Despicable Me - 2010

Despicable Me - 2010
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: The notion of “evil” is primary to the plot. Evil deeds are seen as positive, in a comedic sense. Immature, slapstick comedy. Cartoonish violence.


Overview: When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better. Lots of great conversation opportunities here: we see what misplaced ambition can lead to and the fact that anyone, no matter how evil, has a heart and can be loved.


Themes: evil, heroes, family, parenting, lifestyle change, ambition, performance improvement, comparison, identity

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Evil. What are some evil things that you see in our world? What questions do you have about evil and the broken parts of this world?

  • Gru wanted to be the greatest villain in the history of the world. He had big plans to do evil things. He initially didn’t love other people very well and wanted to steal from others so that he could benefit.

  • Parent resource: How to Talk to Your Kids About Satan/Evil

2. Vulnerable Children. What questions do you have about children living in orphanages or foster homes? Do you know what it means to be adopted? What do you think the girls are feeling?

3. Comparison. Do you ever compare yourself to others? How has that felt?

  • Gru was jealous of other villains and constantly compared himself to other villains who accomplished more. His identity and sense of self-worth were stuck in his accomplishments, which led him to become quite angry and unsatisfied. Remember that you’re always likely to “compare up”, and there will always be someone who has more or who has done more. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try to remember that God made you very unique and you are special – there is no one else on Earth exactly like you!

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Parenting self-evaluation: It’s one thing to care for a child, but raising and training them is entirely different and more difficult. We see Gru attempt the former early on in the film, using the children only for what they could give to him and only out of his own convenience. Our calling as parents is far more difficult and inconvenient: it’s to represent the love and grace of their Father God in heaven and influence them towards independent, healthy adulthood. Self-reflection: Who is actually at the center of your parenting: You or your child?


2. Parenting self-evaluation: As a child, Gru wanted nothing more than his mother’s approval (seen at :15 and :56). Her lack of love and care sent him on an unhealthy pursuit to achieve greatness and eventually caused him to do bad things. How would you evaluate the level of praise and encouragement you give your child? What is one thing you can do this week to grow in your ability to provide your child with words of affirmation?


3. Gru wanted to be the greatest villain in the history of the world. He had big plans to do evil things. He initially didn’t love other people very well and wanted to steal from others so that he could benefit. What are some evil things that you see in our world? What questions do you have about evil and the broken parts of this world?

4. Gru’s ambition was misplaced. Ambition is a strong desire to make something happen. Ambition is a wonderful thing, but what our desires and goals are for evil, the results are tragic. We see a similar path in Paul’s life. Before his conversion, Paul (known as Saul, at that time) used his leadership abilities and passionate beliefs to hunt down and persecute other Christians. Read the two following Bible passages. What changed for Paul? What was the result of Paul’s ambition shift to something more positive and loving?

  • 1 Timothy 1:13 “Even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief."

  • 1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified."

5. Gru had a lot of help on his path to achieve significance. Nothing of significance can ever be accomplished alone. Who are the people in your life who help you with difficult tasks? Who are some people you can ask for help from?


6. Gru was jealous of other villains and constantly compared himself to other villains who accomplished more. His identity and sense of self-worth were stuck in his accomplishments, which led him to become quite angry and unsatisfied. Remember that you’re always likely to “compare up”, and there will always be someone who has more or who has done more. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try to remember that God made you very unique and you are special – there is no one else on Earth exactly like you! Do you ever compare yourself to others? How has that felt?

7. Even the most evil people in the world have hearts and can change. Is there anyone you can think of that you could never see changing to be a good person? What small things might happen to them where they might change?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:09 Gru shows off the things he’s stolen. Gru has a lot of great qualities, but they are directed in a sinful direction. He has ambition and he’s accomplished a lot. He’s gained followers in the minions, but he’s leading them down a dark path. Ambition is a strong desire to make something happen. What do you have ambitions for? Are your ambitions to do good, or could they be bad (like Gru)?


:12 The girls return to the orphanage. Margo, Edith, and Agnes are orphans who hope to be adopted one day. What questions do you have about children living in orphanages or foster homes? Do you know what it means to be adopted? What do you think the girls are feeling?

:22 The girls pray to God. What are the things you pray about?

:23 Gru tries to get into Vector’s lair. Gru unsuccessfully tries 8 different ways to get into Vector’s home. On the 9th try, he finally succeeds. Gru shows a ton of resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and challenges. Next time you’re initially having trouble with a task, remember to keep trying different ways to solve the problem without giving up! When you try to accomplish a task, how many times do you usually try before giving up?


:58 Gru and the minions decide to build their own rocket. This is a great example of Gru’s resiliency. When others said it couldn’t be done, Gru took matters into his own hands and put in the hard work to accomplish his goals. When you want something done, do you ask for others to do it for you, or do you try to figure out a way to get it done yourself?


1:02 Gru reads the girls a bed time story. What’s your favorite part of our nighttime routine? Is there anything else you wish that we did?


1:06 Gru tries to prioritize the dance recital over the moon heist. Gru had to choose between sticking to his plan and doing what was right. We all face this very same choice in our lives. Can you think of an example of a time you had to alter your plan to do what is right?


1:23 Gru reads the book he wrote to the girls. Gru’s transformation came when he gave to others instead of taking from them. Our life is meant to serve others, not to be served. When Jesus was trying to explain to His disciples how they should love one another, He modeled His expectations by washing their feet. Our lives are meant to be lived in a way that gives honor to God and loves others through serving them. What is one way you can change from focusing on what others do for you and chose to serve them instead?