Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another win for animation with "Despicable Me".

So, when I was visiting Downtown Otaku last week, we and our friend Aura decided to see "Despicable Me". Totally and competely worth the money. We didn't see it in 3D, so I can't really comment on that. Though, for some readon 3D effects rarely work for me anyway.

We saw it on a wednesday night (arond 8 or 9 o'clock) so the theater was pretty void of children, but the theater was still pretty crowded. I guess late on a weeknight is a good time for animation fans to go if they don't want to deal with potentially rambunctious children during a movie like this.

First and foremost, I want to give Universal Pictures total props on the way they went about advertising this movie. They've been promoting it a long time now, first with short 15 second or so spots, moving onto slightly longer trailers as time went on.

For the longest time, I really had no idea what "Despicable Me" was about beyond just some guy who hated the world and wasn't particlarly the nicest guy Fun. I like anti-heroes a lot. Then it seemed to be super villain vs. super villain. Awesome. Two guys fighting and getting in hilarious antics trying to out-do each other in taking over the world.

Then the three orphans (Margo, Edith, and Agnes) were introduced as part of the plot and for a while I really tought Universal had lost me. But I kept watching trailers, and the more I watched the more I needed to figure out how Gru, our anti-hero protagnist, ended up with these three orphan girls. Because it was incredibly vague in the trailers. I was given just enough information to get me curious, but not enough that I could figure it all out on my own. Brilliant move, Universal. Briliant.

Once again I went into a movie, totally underestimating it. "Despicable Me" was not just entertaining, it was fun. The ending is incredibly obvious. It's a kids movie. But even so, the movie never lost my interest. It was funny without being ridiculous and relying on pop culture and nonsense to make older viewers laugh. The characters and their behaviours, motvations, and relationships drove the movie and the humor.

Even the minons, who we described s "Corn Pops with goggles", were handeled fantastically. I was worried that, since they were a comic relief element in the story, the minons with be used heavy-handedly. But they only served to accent and enhance the humor already being presented.

And even with how predictable the ending was, it was handled wonderfully. Gru both changed and didn't change as a character, and he didn't turn into a typical, cheezy "saves the day" hero-type.

All in all, It was a very sweet, funny, entertaining movie. Definitely worth the money spent to see it. I'd like to see Universal keep working on animated features like this and contend with Pixar and Dreamworks. It would be nice to have a third "super power" in the CG Animation game.