I can’t tell you what joy it is to hear your children laughing.
This past weekend (Sunday, actually), I decided to deviate from our normal search-Netflix-ad-nauseum-find-nothing-and-give-up routine and go to Amazon Instant Video for our dinner movie. I found Despicable Me, an animated film with Steve Carrell and Julie Andrews providing voice talent. I saw previews for it back in the day, and thought maybe the kids would like it.
We coughed up the dough and the movie played. And at a few points — more than a few, actually — the kids laughed aloud. They giggled and chuckled and chortled their way through the entire film, and then the little games the animators played in the credits.
Three bucks very well spent.
As a movie, Despicable Me isn’t bad. It takes the approach of making what appears to be the movie’s antagonist into a sympathetic character. We end up rooting for him because, in the end, he’s not a bad guy after all; he’s a misguided good guy and needed someone to show him how to do things in a society-appropriate way.
The actual antagonist, however, was poorly developed and not consistent. The writers/producers/whatever needed to include a little more to give us the true sense of who the antagonist actually is, and play that up just a bit more. And we need to see better indications, IMO, of some traits they put forth at the end which weren’t well-planted (planted, just not all that well, especially for a kid’s movie) in the set-up.
Some gags ran too long, too, and let’s face it, this isn’t Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. So either make it really funny or keep it brief. A couple of times, this wasn’t the case.
Carrell and Andrews were great, and the animation was second to none. There was a little dead celluloid, I thought, but overall not a bad movie. I’d give it four stars if I’d been rating it on Netflix.
I recommend it, and I normally don’t do that. Then again, my kids laughed, and they don’t normally do that, either.