Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated comedy film and the sequel to the 2010 animated film Despicable Me. Produced by Illumination Entertainment for Universal Pictures, and animated by Illumination Mac Guff, The film is directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.
Steve Carell, Russell Brand and Miranda Cosgrove reprise their roles as Gru, Dr. Nefario and Margo, respectively. Kristen Wiig, who played Miss Hattie in the first film, voices agent Lucy Wilde, while Ken Jeong, who played the Talk Show Host, voices Floyd Eagle-san. New cast members include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo "El Macho" Pérez and Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, head of the Anti-Villain League (AVL).
The film premiered on June 5, 2013 in Australia, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 3, 2013. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and for Academy Award for Best Original Song (for "Happy"), losing both to Disney's Frozen. Grossing over $970 million worldwide against its budget of $76 million, the film became the second-highest-grossing animated film of 2013 and the third-highest-grossing film of 2013. It is also the most profitable film in the 101-year history of Universal Studios.
A prequel/spin-off film, Minions, focusing on the little yellow henchmen before they met Gru, was released on July 10, 2015. A third film, Despicable Me 3, is scheduled to be released on June 30, 2017.
Despicable Me 2 takes place after the events of the first film.
A mysterious vehicle using a huge magnet steals a highly potent mutagen known as PX-41 from a secret laboratory in the Arctic Circle. The Anti-Villain League (AVL), headed by Silas Ramsbottom, tries to recruit former supervillain, Felonious Gru, to track down those responsible and recover the mutagen, but Gru refuses, claiming that he is now a legitimate businessman as well as the devoted father of Margo, Edith, and Agnes. Dr. Nefario, Gru's friend and assistant, tells Gru that he "misses being evil", and opts to leave him for new employment. Gru reluctantly agrees to investigate the theft of the mutagen, and is partnered with undercover AVL agent Lucy Wilde. The pair begin their search in the Paradise Shopping Mall, disguised as bakery employees. Gru immediately comes to suspect Mexican restaurant owner, Eduardo Pérez, of being the infamous "El Macho", a legendary supervillain who supposedly died after skysurfing a shark into the center of an active volcano. Gru and Lucy break into Eduardo's restaurant at night, but find nothing to prove that he is the culprit. Meanwhile, Agnes confides her dream to one day have a mother, and believes that Gru will fall in love with Lucy, but, despite her excitement, Gru tells her that his relationship with Lucy is strictly professional.
Although still suspicious of Eduardo, Gru agrees to pursue other suspects, including wig merchant Floyd Eagle-san. However, after witnessing Eduardo's two-timing son, Antonio, sweep Margo off her feet, and invite everyone, including Margo, to his Cinco de Mayo party, Gru renews his focus on Eduardo. Afterwards, Gru is set up on what transpires to be a horrible dinner date with a vacuous woman named Shannon. During the meal, Shannon notices Gru's wig and is about to humiliate him when Lucy, visiting the restaurant herself, renders Shannon unconscious with a tranquilizer dart. They take Shannon home and, after spending personal time with Lucy, Gru comes to realize that Agnes was right; he has fallen in love with Lucy.
The next day, the AVL arrest Floyd Eagle-san after an almost-empty jar of the PX-41 mutagen is found in his shop, and Ramsbottom declares the investigation closed. Lucy is reassigned to Australia, but before leaving she gives Gru her lipstick Taser as a reminder of her. Realizing that he genuinely loves Lucy, Gru is heartbroken, yet still cannot find the courage to ask her out on a date. Instead, he brings his girls to theCinco de Mayo party and, whilst there, finds undeniable proof that Eduardo is indeed "El Macho". Gru discovers that El Macho and his partner, none other than Dr. Nefario, have been abducting Gru's Minions and using the stolen PX-41 serum to mutate them into insanely savage, violet, hairy "Evil Minions". El Macho announces his plan to launch rockets full of the mutated Minions into major cities in order to achieve world domination. He makes Gru an offer, proposing that they team-up, but Gru leaves without giving an answer.
On her flight to Australia, Lucy realizes that she has also fallen in love with Gru. Using a backpack hang-glider, she jumps out of the plane and hang glides down to the party, only to be captured by El Macho after his pet chicken, Pollito, retrieves her AVL ID badge from her purse. Fortunately, Dr. Nefario informs Gru, and to rescue Lucy, Gru visits Macho along with two Minions covered in violet paint, pretending he was captured by them. Fighting alongside his daughters and Nefario, Gru and his team spray all of the mutated Minions with jelly containing a powerful antidote that Dr. Nefario made, whereupon they revert to their friendly yellow state. Macho then takes the mutagen himself, but Gru and Dr. Nefario overcome him using Lucy's lipstick Taser and a fart gun.
