Despicable Me, the first film in the series, and the first film from Illumination Entertainment, was released on July 9, 2010. It was directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, based on an original story by Sergio Pablos. The film stars Steve Carell as the voice of Gru, Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, Dana Gaier as Edith, Elsie Fisher as Agnes, Jason Segel as Vector, Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, and Julie Andrews as Marlena, Gru's mother. It tells the story of Gru, a super-villain who adopts three girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, from an orphanage to try and steal a shrink ray from Vector (otherwise known as Victor), his rival, to shrink and steal the Earth's moon. Despicable Me received positive reviews, and grossed over $543 million worldwide, against a budget of $69 million, launching a new franchise.
A spin-off prequel feature film, featuring The Minions as the main characters, is scheduled to be released on July 10, 2015. Written by Brian Lynch, it will be directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healey.Sandra Bullock will voice Scarlet Overkill, the villain of the film, titled Minions, and Jon Hamm will voice her husband and inventor, Herb Overkill.
The film will focus on the Minions, which are yellow henchmen who have existed since the beginning of time, serving history's most ambitious villains. Destroying all bad guys through their ineptitude, the story picks up in the 1960s, where three of the Minions set out to find a new evil master. Arriving at a villain convention, they compete for the right to be henchmen for Scarlet Overkill, a stylish and ambitious villain determined to dominate the world and become the first female super-villain.
Three short films based on the Despicable Me film, Home Makeover, Orientation Day, and Banana were released in 2010, on the film's DVD and Blu-ray.Despicable Me 2 DVD and Blu-ray release in 2013 included another three short films: Puppy, Panic in the Mailroom, and Training Wheels. A series of Minions short films will screen in 2015 with Minions.
Home Makeover (2010)
Two minions help Margo, Edith, and Agnes renovate Gru's house so the inspector doesn't take the girls back to Miss Hattie's Home for Girls.
Orientation Day (2010)
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.
Three minions fight over a banana, in the process they wreak havoc in the Minions' workplace.
Dave the minion watches neighbors walking their dogs on the street, which leads him to search for a pet puppy of his own. Despite several attempts failing, he comes across a stray UFO that adopts the role of a puppy for him.
Panic in the Mailroom (2013)
Two Minions (Ken and Mike) are working in a package room to send parcels through different parts of the lab, while Ken is busy playing a handheld video game. When a package containing expired PX-41 (the serum that El Macho used to transform the Minions in Despicable Me 2) gets jammed in the pneumatic delivery system, it transforms Mike into an Evil Minion- but he keeps shifting back and forth, much to Ken's amusement.
Training Wheels (2013)
Agnes is unsatisfied with her toy bike after collapsing off it while riding to get ice cream. Three minions then volunteer to modify it and help Agnes improve her skills.
Felonious Gru: The strong, smart, big, hot tempered, yet reluctant and serious, blue-eyed protagonist of the Despicable Me franchise, voiced by Steve Carell. He has a Russian accent (even though, according to an interview, he comes from Albuquerque, New Mexico), is the adoptive father of Margo, Edith and Agnes, and the current boss of the Minions. At the beginning of the original film, Gru is ambitious, delighted only in his own thefts, and tried to gain approval from his mother, until the girls, who became his daughters soon after, taught him to be more emotional, also that life is more than just being the best and famous, despite Gru seeing them as a threat to his villainous reputation at first. Whenever Gru has an idea, he says "Light bulb." In the second film, Gru leaves his villainous past behind and joins forces - albeit unwillingly - with the Anti-Villain League (AVL), teaming up with fellow agent Lucy Wilde, whom he would later fall in love with during the film and marry in the end (after 147 dates).
The Girls: Gru's three adoptive daughters that somehow boss him around and make him act as someone more emotional, caring and friendly.
Margo: Gru's oldest, cynical, sarcastic, somewhat bossy, yet cool, brown-eyed daughter, voiced by Miranda Cosgrove. Of the three girls, Margo is the smartest. She wears glasses, is overprotective of Agnes, and only sees Gru as her father if she thinks he doesn't act too bizarrely to her. In the original film, among the trio, Margo was the most suspicious of Gru when encountering him for the first time, so she took a liking to everything of Gru's possessions the last.
Edith: The middle, curious, grey-eyed, tomboy child of the family who (ironically) likes pink, voiced by Dana Gaier. She likes to scare her siblings, but is easily irritated when Agnes sings. Among the girls, Edith in her tomboy personality got into the iron maiden in Gru's house and was the first to take a liking to Gru's weapons (and play with them), minions and talent as both father and villain when he adopted them, then when they were throwing toilet paper everywhere, Edith stated that a minion (mistaking the minion as Gru's cousin) had the idea to do it.
Agnes: The happy-go-lucky youngest child, brown-eyed, fond of unicorns and anything that's fluffy, voiced by Elsie Fisher. Agnes is very trusting as seen in the first Despicable Me film, where she was eating candy out of Gru's dog Kyle's food bowl and helping Edith hold the freeze ray, though among Gru's daughters, Agnes likes her father and Kyle, the most, rather than seeing them with suspicion.
Minions: Gru's tiny, yellow, loyal yet childish and funny, genetically-mutated henchmen. The Minions mostly speak their own gobbledygook-like language called "Minionese", although they do appear to understand English. They have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single yellow cell organisms into beings, who have only one purpose - "to seek out and serve the most despicable master they can find." In the short film "Banana," the Minions are revealed to have an uncontrollable craving for fruits, especially apples and bananas (and particularly the latter). They also like to sing karaoke and blow things up. They also appear to have a strange obsession with butt jokes (evident by photocopying their own butts in the first film, then laughing at Silas Ramsbottom's surname in the second).
