Since 2010, it has become a summer tradition for Illumination Entertainment to release a film from its Despicable Me franchise. The original film, which introduced us to Gru, Margot, Edith, Agnes, Dr. Nefario and of course, those crazy, mischievous minions, made its film debut on July 10, 2010. Both adults and children went wild for the film, especially for the mostly unintelligible oval shaped minions, who were Gru’s henchmen.
Due to popular demand, a second Despicable Me movie was put into development and this film debuted on July 3, 2013. It was a box office smash, especially since Gru met the love of his life, Lucy Wilde, and his daughters finally had the mother for which they had been yearning.
Not satisfied with just seeing the minions in each film, the creators of this franchise created a movie that told fans the genesis of the minions. The prequel was entitled simply, Minions. Movie goers saw how they were created in prehistoric times, met the evil Scarlet Overkill, and then found their way to Gru. This movie debuted on July 10, 2015, exactly five years after the original film’s release.
Fans of the characters were still not satisfied. Wanting to see more of what happened to Gru and his new family, Illumination Entertainment started working on Despicable Me 3. True to form, it will be released this summer on June 30, 2017.
Why is Despicable Me So Popular?
Most family films have a run at the box office, are released on DVD, and then sit on the shelf at home, getting an occasional viewing on a snow day or rainy day at home. Disney is known for having a popular big screen movie and then creating a lesser quality straight to DVD sequel for fans (Cinderella 2, Mulan 2, Simba’s Pride are just a few examples). But this is not the case for the Despicable Me franchise.
The appeal is not directed at any one character, although the minions are a stand out. They do things we as humans only think of doing. They are reactive and have absolutely no impulse control. Minions have a funny shape, a strange nonsense way of speaking, and less than perfect behavior. But they also have a softer side that shows love and compassion, at least to humans if not each other.
Families can enjoy the film and get satisfaction at the happily ever after endings of each film. In the original movie, Gru sends Margot, Edith and Agnes back to the orphanage from which they were adopted (which bothered me a great deal as an adoptive mother), but eventually he did the right thing and they wound up as a family at the end. Children enjoy the adorable Agnes, who only wants a mother, and the practical Edith, who is the family cynic and tells it like it is. Margot is the caring and protective big sister many children wish they had.
In the second film, not only does Gru find love, he finds his mother’s acceptance, something he has yearned for his entire life. Even the evil Dr. Nefario, Gru’s right hand man during his supervillain days, turns soft and saves Gru and Lucy when all hope seems lost.
There is no bad language, no cover-the-kids-eyes moments in the film. This series is truly one that families can enjoy together, without adults cringing at the plot or kids not understanding what is going on. There is humor for everyone and making people laugh is one thing that everyone needs.
With summer time being Despicable Me time, there are many summer related products out that tie in with the movie.
Minions Inflatable Pool
Inflatable backyard pools are a staple of suburban childhood. It is not always convenient to schlep your little ones to the beach, lake or pool, especially is you have a younger child who needs to nap. Older kids can still have fun with this Minions inspired pool. It is approximately 110 x 20 cm and will provide hours of splashing fun for your children.
Dry Off With Minions Beach Towels
Despicable Me Minions Eyes Accordion Sunshade
Sunshields are an important accessory to have for your car during the hot summer months, no matter where you live. The blazing summer sun can damage your car’s interior by fading the fabric on the seats. If you have leather, you know how hot it can get when you sit down to drive and your are wearing a pair of shorts!
The greenhouse effect, which traps the sun’s heat, is why your car is so hot, even hotter than the air outside the car. A sunshield can help minimize this.
While a sunshield cannot block all of the sun’s rays and heat, it can make a noticeable difference. It is an inexpensive way to protect your car’s interior, and there are many whimsical designs, like the minions accordion sunshield pictured here.
Despicable Me 3 Fluffy Unicorn Plush
Agnes fell in love with a fluffy unicorn in the first film, and it has been her beside pal ever since. However, since Gru fell on hard times, she sold it at a yard sale. Can Gru get it back?
There are many more Despicable Me 3 items available, like pajamas and other toys. It is a fun way to show your fandom and add a pop of color and whimsy to your outdoor summer fun.
Featured photo from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey