The Despicable Gru and Minions: the Growth and History


Photo Courtesy: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment

Lily Wagner, Journalist

July 9, 2010, was the release of the original Despicable Me movie. The majority of children and adults had their hearts melt because of the amusing, strange aliens named Minions. Ever since then, a variety of merchandise has been made for example shirts, backpacks, surprise toys, posters, slippers, bed sheets, pillow covers, plushies, Crocs, McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, and the list goes on! Illumination Entertainment, the company that founded the movies, has also built various rides circulating the Minions topic at Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando. Despicable Me can be very influential but does it teach kids and adults anything?


The movies are mostly directed at kids who are 4 and older. This series has some contrast to see than an average children’s movie. The main character, Gru, is the antagonist, unlike other movies, the main character is usually the protagonist. Despicable Me is very different in its own ways. What a majority of parents look for in movies and cartoons is a lesson, what can it teach their children is the question. “Sometimes it is good to be a villain if I am being honest. What is the movie about really? It is about this villain with the minions. To be honest, I feel like we sometimes need villains because without villains, where would we have all the great movies, and shows.” states sophomore Trinity Rivera. “It can teach you about how not to be evil because there is more fighting for in life. The main character, Gru, found a purpose in life aside from not being evil,” thinks sophomore Paolo DiGirolamo. (Spoiler alert!). In the first Despicable Me movie all Gru wanted was to take over the moon. His enemy, Vector, also had the same vicious plan as Gru did. He discovered that three orphans; Margo, Edith, and Agnes, would deliver girl scout cookies to Vector very often and chose to adopt them so Gru’s assistant, Dr. Nefario, would be able to put robot cookies in all the girl scout cookie boxes and deliver fifteen of them to Vector. The robot cookies would secretly climb out of the boxes and cut open the safe for Gru to steal Vector’s shrink ray. Gru was using the three sisters only to steal the moon but eventually, he started loving them and chose to keep them. The movies are mainly shown to entertain people but how were the funny, yellow aliens made?


It all started with an original idea pitched by former Disney Animator Sergio Pablos, who brought the idea to Illumination Entertainment. The CEO, Chris Meledandri, then shared the idea with directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. Coffin was then offered by the producers to be the voice actor of all the minions. They then hired Steve Carell as the voice of Gru. Carell is very famous for acting as Michael Scott in the famous show The Office. Later on, founding the entire cast for the first Despicable Me movie.


The Despicable Me movies consisting of three movies and having two spin-offs is something a majority of children will remember forever.