Tag Archive: animation

Movie Review: Despicable Me

G. Universal Studios, 95 minutes.

Director: Pierre Coffin, Cast: Steve Carrell, Jason Segal, Russel Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristin Wig.

Despicable Me is a highly enjoyable computer animated 3-D comedy that not only provides plenty of laughs but also tugs at your emotions in a way that pleasantly surprised me.

Steve Carrell plays Gru, a man who has proudly held the title of being the worlds #1 Super villian. He is a grouchy and nasty fellow who lives in a big  black house with an underground domain where he keeps all his stolen artifacts and is assisted by an old Scientist called Dr Nefario and his adorable yellow pill shaped minions.

The film opens with a sequence showing that the Pyramids have been stolen and replaced by fake inflatable ones. Gru’s mother (Julie Andrews) calls him to congratulate him for stealing the Pyramids but it turns out that he did not do it. The culprit is in fact Vector, (Jason Segal) a young and upcoming criminal who is attempting to take over the spot of worlds #1 Super Villian.

In retaliation, Gru devises the biggest heist in the world: to steal the Moon. In order to carry this out Gru needs a lot of money so he goes to the bank of Villians to get a loan. There he speaks to the Manager Mr Perkins (Will Arnett) who won’t give him the loan until he acquires the Shrink Ray that he needs in order to accomplish the feat.  Gru then sets off with his minions to get the Shrink Ray but it is stolen from him by Vector in the attempt.

In comes Edith, Agnes and Mongo, three orphan girls who go door to door selling cookies. Gru plans to adopt the girls and use them as pawns for his grand scheme to get the Shrink Ray back and then steal the moon. However, Gru soon finds that their innocent love for him and great desire to have a parent has a profound effect on him.  The movie really does a terrific job of showing the bond that grows between Gru and the three girls and I am not embarrassed at all to say that I found it very touching.

The movie is just flat out fun for the whole family.  It has great voice over performances from all concerned and is also supported by a wicked original music soundtrack. Look out for “Despicable Me 2” which should be hitting theaters in the next year or two.  4/5 stars.


Review: Toy Story 3

G. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Joan Cusack.

Disney and Pixar have a winning formula on animated films which all started with Toy Story. Since then, they have released Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E and UP all of which were huge hits with adult and younger audiences alike.

Toy Story 3 is no exception. Many critics have hailed this film as even better than the original and I think I agree.

Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) have outgrown the boy who cherished them as his favorite toys as a child. He is now grown up and heading off to college. While clearing out his belongings from his room, the toys are accidentally thrown out to the garbage.

Adventure ensues and the toys all end up at a day care center where they meet a pink teddy bear and a group of other toys. The toys realize that the boy has no use for them anymore and see a new life at the day care center with the children there. Woody refuses to leave his owner and heads back home but the rest of the toys (including Buzz) stay at the care center.

However, soon the toys at the day care center realize they are just being used by the pink teddy bear as punching bags for the much younger kids at the day care to play with, so the teddy bear and his group of toys will be left alone.

Woody returns to rescue Buzz and the rest of the gang and get them back to their owner before he leaves to College.

The film is full of spectacular action sequences.  A scene stealer is Ken (of Ken and Barbie fame) who is voiced by Michael Keaton and played with cocky charm. A cat walk number that he does to impress Barbie, is of particular delight.

Towards the end, the film turns into a much more darker tone that I can imagine much younger children would find quite scary.  There is a scene that does a riveting job of touching on the “humanity” of Woody, Buzz and the other toys, even though they are in fact not human.  The film ends with a soaring finale that is an emotional punch to the chest and leaves you feeling wholly satisfied.

I don’t know if they will do a Toy Story 4, but if they don’t then they could not have had a more fitting finale to one of the best animated film franchises ever produced.  5/5 stars.