Rarely can animated adventures improve on their original outings (Toy Story 2), but Despicable Me 2 goes to the moon and beyond. With the 2010 smash grossing $540 million at the worldwide box office, it was only a matter of time before Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment sent more minion madness to the big screen.

This time around, transformed supervillain Gru (Carell) is embracing his newly domesticated lifestyle after adopting the three super-charming orphans - Margo (Cosgrave), Edith (Gaier) and little Agnes (Fisher). With his new jelly-and-jam company going sour, Gru finds himself being recruited by Anti-Villain League Chief Silas Ramsbotton (who Gru mistakenly calls Sheepsbottom), and his wannabe sidekick Lucy Wilde (Wigg).

Following an undersea adventure that would give Spongebob Squarepants a run for his money, Gru reluctantly agrees to take on the role of a secret spy, with the mission of tracking down a new bad guy who has developed a transformative formula, that can turn things into purple monsters (fans of Barney look away now).

As Gru goes undercover in a quaint mall cupcake shop, he quickly finds himself becoming suspicious of a Mexican restaurant owner (Bratt), who bears a resemblance to El Macho, a villain believed to have died while riding a shark into a volcano with 250 pounds of TNT strapped to his chest. However, things really begin to spice up when Gru finds himself falling for Lucy.

Once again Steve Carell works his magic acting as the voice of Gru. If the scene-stealing jabbering yellow minions and their 21 fart gun salute doesn’t have your little darlings laughing hysterically, then Gru’s hilarious transformation into a fairy godmother at a princess birthday party will certainly do the trick.

Underneath the spectacular silliness and Looney Tunes-type chaos lies a charming and sentimental story involving Gru’s eldest daughter and her first love, that will tug at the heartstrings (if not set fear upon) every parent in the audience. Meanwhile, Gru's own blossoming romance makes for a charming and sweet sub-plot.

The 3D effects really add to the kaleidoscope of fun that writers Ken Daurio and Chris Renaud have created, while the adorable soundtrack from Pharrell Williams is simply delightful - especially his clap-along song, Happy.

While Gru’s original arch-villain Vector (Jason Segel) doesn’t make an appearance in this outing, Benjamin Bratt does a terrific job at bringing the new bad guy on the block to life. Ken Jeong voices the part of wig store owner Floyd Eagle to perfection, while Kristen Wigg will dazzle kids with her cool gadgets and witty one-liners.

Despicable? Nah this movie is anything but! Here’s to hoping for a Minion spinoff.

Warning:  Don’t leave until the credits are over as the minions have a  special surprise.

Laura Delaney

Film Trailers by Filmtrailer.com