Despicable Me 2 is the only Illumination film nominated for Best Animated Feature. Let alone receive an additional Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was an upbeat and inescapable song back in 2013. Despicable Me 2 is a minor improvement over the original, but I do think the song helped its popularity. The computer animation is more polished, there’s still plenty of heart, and the childish humor is just as creative. My brother went to see Despicable Me 2, but I was still a little apprehensive. Hop wasn’t the best follow up to the original and the less said about The Lorax the better. Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, and the rest of the minor cast return to voice their respective characters. Carell and Cosgrove were both done with their shows at the time.
Gru is now an ex-villain who’s perfectly happy being a father to his three girls Margo, Edith, and Agnes. The Minions are also happy making jelly in their former laboratory, but Dr. Nefario decides to part ways with a fart gun salute. The threat this time is a mysterious villain who steals a dangerous mutagen called PX-41 that turns living things into aggressive purple monsters. The Minions were once comedic interludes, but they got so popular that they were given an entire sublot along with 3 short films called Puppy, Panic in the Mailroom, and Training Wheels. Minions are captured, taken to a relaxing resort, and ingested with PX-41. Not to mention the other Minions who join Gru along the way. As a former villain, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to track down the villain behind everything. Steve Coogan voices the hilariously named Silas Ramsbottom who sends his top agent to collect Gru.
Kristen Wiig had a small role in the first movie, but now she’s upgraded to main character as Agent Lucy Wilde. Since Gru is constantly pestered by his neighbor to find a woman, I knew Lucy had to be his love interest. Their relationship is cute, quirky, and a little weird when Lucy drugs Gru’s vapid date voiced by Kristen Schaal. Together they work undercover in the mall to locate their villain. Ken Jeong voices a wig shop owner and potential suspect, but the real culprit is over-the-top Mexican stereotype El Macho. Benjamin Bratt voices the unassuming restaurant owner with an evil chicken, but the role was originally meant for Al Pacino. Pacino actually recorded all of his lines before being replaced. Margo has her own romantic subplot when she develops her first crush on El Macho’s son. Edith is mostly busy playing ninja, but Agnes really wants a mom. Gru rescues Lucy in an even crazier climax that ends with a wedding and more Minionese pop song. Despicable Me 2 should be enough to make fans happy.