Despicable Me
2010
***½
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Jemaine Clement, Jack McBrayer, Julie Andrews

Not to be upstaged, super-villain Felonious Gru ups his ante and plots to steal the moon from the sky with the help of a shrink ray. If only his new nemesis Vector and three adorable orphan girls were not standing in the way of his diabolical plan. This lightly plotted but enjoyably funny animation has a deliciously nasty protagonist, but the cute kids inevitably melt his heart. As a consequence, the film loses some of its subversiveness, but the development helps to establish an emotional connection to the characters. Minions, Gru’s yellow henchmen, are hilarious. Followed by two sequels, Despicable Me 2 and Despicable Me3, and one prequel, Minions.