Illumination Entertainment, News

First ‘Despicable Me 3’ Trailer Showcases New Villain, Cool Visuals, and a Lack of Minions (Mostly)

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In the clamor of anticipation for most of the animated films set to arrive during the 2017 year in animation, it’s easy to forget that one of the most reviled studios in the industry (at least, according to our readers) has a movie coming out too.

Yes, I’m talking about Illumination Entertainment and its sole feature film for 2017: Despicable Me 3. The first full trailer for the film dropped this week, promising a big-screen return for the franchise that made Illumination Entertainment into an up-and-coming juggernaut. Watch it below:

As shown in the trailer, Despicable Me 3 picks up the continuing adventures of Gru (Steve Carell), now a married man and presumably now an agent/associate of the Anti-Villain League. He and his wife Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) have been given a new assignment: apprehending Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former washed-up child star – who appears to be eternally stuck in the ’80s – bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and Gru’s going to meet his long-lost twin brother Dru (also played by Carell) who isn’t in this trailer.

Given my misgivings with Illumination Entertainment’s previous offerings (more articles on those later), I personally have to say that I liked the trailer more than I didn’t. For one thing, a distinct lack of Minion presence is quite refreshing (they do appear near the end, in case you thought Illumination was going to retire its money-makers). Also, while the creation of a villain who’s a complete ’80s throwback is par for the course from Illumination, I admire the inventiveness of the character’s actions and interactions, especially where the use of his gadgets were concerned. Combine that with the equally-as-inventive use of James Bond-esque technology/imagery and you have a neat little sequence in the trailer that displays a consistent strong point of the franchise: creative visual set-pieces.

Yet, as much as I liked the trailer, there’s a part of me that still remains unimpressed. With Illumination Entertainment regulars Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio back on as screenwriters once more, the fear that Despicable Me 3 will give in to Illumination Entertainment’s usual pitfalls has not ceased. I still see a lot of the mile-a-minute, hit-and-miss jokes that are missing more than hitting. For example, Gru’s display of public indecency at the end will either have you laughing or groaning at the top of you lungs (I was only slightly amused). Also, while there is fun to be had in the idea of who Balthazar Bratt is as a character, it says a lot about Paul and Daurio’s low-hanging-fruit approach to comedy that he’s literally just an excuse for them to make a bunch of jokes and references to/about ’80s pop culture.

But as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I would love to be proven wrong. If Despicable Me 3 can walk back on many of the faults that made Despicable Me 2 a less-than-spectacular viewing experience – the second act that goes nowhere, the hit-and-miss jokes, the Minions taking up 85% of the screen-time – then I’ll gladly bow my hat (I won’t eat it, ’cause that’s gross).

Despicable Me 3 is directed by the Minions duo of Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda (from a screenplay by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio). Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and Dana Gaier reprise their roles as Gru, Lucy Wilde, Margo, and Edith. New to the franchise is South Park‘s Trey Parker, voicing Balthazar Bratt. Nev Scharrel will replace Elsie Fisher in the role of Agnes and Carell will also voice the role of Dru, Gru’s long-lost twin brother.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to Despicable Me 3?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Manuel Orozco

    I saw the teaser 2-3 times yesterday and the animation is as colorful as ever. Although DM 3 is the animated film I’m looking forward to the most (tied with Smurfs Lost Village) in the new year, I’m a little disappointed Elise Fisher is being replaced as the voice of Agnes. Bratt seems like a clever new foe for Grucy (like the name Lucy gave to her and Gru). Did anyone feel a tiny bit of Megamind Deja vu from hearing Bad playing in the background? Overall, this might turn out to be as good as the original DM movie and Minions combined.

    • brandon

      You do realize that you might be the only one who’s really excited about Despicable Me 3, right?

      • Manuel Orozco

        I don’t think so

    • I do remember that. I believe they also played Bad in the Angry Birds Movie trailer.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I do recall but I didn’t see Angry Birds.

    • I had the same exact feeling hearing that song.

      • Manuel Orozco

        It was too much of a coincidence. Personally I thought Megamind was as good as the original DM. The two movies just had really similar story lines.

