Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
The first “Despicable Me” was not nominated for an Academy Award, but this sequel from Universal Pictures has not only captured the box office but the Oscar voters as well. Expanding off the original film, former super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) turned foster father of three is taken captive by the Anti-Villain League to consult for their latest case. The animation is on point and the voice work remains strong but the film as a whole is more for the children than a wide variety of ages. Instead of including a story or humor that adults can love alongside children, “Despicable Me 2” falls short and remains too kiddie for its own good. With films like “Frozen” and “The Croods” that take this adult factor into consideration, as well as having the matching characteristics of great animation and high caliber voice work, that leaves this film in the dust. I would not bet on “Despicable Me 2”, from both personal preference and educated guess. Chris Renaud comes off a nomination for his short film work on “No Time For Nuts” (2006) while his collaborators earn their first nomination.
“Happy” – Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
Truth be told, a huge problem I had with the first “Despicable Me” was the original music produced by Pharrell Williams. His high pitched and much too childish delivery made for a stomach churning fluff-fest. Yes, kids probably eat up these songs, but for me, they are like nails on a chalk board. Pharrell Williams returns for the sequel, gaining his first Oscar nomination for the song “Happy”. Better than anything that came out of the first installment, that is still not saying much. This week, it was announced that he’ll be on hand at the Oscars to perform this song but do not look for it to go any further than that, as I now place this as the last song choice (with “Alone Yet Not Alone” disqualified and removed), placing the epic ballad from “Frozen” and the yet to see U2 performance from “Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom”.
// Produced by Chris Meledandri & Janet Healy // Directed by Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud //
// Dated Viewed: Saturday, February 1st, 2014 // DVD // 27 films – 30 days //