Harry Forbes on "Despicable Me'

When my five-year-old nephew found out that there was to be a family wedding on July 9 of next year, he admonished our family. "July 9?" he said, "We can't go! That's when 'Expectable Me' opens!"  Television had successfully drummed into his impressionable brain the opening date of last weekend's big hit movie, the new animated feature starring the voices of Steve Carrell and Jason Segel.  But as with 'Toy Story 3' (reviewed in this week's issue by John Anderson) animated films these days are not just for nine-year-olds. Harry Forbes in our latest online Culture peace looks at a villain's redemption.

There’s nothing like the reformation of a misanthropic old curmudgeon. Just consider the perennial popularity of one Ebenezer Scrooge.

This is not to say that “Despicable Me,” the latest 3-D CGI effort from Universal (in tandem with its new animation arm, Illumination Entertainment) is in the same exalted realm as Charles Dickens. But the turnabout of the Scrooge-like character here pulls at the heartstrings in much the same manner.

He’s Gru, a hulking, hook-nosed man with spindly legs and a Middle European accent who looks like Steve Carrell on Prednisone. It is, in fact, the star of “The Office” who provides Gru’s voice, creating a character far different from his usual conservative albeit quirky persona. 

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Read the rest here.  (By the way, my nephew liked it too.)

James Martin, SJ

 

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