As with Megamind, Despicable Me concerns the humanity of a super-villain, in this instance lifelong baddie Gru (Steve Carell). In Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud’s inspired if slight animated saga, Gru operates in a world accustomed to his nefariousness – his neighbors hardly blanche at his malevolent-looking residence amidst their cookie-cutter planned community homes, and wrongdoing is funded by loans from the Bank of Evil. When he’s upstaged by a newbie named Vector (Jason Segal) who garners headlines by pilfering a pyramid, Gru endeavors to one-up his competitor by stealing the moon with the aid of a shrink-ray. His machinations become far more complicated, however, after he enlists the services of three orphan girls to carry out his plan, and his newfound parental duties slowly begin warming his cold soul. Fatherly devotion is the story’s emotional crux but Despicable Me’s sweetness only truly succeeds because of its script’s sharp humor, which concentrates less on genre subversion than witty, random one-liners. To that end, the film benefits immensely from a Carell lead vocal turn that’s loopy and droll, a narrative whose undercurrents about responsibility, purpose and devotion never overwhelm the material’s primary silliness, and a spirited pace and lively animation that enhance an overall mood of comedic zippiness.