Story

This is the third movie in the popular Despicable Me series, but it also stands alone and audiences can watch and enjoy it without having seen the earlier movies.

Gru (voice of Steve Carrell) used to be a super-villain, but now he is a special agent for the Anti Villain League (AVL). Together with his wife Lucy (voice of Kristen Wiig), Gru is sent to pursue the hilariously unfashionable Balthazar Bratt (voice of Trey Parker), a former child star who has become the world’s most feared shoulder-pad-wearing villain. Gru and Lucy stop Balthazar from stealing the world’s biggest diamond, but Balthazar still manages to escape. Their failure to catch him means that they’re fired from the AVL.

Gru and Lucy don’t know how they’ll find work to support their three adopted daughters. Unexpectedly, Gru is contacted by someone who informs him that he has a long-lost twin brother, Dru (voice of Steve Carrell), who wants to meet him. Together with Lucy and the three girls, he flies to meet the mysterious twin brother in person. Dru turns out to be a warm-hearted and flamboyant millionaire, who has some secrets to share about Gru’s estranged father.

In the meantime, Balthazar Bratt has once again stolen the diamond and is going to use it in a diabolical plan to destroy Hollywood. Gru convinces Dru to help him steal back the diamond so that Gru can get his job back. A hilarious madcap adventure follows.

Themes

Good versus bad; importance of family; brotherhood; loss of employment

Violence

Despicable Me 3 has many scenes of animated violence. For example:

  • Characters use weapons like guns, bombs, torpedoes and poisoned arrows. No characters ever seem to be harmed.
  • Characters fight each other using martial arts, kicking and punching.
  • When young Balthazar Bratt gets angry and frustrated, he starts kicking things and destroying property. He damages a newsstand and a camera.
  • Two minions repeatedly kick Gru’s butler in the legs.
  • Lucy goes into a bar and attacks everyone using martial arts.
  • Balthazar Bratt tries to kill Gru with a giant laser beam.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Despicable Me 3 has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Some scenes show characters doing dangerous things like driving a car too fast and falling off a cliff.
  • Balthazar Bratt has an army of little dolls called the ‘brat pack’. The dolls are tiny versions of him with glowing eyes. They follow Gru and Dru.
  • Balthazar has designed a giant robot of himself, which shoots laser beams and destroys buildings. Some children might find the robot scary.
  • Some scenes show collapsing buildings.
  • Balthazar disguises himself as the girls’ mother and kidnaps them. When he takes off the mask and reveals himself, the children are frightened.

From 5-8
Children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Despicable Me 3 has some mild sexual references and crude humour. For example:

  • Gru goes to visit his mother and finds her swimming in the swimming pool with two male attendants. There is some innuendo.
  • One of the minions points to a statue of one of Gru’s ancestors and says, ‘Gru with boobs’.
  • A pig attacks Gru, and he says, ‘No! That’s my private parts!’.
  • The oldest girl mistakenly becomes engaged to a boy from the village. He says to the girl, ‘Hello my schmoopsy-poo, kiss, kiss, kiss’.
  • Gru says to his brother, ‘I thought you were going to pee your pants’. His brother replies, ‘I did’. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There is some use of substances in Despicable Me 3, including one scene of adults drinking in a bar, and a drunk man being thrown out. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity in Despicable Me 3, including when Gru’s clothes are blasted off by the sound waves from Balthazar’s guitar. The same thing happens to Balthazar later in the movie. Nothing is shown. 

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in Despicable Me 3 itself, but merchandise associated with the movie is likely to be marketed to children.

Coarse language

Despicable Me 3 has some mild coarse language and name-calling.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Despicable Me 3 is the third movie in the series featuring ex-villain Gru. It’s a funny and fun action adventure. It’s very silly and has laughs at every level, so it can be enjoyed by adults and children. The main characters are all very likeable, even the villain. 

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • It’s important to do what you believe is good and right.
  • Look after your family.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of using violence to solve problems.