Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster Despicable Me entertained audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. Now, get ready for more Minion madness in Despicable Me 2 (rated PG for mild humor and action; and with a running time of 98 min.)

CHRIS MELEDANDRI and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy adventure featuring the return of (former?) super-villain Gru (STEVE CARELL of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!), his adorable girls, the unpredictably hilarious Minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.

Now that the ever-entrepreneurial Gru has left behind a life of super crime to raise Margo (MIRANDA COSGROVE of television’s iCarly), Edith (DANA GAIER of Bullied) and Agnes (ELSIE FISHER of television’s Masha and the Bear), Gru, Dr. Nefario (RUSSELL BRAND of Get Him to the Greek, Hop) and the Minions have some free time on their hands.

But as he starts to adjust to his role as a suburban family man, an ultra-secret organization dedicated to fighting evil around the globe comes knocking. Now, it’s up to Gru and his new partner, Lucy Wilde (KRISTEN WIIG of Bridesmaids, TV’s Saturday Night Live), to discover who is responsible for a spectacular crime and bring him to justice. After all, it takes the world’s greatest ex-villain to catch the one vying to take his place…

Joining the returning cast for Despicable Me 2 are KEN JEONG (The Hangover trilogy, television’s Community) as Floyd Eagle-san, proprietor of the local hair replacement club for men and key suspect in the most despicable crime to hit the globe since Gru departed the game; STEVE COOGAN (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Tropic Thunder) as Silas Ramsbottom, Lucy’s boss in the Anti-Villain League and a superspy whose surname offers an endless source of amusement to the Minions; MOISES ARIAS (Hannah Montana, The Secret World of Arrietty) as Antonio, the oh-so-suave object of Margo’s girlhood affection (and Gru’s supreme annoyance); and BENJAMIN BRATT (Miss Congeniality, Snitch) as Eduardo Perez, Antonio’s father, owner of Salsa & Salsa restaurant, and the man who may or may not be the most macho super-villain who ever villained, El Macho.

In Despicable Me, we were introduced to our protagonist, super-villain Gru, who was given a monumental challenge when he encountered three orphan girls who unexpectedly changed his life. The arc of the relationship between Gru and Margo, Edith and Agnes was the heartbeat of this animated adventure, and remains an essential element in what has grown into a franchise.

As the filmmakers approached the story for Despicable Me 2, they felt that the ending of the first movie—Gru realizing how much he loved the girls— was truly a beginning for the characters. The formation of this unusual family, and how they will move forward, provided a rich and identifiable point of engagement for moviegoers across the globe who saw their unique families reflected in this animated one.

After Despicable Me’s success, what became clear to the team was that the first film served as a launching pad. Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri elaborates that it was the outpouring of support that ensured that there would be more tales of Gru and his family: "After Despicable Me’s success, it was clear that we wanted to make another film. The storytelling process of determining what was going to happen in the next film was a natural evolution. I’ve never had an experience where a conversation about a sequel was as organic as it was with Despicable Me 2. The characters and relationships that had been formed suggested many different places that we could go with the story. But we knew that the underlying core was going to be about the evolution of this family. That was absolutely clear."

The creative team behind Despicable Me returns for Despicable Me 2 with a unified goal: to honor what worked so well in the first story, to amplify those elements through character and story, and deliver the combustible mixture of the sweet, the subversive and the unexpected that had such an impact on audiences. Meledandri acknowledges that this was no accident: "The team that made Despicable Me over a four-year period was nothing short of extraordinary. From our incredibly talented directors, Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin; to our writers, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio; to my producing partner, Janet Healy; and all of the animators, designers, storyboard artists, technical directors, sound mixers—there were hundreds of people who brought their talents together to realize this wonderful film. I am fortunate enough to have them back to make the sequel. The relationship that was forged through the first film has translated into shorthand and a collaborative spirit on the second film that’s extraordinary."

—taken from the production notes of Despicable Me 2, courtesy of Universal Films