Main article: Despicable Me 3

Gru teams up with his long-lost twin brother Dru to stop Balthazar Bratt, a former child actor of the 1980s, from destroying Hollywood, Los Angeles, after his show is canceled.[13][14]

Despicable Me 3 debuted at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 14, 2017,[15] and was theatrically released in the United States on June 30.[16]

Despicable Me 4 (2024)

Main article: Despicable Me 4

Gru, who is now raising a baby, faces Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina, two villains who seek revenge on Gru and his family, forcing the family to go on the run.[17]

Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri revealed in an interview in September 2017 that a fourth Despicable Me film is in development.[18] On February 18, 2022, Universal scheduled the film for a July 3, 2024 release.[19]

Prequel series

Minions (2015)

Logo of the first Minions film

Main article: Minions (film)

The Minions search for their replaceable evil master after accidentally killing all of those in history.[20]

Minions debuted in London on June 11, 2015,[21] and was released in the United States on July 10.[22]

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)

Main article: Minions: The Rise of Gru

Logo of Minions: The Rise of Gru.

An eleven-year-old Gru plans to become a supervillain with the help of his Minions, which leads to a showdown with a malevolent team, the Vicious 6.[23]

Minions: The Rise of Gru debuted at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 13, 2022,[24] and was released in the United States on July 1.[25]

Short films

A total of 18 short films have been released in the franchise. Three short films based on Despicable Me were released in December 2010 on the film's DVD and Blu-ray.[26][27] The Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray, released in December 2013, included another three short films.[28] Three short films were released in 2015 on the Blu-ray and DVD of Minions,[29] while one short film was released in the Blu-ray and DVD of Despicable Me 3.[30]

A short film titled Mower Minions was released in 2016 with The Secret Life of Pets, being the first short film to be released theatrically.[31] A second theatrical short film was released in 2018 with The Grinch, while another one was released in The Grinch's DVD and Blu-ray.[32]

Home Makeover (2010)

Released on the Despicable Me DVD and Blu-ray.[26][27]

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 on the Despicable Me DVD and Blu-ray.[26][27]

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 on the Despicable Me DVD and Blu-ray.[26][27]

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

Puppy (2013)

Released on the Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[28]

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 on the Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[28]

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 on the Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[28]

Agnes is unsatisfied with her toy bike after falling 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 on the Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[29]

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

Competition (2015)

Released on the Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[29]

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

Cro Minion (2015)

Released on the Minions DVD and Blu-ray.[29]

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).[31]

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 on the Despicable Me 3 DVD and Blu-ray.[30]

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).[32]

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 on The Grinch DVD and Blu-ray.[32]

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 on The Secret Life of Pets 2 DVD and Blu-ray.[33]

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[citation needed] and included in the Minions: The Rise of Gru DVD and Blu-ray.[34]

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

Post Modern Minion (2022)

Released on the Minions: The Rise of Gru DVD and Blu-ray.[34]

When a Minion crashes into an art gallery, an art critic praises his creation and he becomes an overnight celebrity.

Mooned (2023)

Released theatrically with Migration (2023).[35]

Taking place sometime after the events of the first film, Vector Perkins, still stuck on the Moon, attempts to escape.

Midnight Mission (2024)

Released on the Migration 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, DVD and Blu-ray.[36]

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.[37]

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

Digital series

Saturday Morning Minions debuted in the United States on Instagram and Facebook pages of Illumination on June 9, 2021, releasing weekly on Saturdays, and consists of 40 episodes. The series features a 2D animation style.[38] Who's Who will be released on TikTok and subsequently on YouTube.[39]

Outside media

Video games

The video game, titled Despicable Me: The Game, was released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii.[40] A Nintendo DS version was released under the name Despicable Me: The Game - Minion Mayhem.[41] 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 from the App Store on January 1, 2013.[42]

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, Apple TV,[43] Android, and Windows Phone devices. 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.[44][45] The game was downloaded more than 100 million times in the first three months after its release.[46] The game won a British Academy Children's Award in the category BAFTA's Kids' Vote and a Kids' Choice Award for Favorite App.[47][48][49] By June 2021, the game hit 1 billion downloads worldwide across iOS, Android, and other devices.[50]

The free-to-play mobile game developed by Electronic Arts (otherwise known as EA), titled Minions Paradise, was released in the summer of 2015.[51] Playing as Phil, players will help Minions design and build their own utopia set in a tropical environment. The game was removed from the App Store on May 22, 2017.[51]

Theme park attractions

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.

In addition to the Minion Mayhem attraction, Universal Studios Florida features an entire Minions Land with a moving-walkway shooter attraction titled Villain-Con: Minion Blast.[citation needed]

Characters

Main characters

Antagonists

Voice cast

List indicator(s)

This section includes characters who will appear or have appeared in the feature films.

