Disclosure: This event, screening, and interviews were hosted by Universal Pictures. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A Minion Breakfast Party
Before seeing Despicable Me 3 on the big screen, my family and I got to have some amazing minion-themed fun! We had a great breakfast at The Tuck Room in Los Angeles. There we were able to enjoy some tasty and healthy smoothies from Yummy Spoonfuls. We paired that alongside some Chiquita bananas (what other fruit would you have at a minion breakfast?) and Kellogg’s Cereal. To help make our breakfast picture perfect (and to help clean up after our kids enjoying all the yummy treats), me and my other fellow bloggers also were able to check out Bounty’s latest line of Despicable Me 3 napkins and paper towels.
The kids got to meet and take their pictures with minions in person, and have some minion cupcakes to get them excited to see the movie at The Tuck Room’s luxury iPic theater! My daughter had a wonderful time eating, taking pictures, and crafting some minion cupcakes!
Despicable Me 3 Movie Review
Despicable Me 3 picks up after the previous sequel, with Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) working as Anti-Villain League agents while caring for their three adopted daughters. However, after a failed attempt to capture supervillain Balthasar Bratt (voiced by South Park’s Trey Parker), Gru and Lucy are fired from the AVL. Despite Gru’s pledge not to return to villainy (a pledge which leads to his minions walking out on him), Gru must make a tough decision when his long-lost identical brother Dru (also voiced by Carell) contacts him, with the intent of continuing their family legacy of supervillainy.
Carell once again hits it out of the park as not only the cynical, bitter Gru, but also as his happy-go-lucky, not too bright brother Dru. Despite having essentially identical voices, Carell is able to give each character their own presence. Also a standout is Parker, who plays the former 80’s child star-turned-supervillain Balthasar Bratt, pumping his voice with hilariously overconfident machismo and charisma.
In a franchise that sets itself apart from other animated franchises with its action set pieces, Despicable Me 3 does not disappoint. Each heist, car chase, and robot battle entertains from start to finish, while never taking itself seriously, leaving plenty of room for jokes and visual gags. And while it may not hope to have the same emotional storylines Pixar has become famous for, it still packs a whole lot of heart, reflecting themes of family, both between Gru and Dru, and between Lucy and the girls, as she settles into the unfamiliar role of adoptive mother. Add in a musical sequence featuring the Minions performing Gilbert & Sullivan, and you’ve got a lot of entertainment coming your way.
Interviews With Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig
The actors talked about the differences between their standard fare of live action comedies and voice-acting for animated films:
Kristen Wiig: We just read. It is very different, though. I mean, it’s nice to have someone else to act against and respond to and talk to. It’s like a different muscle. And I wish that we could record together. [cont’d]…. But getting into character, I don’t know. I mean, this one’s pretty easy.
Carell: It is. It’s just fun. They’re so collaborative, and they encourage us to play around and improvise and try different things. So, there’s really none of these lofty expectations. There’s really no pressure. And they’re really good about the writing there too, I think. When some moments are more sincere, they don’t push them too hard and they don’t try to elicit a response. They’re just kind of part of the storyline.
Q: Do you also get any kind of input as to stories? Since it’s Wiig’s second and your Carell’s third Despicable Me movie, do they ask, “What do you think for your characters,” etc?
Wiig: No, but only because they do such a great job writing the scripts and they’ve got such amazing writers and animators. we’re happy to just sort of do a trust fall into these films because we’re in such good hands. I mean, they’re collaborative in the sense of lines sometimes. We can play and do different versions, or they’ll ask if we have an idea for something. But for the most part, we’re just sort of doing what’s there.
Carell: “But if they are having a problem, especially like character arcs and things like that, they will come to us and say, “What do you think?” “Do you think Lucy or Gru would do something like this at this point?” And in the first one, when they initially pitched the whole idea and they had all of the artwork for the characters, Gru looked extremely different. He was very angular faced, very, very sinister looking, and then they decided to back off of that and make him a little more funny looking. And I weighed in and I said, “Now I think you’ve gone too far to the other side,” because I think there does need to be a sinister quality to him while at the same time be kind of funny.
But I agree with the creators that kids like to push the boundaries there. I think they like a little danger. In the first one, there’s [a scene where] the iron maiden closes [with Edith inside.] And then you see red fluid coming out the bottom. And it opens again and a spike is stuck in her juice box. I mean, until you’ve seen that whole sequence, that is a terrifying moment. But kids know, especially with the series at this point, that they’re in good hands and it’s not going to go too far into a dark territory. But I think they kind of like it, too.
Q: So, voicing Dru and Gru, did you draw on any experience with your own sibling relationships when you were thinking about changing up between the two characters? And which was your favorite to voice?
Carell: Dru was fun to do because I hadn’t done it before. And it was fun to just come up with a different voice that was similar to Gru’s voice but not exactly the same. And I differentiated, or tried to, more in their demeanor than an accent. I think Gru is kind of a grouch, and Dru is really effervescent and silly….[cont’d] Well, my siblings are five, seven, and nine years older, so there wasn’t really any sibling in close proximity age wise. But in terms of like best friends and that fun that you have, you know, on walkie-talkies at night, I definitely related to that. And I thought about a child who has never had that, and not to get too heavy or deep with the character, but, you know, this guy has never had that kind of relationship, certainly not a sibling relationship. And I think you would yearn for that if you had never experienced– especially if it was then offered to you.
And there are things that you can say and do to your brothers that you can’t say or do to anyone else in the world, and there’s stuff you can get away with because you know you’re still going to be brothers. There’s that underlying love. So, you can just attack each other, and you can say terrible things to each other that you could never take back, but it’s water under the bridge because you’re brothers.
.Q: What would you like kids to learn from seeing the movie?
Carell: Really, to me, the whole series is about the power of love and family. And I think that just underpins everything. And this family has grown exponentially over the three [films] in different ways, you know, the children, the spouse and the marriage, and now the siblings. I feel like it grows a different appreciation for all of those things. I guess I hope that kind of thing resonates with kids. But there are all sorts of little life lessons woven through it, like in terms of telling your kids sometimes this isn’t the way it is, and sometime they just have to hear the truth. But sometimes the truth is actually better than what your fantasy might have been. And I think in very gentle ways, the filmmakers are able to infuse the movie with stuff like that. It’s not a sexy way to sell a movie, infusing with life lessons. Because ultimately it’s funny.
Wiig: It’s funny and they laugh.
Coming to Theaters June 30th
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