Despite the fact that the title character at the center of Despicable Me might sound a little bit like Shrek, don’t let any superficial similarities discourage you from catching this equally-delightful animated adventure. Yes, at first blush, its ugly antihero is reminiscent of the much-beloved ogre, but it doesn’t take long for this variation on the theme to blossom into a thoroughly original persona.
Gru (Steve Carrell) is a hook-nosed hunchback with a vaguely Transylvanian accent who has singlehandedly ruined the otherwise idyllic slice of suburbia where he resides. Everyone on the block has learned to give the gruesome-looking misanthrope a wide berth; after all, his house is not only painted black but surrounded by a dead lawn. Plus, whenever he ventures into town in his road-hogging, jet-propelled tank, he tends to cause minor disturbances, like when he used one of his inventions to freeze everyone on line in front of him at the local coffee shop.