Despicable Me is a CGI animated film series and Universal franchise that began with the 2010 film of the same name, produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal.
The film series follows an ex-supervillain named Gru, his three adopted daughters, and a large army of Minions as they combat a variety of other supervillains throughout the decades. Since the first film it has become one of Universal's main properties, spawning plenty of films and spinoff material, including shorts and theme park attractions.
Feature Films <!—index—>
- Despicable Me (July 9, 2010)
- Despicable Me 2 (July 3, 2013)
- Minions (July 10, 2015) — A Prequel feature film starring Gru's yellow, well, minions, in The '60s before they met him.
- Despicable Me 3 (June 30, 2017)
- Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 1, 2022) — Another prequel following Gru as a kid and his Minions in The '70s.
- Despicable Me 4 (July 3, 2024)
- Home Makeover (2010)
- Orientation Day (2010)
- Banana (2010)
- Puppy (2013)
- Panic in the Mailroom (2013)
- Training Wheels (2013)
- Tree Lighting Ceremony (2014)
- Binky Nelson Unpacified (2015)
- Competition (2015)
- Cro Minion (2015)
- Mower Minions (2016)
- The Secret Life of Kyle (2017)
- Minion Moments (2017)
- Yellow is the New Black (2018)
- Santa's Little Helpers (2019)
- Minion Scouts (2019)
- Minions and Monsters (2021)
- Post Modern Minion (2022)
- Minions (2015)
- Minions Viva Le Boss! (2018-2019)
- Minions: Paella (2019)
- Minions: Sports (2021)
- Minions Mini Boss (2022)
- Despicable Me: My Dad the Super Villain (2010)
- Despicable Me: The Junior Novel (2010)
- Despicable Me: The World's Greatest Villain (2010)
- Sleepy Kittens (2010) — Defictionalization of the book Gru reads to the girls.
- Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem : A ride based on the film which opened in 2012 at the Orlando Universal Studios, followed by a duplicate being opened at the Hollywood park in 2014, then another duplicate being opened at the Japan park in 2017, and finally another duplicate being an opening day attraction at their Beijing park in 2021. And apparently yet another will open at their Singapore park in approximately 2024.
- Despicable Me: The Game (2010)
- Despicable Me: Minion Mania (2010)
- Minion Rush (2013)
- Minions Paradise (2015)
This series provides examples of:
- Bilingual Bonus: The minions' language is mostly nonsense, but includes a mish-mash of words borrowed from other languages. They call ice-cream "gelato" (Italian), say "kanpai!" ("cheers!" in Japanese) when toasting one another, and in several scenes where they give someone something, it sounds as if they say "para tú", which means "for you" in Portugese. There's also a scene near the beginning of the first movie (the one with the water cooler) where a minion says "espera" ("wait", in Portuguese and Spanish).
- Central Theme: Family and The Power of Love
- The first film is about parent-child relationships.
- The second film is about romantic relationships.
- The third film is about sibling relationships.
- Color-Coded Characters: Both the heroes and the villains have their own color schemes to set them apart.
- For the Grus:
- Gru — Black/Grey.
- Margo — Green.
- Edith — Pink.
- Agnes — Blue.
- Dr. Nefario, Dru, and Robert — White.
- Marlena — Purple.
- Lucy — Turquoise.
- Minions — Yellow.
- Kyle — Black.
- For the villains:
- Vector — Orange.
- El Macho and Scarlet Overkill — Red.
- Balthazar Bratt — Purple.
- For the Grus:
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Even ignoring Gru's fair treatment of the Minions prior to his Character Development, each villain has shown to have genuine care for their relatives and/or sidekicks. Vector has his father, El Macho has his son and pet chicken, and Scarlet Overkill has her husband. Even Balthazar Bratt, the most dangerous of the villains, gets along well enough with his robot assistant.
- Funny Background Event: A bit of a running gag with the minions.
- House Inspection: In the short film "Home Makeover", a social worker is coming while Gru is away, so Gru's daughter must redecorate the house (with Minions' help) to make the supervillain-lair-looking house looks safe for children or else they will be sent back to their old Orphanage of Fear.
- Villain Opening Scene: All the movies begin showing the villain's heist, with the exception of the first Minions movie.