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Hard being evil when Julie Andrews is your mom

There are two very good kid’s pictures out right now and I’m going to turn to my granddaughter for the thumbnail overview. She didn’t like Toy Story 3. It had nothing to do with the 3D effects or whether there was too much CGI. She didn’t find the manipulative nature of any Disney script offensive.
I did
She just didn’t like the fire. It made it dangerous for the toys.
Sometimes we forget just how simple things are.
Now ‘Despicable Me’ she liked it a lot. It made her cry at the end but it was OK. It was a good cry and she really liked the girls. She thinks Gru the evil one is not really all that evil.
So, how can I top that? Out of the mouths of babes comes all the truth that matters. I will, however, now review it for the grown ups.
Both films are exceptional.
Toy Story 3 is by far the best in the franchise’s history. It’s sweet and touching with just a hint of melancholy.
The end is near. We as parents have all experienced that. When it’s time to put the toys away. So, Woody and the gang are frantic. They know their time is drawing near.
Some things of note. Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me are both 3D films and neither of them needs to be. It’s all about the story. I think there’s an interesting contrast between Despicable which is the first in what may be a series, and TS3 which has established stars. Neither Buzz or Woody do their own stunts anymore and there are rumours of a publicist war on set.  A certain cowboy felt his screen time was being eroded so he wanted Mrs. Potato Head written out of the sequel, but there was a compromise made and the woodsman was given a producing credit to ease his shrinking ego.
I do struggle with how real and unDisneylike Disney feels it needs to be these days, or maybe Pixar is just trying to stray from type, but enough school-of-hard-knocks reality. Luckily the story settles in and there is an emotional payoff for the audience at the end. Hey, we’ve got some emotional investment going on here and really, you never know.  I mean, they did whack Bambi’s mom.
Despicable Me is full of non-sequitors and a ton of goofy grown-up jokes.
Using little-known stars as voices with the notable exception of Steve Carrell adds to the conviction that it’s all about the story. Gru has Stevo as the character behind the cartoon, but the three orphan girls he adopts are so cute that they could have been world cup cheerleaders and it wouldn’t have mattered.
We know, that even tho Gru has a really good plan to assume what he sees as his rightful place as THE supervillain of note by stealing the moon, he is powerless against the combined charm of those little girls.
We also know that adopting cute kids is the supervillain equivalent of having an abort evil plan switch, which plagued all of the early Bond nemesis. OR is it nemesii? I always mix them up. Gru really is a good evil planner but he lacks committment. He has a heart plus it’s hard being all that evil when Julie Andrews is your mom. There’s still a lot of Mary Poppins in those pipes and you’re just not going to overcome those kinds of genetics. Chimchiminee this evil overlord.
I liked Despicable Me a lot. I might even lay claim to a slight dampening at the end myself but that’s just between you and I.
Either one of these films is sure to delight and I recommend them whole heartedly. If you’re lucky you can go with your granddaughter and maybe like Anna she’ll help you over the bumpy spots. Anna always tells me, it’s OK poppa, they don’t get hurt.
If only she could have protected me from Dude, Where’s My Car.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul and Anna

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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