Despicable Me joins the middle tier of animated films. It's not nearly as atrocious as some of the misfires from Disney or Don Bluth in recent decades, but Pixar has upped the ante substantially during that time. Although there's plenty of room for more good animated films from other studios—the Ice Age movies and Horton Hears a Who (also featuring the voice of Steve Carell and animation work from Despicable Me co-director Chris Renaud) were enjoyable crowd-pleasers—Despicable Me doesn't quite rise to even Horton quality. Although presented in 3D (at premium prices), there's little in Despicable Me that can't wait for video.

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CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: A reference to dog feces; a death threat; two dishes are labeled "pee" and "poo"; a rule about "no burping or farting"; an inventor shows off a "fart gun" that sprays brown smoke; a carnival worker picks his nose; a mother refers to her son as a monkey
  • Smoking/Drinking/Drugs: None
  • Sex/Nudity: A picture of a bare-bottomed Gru as a baby; minions photocopy their undersides and chuckle at the printouts
  • Violence/Crime: A boy falls from a great height onto an inflated pillow; a bird is shot at; guns are cocked; orphans are threatened with confinement in the Box of Shame; Gru uses an ice gun to freeze the head of Vector; a shark chomps on Gru; missiles are aimed at Gru and they explode; minions fight each other; a girl is enclosed in a casket with spikes, and after the casket closes, red fluid pours out of the bottom (the fluid turns out to be juice); a child kicks a man in the shin; a minion grabs Gru between the legs; Gru appears to vomit; Gru destroys a carnival game; Miss Hattie smacks Gru with a dictionary; Vector gets an electrical shock; a surfer lands on rocks after the tide suddenly goes out
  • Stealing: The villains are competing to pull off the biggest theft the world has ever seen; previous jobs include theft of the Times Square jumbotron, and replicas of famous structures from Las Vegas
  • Religion: The girls pray to be adopted