But it’s not just this studio that has seen a success with an animated feature this summer. Universal Pictures have made almost 0 so far off Despicable Me (another thoroughly impressive figure, considering that it didn’t come from the house of the mouse) – you can read our full review here.
Having seen the film myself a couple of days ago at the European Premiere courtesy of Sky Movies HD, I can report that this one too, manages to present a thoroughly engaging world, which (like Toy Story 3 before it) is just as entertaining for adults as it is for young children.
The story follows a mean supervillain named Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) who plans to use three orphan girls as a means of enabling him to take that one step closer to world domination (by stealing the moon!) His wicked lifestyle suddenly takes a drastic change the worse (or best, depending on your disposition) when he finds that he’s looked upon as a father figure by the girls, and that a maybe the life he’s been leading is not the way forward in finding happiness and contentment.
It’s a charming and beautifully told story of how the absence of love in a person’s childhood can be remedied in adult life and that void in the heart can be filled, sometimes in the most unusual circumstances. In the case of Gru, he life has taken that initial turn for the worse mainly due the lack of support and interest displayed be his own mother, hilariously portrayed by Julie Andrews (who is the type of character that Mary Poppins would have beaten to death with her brolly, if their paths were to cross).
The film also marked the first time I set foot on that red carpet, or yellow in this case (matching the colour of Gru’s fantastic little army of scatterbrained minions), for the European premiere at The Empire on Leicester Square.
Having grown up watching footage and seeing images from many of the premieres that have taken place in London’s cinema capital, it was nice to finally be on the other side, although I was under no illusions that every time both myself and my girlfriend passed the lenses of the cameras pointing at our direction, it was a good time for the photographers to stop what they were doing and take a quick peek at the shots of Russell Brand they had snapped.
The Empire was, unsurprisingly, teeming with excited kids, all having their photos taken with life-size replicas of Gru’s little minions and being caught up in the thrill of having the opportunity to be amongst the stars and flashing lights. I could only imagine myself at that ages attending the premiere of, say, The Empire Strikes Back and having to receive immediate medical attention from St John Ambulance crew, owing to the overwhelming effect of a replica C3-P0 extending his hand out for me to shake.
Being seated in the cinema with 3D glasses perched on head, ready to view the film and being surrounded by all those kids who are buzzing with anticipation, really does remind you of that same excitement you felt yourself at that age and in similar surroundings. It was also magical to hear all the “ooh’s” and “aah’s” filling the room when the 3D kicks in.
If Hollywood can keep churning out family films to the same standard of Despicable Me, I’d to tempted to give up on all it’s mainstream live action features (and with the exception of perhaps one of two films this summer, who could blame me) and opt for the more simple and satisfying delights of 3D wonders like this.
The October episode of The Family Show on Sky Movies is a Despicable Me Special in which host Craig Stevens bring viewers all the excitement from the film’s European Premiere in London’s Leicester Square, as well as interviews with the star-studded cast including Steve Carrel and Miranda Cosgrove.