COMMENTARY: Despicable Me 2: An Instant Feel-Good Favorite

DM2 LogoDespicable Me 2 explores all kinds of love: Father-daughter love, admiration for a co-worker, new love, puppy love, motherly love, male camaraderie, and, of course, Minion love. A fun flick for the whole family, the sequel to the 2010 hit is a heart-warming 98 minutes full of life lessons, slapstick, and downright adorableness.

Former super-villian Gru (Steve Carell) has given up the good (bad) life for his three little girls, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Moving on from his evil days, he decides to explore the wonders of jam and jelly making and small business. However, his evil roots catch up to him soon enough and he is enlisted by the Anti Villian League (AVL). Together with his AVL partner, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Gru goes undercover to apprehend a dangerous transmutation formula, which the AVL fears has fallen into the wrong hands. With a few likely suspects easily identified, Gru and Lucy embark on their mission to save the world.

Growing from the first film, Gru is now faced with all of the joys of fatherhood, including dressing up like a Fairy Princess, aiding in performance rehearsals, and steering love-sick boys away from his daughter’s direction. Though, he may appear to have become a bit love-sick himself. No longer orphans, the girls have clearly acclimated to their life with Gru as their dad, but they are eager for Gru to find love, and simultaneously, a mother figure.

With one-liners from Agnes so cute you could cry, the sequel delivers all of the good vibrations of the first film. And of course, the hilarity of the Minions is in abundance. What could be better than little yellow creatures in goggles and overalls? Oh, right. Little yellow creatures dressed in costumes, including a maid, a coconut bra, and the iconic Village People. Oh, and hitting each other. A lot.

Despicable Me 2 is sure to entertain little ones, while reminding adults to enjoy the simple pleasures of family life, and, you know, fighting evil.

To take the fun from the screen and into the play room, Universal Partnerships & Licensing has some great licensees signed on for adorable products based on the film.

Funko.Agnes

DM2ViewMaster.BasicFunIn partnership with Fisher-Price, Basic Fun has developed the Despicable Me 2 View-Master. The View-Master features a new integral design that provides a 50 percent brighter and larger image with a smoother operation and a new focus on 3-D adventures, including 21 images across three reels to tell the Despicable Me 2 story.

Funko has Pop! Vinyl Figures based on Despicable Me 2 characters Agnes, Gru, Carl, and Dave. Each figure measures 3.75 inches tall and features Pop! Vinyl Figure format faces.

DM2Monopoly.HasbroHasbro’s Monopoly: Despicable Me 2 Edition Game lets players get mischevious. Players must spin the Minion to make a move, collect Banana Bucks fast, and race to purchase Despicable Me properties. Hasbro’s Operation: Despicable Me 2 Edition Game features Stuart, who has accidentally swallowed some unicorn fluff. Players must operate, acting as one of the Minions.

The Despicable Me 2 Talking Figures line, from 2012-11 051Thinkway Toys, includes collectible characters from the film. Talking Dave the Minion, Tim the Minion, and Stuart the Minion have moving heads and eyes. Kids can push a button to hear their voices and sound effects. They each feature poseable arms and soft skin upper bodies. Dave and Stuart stand about 8 inches tall and Tim is more than 9 inches tall. Talking Gru is also poseable and talks with the push of a button. Kids can turn his body from side to side and move his head and arms as well. A display stand is included with the 11-inch figure. Also available are the Agnes’ Unicorn plush and the Bedtime Agnes doll.

Check back regularly for more commentary from Marissa. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!