        • I agree. I actually think Megamind was better than the original Despicable Me, but it’s pretty close.

          • Manuel Orozco

            To each their own like I always say.

    • Firecat

      Elsie’s probably just too old to play Agnes by now.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I figured

  • I enjoyed the first two movies quite a bit, and Minions was good enough to be rewatchable. The third trailer was good, although I’m concerned by the lack of the girls in the trailer (they’re not seen, only mentioned in a gag). I really liked seeing Gru as a parent, and was intrigued to see what their family unit would be like.

  • TripleStrykeLover

    Not excited! There may not be enough Minions this time (hallelujah), but they are still going to be in this movie and to be honest, it’s another cash-grab from Illumination.

    • brandon

      I wanted to save this bombshell for an upcoming article, but I’ll say it here anyway: I personally liked Minions better than Despicable Me 2. But that’s an internet slap-fight for another time (and yes, all will be explained as to why I feel that way).

      But yeah, there’s no universe out there in which a Despicable Me movie won’t use the Minions.

      • Dave 52

        I am actually interested to read why you prefer Minions over Despicable Me 2. As you are already know I wanted to like Minions a lot more but at best thought it was okay. Maybe hearing your reasoning can bring in some new light and make one look at it in a different way.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I think Minions was as good as the original DM movie. But I still think DM2 is better.

  • G.C. Bolling

    I’m ready for this movie. Balthazar looks like an incredibly fun character, he might very well replace the minions when it comes to stealing scenes

  • Illumination’s films are hit-and-miss for me. Despicable Me 1 was very good, The Lorax was very mediocre, never saw Despicable Me 2, never saw Minions (I can’t stand them), Secret Life of Pets was very good, and Sing looks pretty good (at least from the trailers).

    • Manuel Orozco

      I agree Sings looks really good. Cats Don’t Dance and Happy Feet combined

      • Yep. And the early reviews suggest that while not groundbreaking, it’s fun.

        • Manuel Orozco

          There’s a 50% chance I will see it in theatres. I have been reading the Rotten Tomatoes rating 78%.

        • Manuel Orozco

          On second thought, I will 100% try and see Sing just after I see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tomorrow

        • Manuel Orozco

          Hey there I just got back from seeing Sing in 3D

          • Before I ask how the movie was, is seeing it in 3D worth it?

          • Manuel Orozco

            Yes it is for a few occasions of pop up

          • Manuel Orozco

            Anyway it was the in my opinion the best animated film I’ve seen this year tied with Kung Fu Panda 3. Colorfully animated, fun filled music and a sensational voice cast.

          • So you found it that good. It’s better than even Zootopia or Kubo?

          • Manuel Orozco

            I didn’t see Kubo yet but I plan to whenever it’s available to rent on DVD Netflix. It’s on a bit of a wait right now. Better than Zootopia yes. Matthew Mcoughanay was an awesome choice for Buster

          • Thanks for your opinion. I’ll probably see it tomorrow or Thursday.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Trust me you won’t be disappointed. Think of it if you were born in the 90’s like me as Cats Don’t Dance and Happy Feet combined. Just that it’s not a full blown jukebox musical.

          • I was born in 99′. Never saw Cats, did see Happy Feet (it was ok).

          • Manuel Orozco

            I thought Happy Feet was good. I had seen Cats Don’t Dance almost 4 1/2 years ago. That one is good too. It’s a animated musical satire parodying classic Hollywood musicals from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. It’s actually set in 1939 and was released 1997.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Just to give you more information. Cats Don’t Dance is from Mark Dindel who later directed the Emperor’s New Groove for Disney and with songs written by Randy Newman. With an all-star voice cast led by Scott Bakula and Jasmine Guy (Natalie Cole providing singing voice), it was the first non-Disney film to win the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.

          • Thanks for the info. I’ll check it out.

          • Manuel Orozco

            It’s not that great but it’s fun, colorfully animated, occasionally romantic and nostalgic (for those that is who are the tiniest bit familiar with the Golden Age of Cinema and not just Wizard of Oz). The legendary Gene Kelly was a creative consultant before he passed away. At that time, production was nearly completed.