The Minions have standard English-style names. Mentioned in the films and other media are Dave, Stuart, Kevin, Jerry, Carl, Phil, Paul, Mike, Jorge, Tim, Donny, Mark, Lance, Mike, Ken, Tom, John, Steve, and Bob.
Lucy Wilde: A relatively recent member of AVL and Gru's partner in the second film, voice by Kristen Wiig. Being a big fan of his work as a villain, Lucy is anxious to prove her skills. Eventually the pair fall in love and marry at the film's end (after 147 dates).
Dr. Nefario: Gru's hearing-impaired gadget man and best friend, voiced by Russell Brand. Even though he likes being with his friend Gru, also he enjoys being with the minions and the girls (since the second film), in Despicable Me 2, Nefario first priority was to be evil, however when Eduardo "El Macho" wants to mutate the minions and shoot Lucy Wilde into the volcano, knowing this will affect Gru and his family, Dr. Nefario gives up his evil ways to be with Gru, the girls and the minions, who he now credits as his family. He seems to have a romantic interest in Gru's mother.
Marlena Gru: Gru's mother. She is shown to be very neglectful towards her son, evident whenever Gru makes whatever success he had (such as making a picture of him and the moon, making a macaroni-model of a rocket, and even building a successful prototype of the same rocket), she just seems to ignore him. Her neglect and ignorance towards Gru was considered one of the main reasons why he became a supervillain and his cold behavior towards her. However, she admits that she is proud of him of how he raised the three girls, believing him to be a better parent than she is. She also takes an interest towards Dr. Nefario. She is voiced by Julie Andrews in the first film and later makes a silent cameo appearance in the second film.
Victor "Vector" Perkins: A young hotshot villain and the main antagonist of the first film, voiced by Jason Segel. He is most well known for stealing the Great Pyramid of Giza and creating weapons involving sea creatures, such as the Piranha Gun and the Squid Launcher. Because of this, he is made the number one villain of the entire world, surpassing Gru. He is also the son of Mr. Perkins, who is the President of the Bank of Evil that supplies loans to villains in their schemes (formerly including Gru). Vector planned to steal the Moon (which was Gru's idea) with a shrink ray to remain the number-one villain he is now. He is willing to do anything to get his ways, even if it means kidnapping children, such as kidnapping Gru's adoptive daughters to coerce Gru into giving him the shrunken moon. In the end, Vector is left stranded on the Moon's surface as the Moon grows back to its normal size and orbit (since the shrink ray effects are temporary and will wear off faster due to the huge mass of the moon, something Dr. Nefario calls "the Nefario Principle"), much to his dismay.
Mr. Perkins: The enormously fat President of the Bank of Evil, voiced by Will Arnett. He is responsible for giving out loans to villain in their schemes, especially Gru. However, he expects his son Vector to take over Gru's plan to steal the Moon, even when Gru successfully shows his plan by taking possession of the Shrink Ray from Vector, Mr. Perkins instead closes his accounts, still believing that Vector should be the right person to get the job done. It is unknown what happened to him following Vector's defeat.
Miss Hattie: The charismatic but cruel owner of Miss Hattie's Home for Girls orphanage, voiced by Kristen Wiig. As first, she appears to be sweet, but turns out to be more demanding and selfish. She often uses child labor to run the orphanage, such as telling Margo, Edith and Agnes to clean 'something of hers' after they sell cookies to their customers, and would subject punishment to kids who don't meet up with her demands for the weekend. Gru would later attempt to adopt the three girls from Miss Hattie's orphanage in an attempt to steal the shrink ray before abandoning the girls, but decides that being with them is more important.
Eduardo Perez/El Macho: A supervillain and the primary antagonist of the second film, voiced by Benjamin Bratt, formerly voiced by Al Pacino, who left a month before the movie's premiere. As El Macho, he was believed to have died after strapping 250 lbs. of TNT on himself and riding a shark into an active volcano. However, it turns out that he actually faked his death, and he became the owner of a Mexican restaurant. He has a son named Antonio, whom Margo is infatuated with at first, until Antonio abandons her. It turns out that Eduardo was aware of Gru's life as a villain and plans to kidnap most of Gru's minions and mutate them into purple-furred monsters with a dangerous chemical compound he stole called PX-41, and send the mutated Minions to major cities to take over the world. In the final battle, as Gru manages to restore the mutated Minions to normal, Eduardo drinks the compound himself, turning into a big furry monster to fight Gru. He is defeated when Gru uses Lucy's Lipstick Taser to knock him out, and Dr. Nefario incapacitates Eduardo with a Fart Gun. It is unknown what happened to Eduardo after this, though it is most likely he was reverted to normal by the antidote, arrested by the AVL, and sent to prison for life.
Despicable Me: The Game is an adventure/action game released with the first film, on PlayStation 2, Wii, and PlayStation Portable systems. During the game, the player controls Gru as he fights off enemies. Despicable Me: The Game – Minion Mayhem, on the other hand, is released on Nintendo DS systems only. Instead of controlling Gru himself, the player controls his Minions.
^Shaw, Lucas (July 5, 2013). "France Can Now Offer Film Productions 150 % More Money". The Wrap. Retrieved August 20, 2013. "The animated short “Minions series,” which will screen next year with a spin-off of "Despicable Me," just qualified for a rebate, as did Eleanor Coppola's "Bonjour Anne.""