Character 2010 2013 2015 2017 2022 2024
Despicable Me Despicable Me 2 Minions Despicable Me 3 Minions:
The Rise of Gru
Despicable Me 4

Introduced in Despicable Me

Gru Steve Carell[62][63][64]
Vector Jason Segel[65]
Dr. Nefario Russell Brand[66] Russell Brand[67]
Miss Hattie Kristen Wiig[66]
Margo Miranda Cosgrove[66] Miranda Cosgrove[68] Miranda Cosgrove[62]
Mr. Perkins Will Arnett[69] Will Arnett[70]
Marlena Julie Andrews[71] Julie Andrews[71]
Edith Dana Gaier[72] Dana Gaier[72] Dana Gaier[73]
Agnes Elsie Fisher[74] Nev Scharrel[75] Madison Polan[73]
Minions Pierre Coffin[76]
Chris Renaud[77]
Jemaine Clement[78]
Pierre Coffin[76]
Chris Renaud[79]
Pierre Coffin[76]

Introduced in Despicable Me 2

Lucy Wilde Kristen Wiig[10] Kristen Wiig[68] Kristen Wiig[62]
Eduardo Perez
El Macho
Benjamin Bratt[80]
Silas Ramsbottom Steve Coogan[80] Steve Coogan[70][81][73]
Floyd Eagle-san Ken Jeong[80]
Antonio Moises Arias[82]

Introduced in Minions

Scarlett Overkill Sandra Bullock[83]
Herb Overkill Jon Hamm[84]
Walter Nelson Michael Keaton[85]
Madge Nelson Allison Janney[86]
Elizabeth II Jennifer Saunders[87]

Introduced in Despicable Me 3

Dru Steve Carell[88]
Balthazar Bratt Trey Parker[88]
Fritz Steve Coogan[89]
Valerie Da Vinci Jenny Slate[68]
Clive Andy Nyman[89]

Introduced in Minions: The Rise of Gru

Belle Bottom Taraji P. Henson[67]
Master Chow Michelle Yeoh[67]
Biker RZA[67]
Jean-Clawed Jean-Claude Van Damme[67]
Nun-Chuck Lucy Lawless[67]
Svengeance Dolph Lundgren[67]
Stronghold Danny Trejo[67]
Wild Knuckles Alan Arkin[90]

Introduced in Despicable Me 4

Maxime Le Mal Will Ferrell[73]
Poppy Joey King[73]
Valentina Sofia Vergara[73]

Reception

Box office performance

The Despicable Me franchise has grossed a total of more than $4.4 billion,[91] making it the highest-grossing animated film franchise,[92] and the 15th highest-grossing film franchise of all time.[93] Each film was one of the highest-grossing films of the year.[a]

Each film is linked to the "Box office" section of its article

Film U.S. release date Box office gross All-time ranking Budget Ref.
U.S. and Canada Other territories Worldwide U.S. and Canada Worldwide
Despicable Me July 9, 2010 $251,557,985 $291,600,000 $543,157,985 142 203 $69 million [99]
Despicable Me 2 July 3, 2013 $368,065,385 $602,700,620 $970,766,005 60 56 $76 million [100]
Despicable Me 3 June 30, 2017 $264,624,300 $770,175,831 $1,034,800,131 129 45 $80 million [101]
Main series $884,247,670 $1,664,476,451 $2,548,724,121 $225 million
Minions July 10, 2015 $336,045,770 $823,352,627 $1,159,398,397 74 26 $74 million [102]
Minions: The Rise of Gru July 1, 2022 $369,695,210 $569,933,000 $939,628,210 57 66 $80–100 million [103][104][105]
Prequel series $705,740,980 $1,393,285,627 $2,099,026,607 $154 million
Total $1,589,988,650 $3,057,762,078 $4,647,750,728 18 13 $379 million [91][106]

Critical and public response

Each film is linked to the "Critical response" section of its article

Film Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Despicable Me 81% (202 reviews)[107] 72 (35 reviews)[108] A[109]
Despicable Me 2 75% (186 reviews)[110] 62 (39 reviews)[111] A[109]
Minions 55% (226 reviews)[112] 56 (35 reviews)[113] A[109]
Despicable Me 3 59% (198 reviews)[114] 49 (37 reviews)[115] A–[109]
Minions: The Rise of Gru 70% (177 reviews)[116] 56 (41 reviews)[117] A[118]

Accolades

Despicable Me 2 was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Frozen (2013).[119] The first two films and Minions were nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.[120][121][122] Three Despicable Me films each received a nomination for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature.[123][124][125] The first and second film were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.[126][127]

Notes

  1. ^ Attributed to multiple references:[94][95][96][97][98]

References

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