  • As for this trailer, I like the lack of Minions. What made the first film very good, in my view, was Gru and his family, not the Minions. But the rest of this trailer was simply ok. Doesn’t look bad, but I didn’t really laugh. And once again, we have a comical, non-serious villain.

    • Manuel Orozco

      See DM 2 and Minions while you still can. I love the Minions

  • I saw the trailer, and I laughed a few times, but other than that……. nothing. I literally have little to no opinion on Illumination other than eh, and this film does not seem like it will change the perception I have. Don’t know why I have absolutely no connection to Illumination’s work.

    Anyways, I have to give it to you Brandon for making all of these articles within the last few weeks, as many of the others are busy, and with it being the holiday season, you don’t have to be doing all of this. It’s interesting that you’re planning on making a lot more articles about Illumination.

    • brandon

      Thanks! Just about all of the regular writers (me included) are enjoying the holidays, so yeah, you just nailed down one of the primary reasons for why the website has been rather quiet.

      That being said, I thought I’d spend some of my free time blitzing out articles that I wanted to write as well as articles that should have been written already ;).

      So, for a general forecast: the list of articles is extensive enough that you may not see them all before Christmas or even New Year’s. I have yet another ‘Disney remake’ article to write (in case you and I haven’t suffered enough). Then, I have a whole host of trailer articles to do (Deapicable Me 3 was just the beginning). There’s another WB-related rumor that will totally be made into a ‘blind item’ article. Lastly, like you said, I still have a surprising amount to say about Illumination that could add up to at least four articles worth of material. Then there’s other stuff like the Holiday Gift Guide, some listicles (heh) and other such fun things.

      Again, thanks for your support and happy holidays!

    • Rachel Wagner

      Many of us were also exhausted from the Disney Canon Countdown and needed a break. I’m grateful to Brandon for holding down the fort

  • This was a really fun trailer and yeah I really liked the lack of minions, just been so tired of seeing them everywhere in 2015 but they’ll probably have a good amount of them in this but baby steps would be nice lol
    I actually saw a video that explained Bratts backstory, such a sad origin story like my goodness, so I’m so excited to see this just for the villain alone to be honest haha! I can’t wait to see what the other trailers will show next ^.^

    • Manuel Orozco

      I was given the first impression that Bratt would be a Darla Dimple inspired villain in a grown up’s body.

  • Well I loved Despicable Me 2, more than the original, there was a lot of heart in that one & Lucy was great. I’ll probably give it a chance, if even just to see more of Gru being a big softy.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I loved Despicable Me 2 more than the original as well!

  • Marielle

    I liked the first two Despicable Me movies. Gru and the girls are great together and the second movie had a very comical villain. I see Despicable Me 3 is going for another funny villain. If they can also have touching family moments (and not too much Minions), I will probably enjoy it.

    Visually, it doesn’t seem to innovate much. Pixar/Disney films always come out looking better than the last, but I can’t really see that with Illumination. I think it’s part of their strategy not to invest in research. They are not trying to be the best looking movies around because they don’t need that to make money.

  • I can’t wait. I loved the first one, the second one is quickly growing on me (I mean, I never hated it, I just thought it was really mediocre) and still think “Minions” was terrible. But, I have hope for this one. The trailer was hilarious, the villain was great, outside of the LEGO Batman movie, this is easily the animated film I’m most excited for.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m excited for Lego Batman as well.

    • You view on this is definitely different than mine. BTW, I’m glad to see you here.

  • Dave 52

    Why can’t Illumination put more effort into their other films like they do with this franchise?

    While the Despicable Me franchise isn’t great and their plots are predictable (and from what I’ve read this will be no different) they have enough humor, heart, creativity, and fun to still be enjoyable and good. Like the previous two films this looks to be both fun and funny but I only wish Illumination’s other films have the effort that this franchise seems to put in. Fingers crossed that the “Johnny Express” movie will be given just as much effort as Despicable Me.

    • Manuel Orozco

      After DM 3, I’m looking forward to their remakes of Cat in the Hat and the Grinch as well as Secret Life of Pets 2 which by the way is taking a big risk releasing in 2018.