Gru sees Lucy strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket and starts to untie her, but Pollito launches the rocket, sending the rocket flying towards the same volcano where Macho previously faked his death. Lucy accepts Gru's invitation for a date, and the pair dive into the ocean seconds before the rocket enters the volcano and violently explodes.
After 147 dates, Gru and Lucy are married, and Margo, Edith and Agnes finally have a mother. The Minions close with a rendition of "I Swear" and "Y.M.C.A.", as the whole family celebrates.
- Steve Carell as Felonius Gru, a former villain turned father (and then member of the Anti-Vilain League)
- Kristen Wiig as Lucy Wilde, an Anti-Villain League agent and then Gru's love interest. Wiig also voiced Miss Hattie in the first film.
- Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo "El Macho" Pérez, the owner of Salsa & Salsa, a Mexican restaurant in the Paradise Mall, and the mastermind behind the theft of the PX-41 serum. Al Pacino was originally cast in the role, but left the film due to creative differences.
- Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, the oldest child of the three girls, who is known for her wit.
- Elsie Fisher as Agnes, the youngest child of the three girls, who is obsessed with unicorns
- Dana Gaier as Edith, the middle child and tomboy of the three girls
- Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, Gru's elderly, hearing impaired gadget man
- Ken Jeong as Floyd Eagle-san, the owner of Eagle Hair Club, a wig store in the Paradise Mall. Jeong also voiced Talk Show Host in the previous film.
- Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, the head of the Anti-Villain League
- Moisés Arias as Antonio Pérez, Margo's first love interest and Eduardo's son
- Nasim Pedrad as Jillian, Gru's irritating matchmaking neighbor who wants Gru having dates with her friends
- Kristen Schaal as Shannon, Jillian's superficial friend
- Pierre Coffin as Kevin, Stuart, Bob and additional and evil Minions. According to Coffin, he lent his voice to 899 Minions.
- Chris Renaud as additional and evil Minions
- Renaud also voices an Italian waiter
- Vanessa Bayer as Flight Attendant
- Nickolai Stoilov as Arctic Lab Guards
Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination Entertainment, said in July 2010 that a sequel was in the works. Release was tentatively scheduled for July 3, 2013. Miranda Cosgrove stated on her official Facebook and Twitter page on October 14, 2011 that she had recorded her first lines, while Meledandri confirmed in February 2012 that they had started working on the film.
In October 2011, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Javier Bardem was negotiating to voice a villain, named El Macho, but the negotiations failed. By February 2012, Al Pacino had joined the cast to voice the villain. In April 2012, producers confirmed that Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher were returning to reprise their roles. Kristen Wiig, who voiced Miss Hattie in the original film, voices Lucy Wilde, an agent of the Anti-Villain League (AVL) who recruits Gru to track and take down a tough, Mexican villain named El Macho. Steve Coogan joined the cast as Silas Ramsbottom, the head of the Anti-Villain League.
On May 3, 2013, just a month before the film's premiere, producers announced that Al Pacino had left the film over creative differences about how his character should come to life. At the time of his departure, Pacino's character had already been fully voiced and animated. Chris Renaud, co-director of the film, commented on Pacino's departure: "So we don't want an unhappy actor, and we want something that is well-realized on all sides. If you don't see eye to eye, sometimes it's easier to (part company) and move on from there." Benjamin Bratt, who had already been considered before Pacino, stepped in to voice Eduardo. Chris Meledandri, producer of the film, admitted that he was not "aware of any of the major animated films of the last 15 years that has brought an actor in at such a late stage". Due to the finished animation, Bratt had to match his timing exactly to the character's mouth movement. Initially, during his five-day recording, he tried to imitate Pacino's voice, but found it impossible, saying "no one can out-Al Pacino Al Pacino". He ended up only using Pacino as an inspiration, and resolved to go with his own interpretation of the character. His work was commended by Variety, saying: "You'd never guess he wasn't the filmmakers' first choice."
- Despicable Me is the first Illumination film to become a franchise, followed by The Secret Life of Pets and Sing.
- Despicable Me is Universal's fifth animated film to become a franchise, after An American Tail, The Land Before Time, Balto, and Curious George.
- Despicable Me 2 is the second Illumination film to be rated PG for rude humor and mild action by the MPAA, after Despicable Me.