  • Wmc Barker

    where are the MINIONS that I love, I want MINIONS not that wierdo, MINIONS< MINIONS & MORE MINIONS

    • brandon

      I believe Minions 2 might not be far away from reality. If it happens, expect a 2019/2020 release date.

      • Manuel Orozco

        A Minions 2 is totally unnecessary

        • brandon

          Try telling Illumination Entertainment that.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Not guaranteed I will do that but oh well.

          • brandon

            That was meant to be sarcasm, but oh well.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Fooled me easily as pie

          • brandon

            Take a minute and Google sarcasm. Educate yourself 😉

          • Manuel Orozco

            I know what sarcasm is.

          • brandon

            Fooled me easily.

  • I kinda liked this trailer, but I’m scared myself, this studio has a terrible track record , plus, I know I’ll be seeing this trailer in almost every movie I watch, that’s become standard for illumination.

    • brandon

      We all see trailers for other movies before almost every movie at the theaters. What makes Illumination different?

      • 9 times out of ten if I go see a movie in a theater, one of the trailers is for whatever Illumination movie is coming out. Which can be irritating. I saw trailers for both Secret Life of pets and or Sing for every movie minus two or three I sat through this past year. Thats annoying

        • brandon

          I definitely understand that as a pet-peeve of yours, but that’s what happens if you go to movies on a regular basis. Nine times out of ten, you will see the same trailer for ever film at least several times.

          • Not as often as I see Illumination trailers, trust me. I only got Rogue One trailers 3 maybe 4 times. Let that sink in

          • Manuel Orozco

            I only saw the Rogue One trailer twice in thestres and I’m seeing the real thing tomorrow.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Which doesn’t 100% bother me

        • Manuel Orozco

          I saw the Sing trailer only one time when I saw the Secret Life of Pets.

          • Lucky you, I’ve gotten with almost every movie, which is odd because some of those movies were R-rated

          • Manuel Orozco

            That’s weird. And I never gone to an R rated movie in theaters since j only watch them once in a while. So you can say I’m on a movie diet.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Hey there. Just replying back to let you know I saw Sing yesterday. In my opinion, it’s the best animated film I’ve seen this year tied with Kung Fu Panda 3.

  • lillypad2114

    I shall be eagerly awaiting to see if Illumination is actually going to provide us with a coherent plot and/or emotional weight. DM2 was such a mess considering lack of actually bonding Gru and Lucy past funny gags or absolutely over the top or the Minions (curse the walking Corn Pops) interrupting and ruining any scene that actually could have been character building. Saccharine is how I would describe Illumination films in general. Now, before I get the all caps defense of these movies, thats fine if they are. Not every movie can be an UP, HTTYD2, or Moana. These movies are more akin to the Transformer series, a fun time or a ‘Popcorn flick.’ But of course one thing we can all count on is Illumination making tons of Cash. I think they could make a movie with just one Minion speaking gibberish in a room and parents would take their kids in droves. The only way this really does grind my beans though is that more people take their children to these ‘popcorn movies’ over ones like Kubo and the two strings and thus, like Doug Walker has said; it will tell studios which is profitable and beget more of the same cash cow.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Well despite some possible creative changes, I’m sure DM 3 will give us a bit of what fun entertainment we come to the theatre for when it comes to the Gru family and more. Also, I’m going to get a bit of hate for this but I saw Sing yesterday. It was my opinion the best animated film I’ve seen this year tied with Kung Fu Panda 3.

  • Not a bad trailer. I did laugh a few times. The trailer reminded me of a couple different things, though. First, the bubbles reminded me of the bubbles that Mr. Incredible was shot with in The Incredibles. They start small, then self-inflate. Next, this villain made me think of Uncle Rico. Someone in present day stuck in ’82. LOL. I do quite enjoy the Despicable Me movies. Although they are nothing extremely groundbreaking, they are fun to watch. I will more than likely check this one out in theaters.

  • Dante Panora

    It only feels like the previous one came out a few months ago for me…

    • Manuel Orozco

      Three years have gone by fast as a blizzard (no pun intended).