|“||Next, we are going to steal... pause for effect... the MOON! And once the moon is mine, the world will give me whatever I want to get it back, and I will be the greatest villain of all time! That's what I'm talking about.||„|
|~ Gru announcing his plans to the Minions.|
Felonious Gru, commonly referred to by his surname, is the main protagonist of the Despicable Me franchise.
He is the main protagonist of the Despicable Me trilogy and Minions: The Rise of Gru and a minor character in Illumination's 5th animated feature film Minions. He is an infamous supervillain who later reforms and becomes a hero upon adopting three orphan girls.
Born in the family with long line of villainy, ever since Gru was young, he tried to impress his aloof mother with his inventions to no avail (even after building a highly successful rocket, his mother is still not impressed, only to disgrace and nullify him abusively). This neglectful treatment from his mother is what led him to become a villain in the first place and fly to the moon so that he could take it for himself. He was unaware of his father Robert - a legendary supervillain - and his twin brother Dru's existence.
In the 2015 prequel, Gru first appeared as a young kid attending the 1968's Villain Con with his mother, observing Dr. Nefario's Freeze Ray. He appears again near the very end freezing Scarlet Overkill and Herb Overkill with the Freeze Ray. With that, he takes the crown from Scarlet and refuses to give it back to her. Kevin (the leader of the Minions) discovers that he has found a new master, so he and the rest of the Minions followed him, leaving Scarlet and Herb in the iceberg. Since then, the minions begin working for him. During the credits, Gru becomes a little annoyed with the Minions, but starts to accept them as his friends.
He reappears in the after-credits scene where he dances with the rest of the characters until they are scared off by an arriving Tyrannosaurus Rex. Gru didn't notice until the T-rex roars at him and tries to use his freeze ray to stop it. However, the freeze rays shortens on power, leaving Gru to chuckle nervously as he is now at the mercy of the tyrannosaurus. It is unknown what happened to him afterward.
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Gru is slated to be an important character in the 2022 prequel sequel. Set in the 1970s, Gru attempts to audition for his favorite supervillain group known as the Vicious 6. When his audition goes awry, he finds himself their mortal enemy.
In the first film, Gru serves as an antagonist turned main protagonist, With the assistance from the Minions and an elderly Nefario (who supplies weapons for him), Gru became the number-one greatest villain of all time before being replaced by Vector Perkins, who managed to steal the Great Pyramid of Giza. In order to get his pride back and impress his mother, Gru plans to steal the moon by using a shrink ray that he stole from an East Asian facility in order to receive a bank loan to build a rocket.
He later adopts three girls named Margo, Edith, and Agnes, using them to retrieve the shrink ray Vector stole from him, so he can use it to shrink the moon. However, when he goes to the carnival with the girls, he soon decided to change his ways and becomes a loving father to them. Despite getting the shrink ray in his possession, Gru is upset to learn that his bank manager Mr. Perkins won't fund a loan for a rocket, as Mr. Perkins wants his son (who turns out to be Vector) to do the job of stealing the moon himself. Despite the setback, Gru was cheered up by the girls and Minions (who gave him their allowances to fund for the plan), and they all pitched up to help Gru successfully create a rocket out of parts from Gru's lair.
Just as Gru finally completed his goal in shrinking and stealing the moon, he attempts to attend the girls' ballet recital, only to find out that Vector has kidnapped them and held them hostage in his lair, demanding for the moon in exchange for them, since Vector planned to claim the moon for himself and remain the number-one villain that he is. Deciding that the girls are more important than his career as a villain, Gru instantly commits to the exchange, but Vector reneges on the deal, taking both the moon and the girls for himself in his escape pod. Infuriated by this, Gru arranges himself, Dr. Nefario, and the minions to launch a rescue for the girls, and at the same time, Dr. Nefario reveals that the effects of the shrink ray are temporary and that the object will instantly return back to its original size based on its mass. Gru then realizes in shock that the moon will revert back to its normal size anytime now.
Taking action, Gru, Nefario, and the Minions manage to save the girls while the moon starts to grow, causing Vector's ship to go into hyper-jump, where it reverts back to its normal size on its orbit, destroying Vector's ship and leaving Vector stranded on its surface with a space helmet. Having defeated Vector for good, Gru gave up his villain ways and he, his mother, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions celebrate as the girls perform their recital for them. During the celebration, Gru's mother finally acknowledges her son of his success, declaring him to be a better parent than she is, much to his delight.
Gru makes a short cameo in the DVD released short Home Makeover where he was out of the house and the orphanage sent an inspector to examine how suitable Gru's house is for children. Margo, Edith and Agnes completely redecorate the interior of the house by disguising Gru's sharp-thorned/needle-pricked weapons and other violent themed objects to look like harmless props for young children. One minion standing on top of Margo was disguised as Gru while the inspector observes Gru's house. When the inspector was about to leave, Gru saw Margo and the minion disguised as him, then the minion runs away screaming which scares the inspector so much that he faints into Gru's arms. Gru sees the inspector's clipboard say "Suitable for children" and he is delighted, but when looking only a few seconds at his redecorated house, he faints as well. However, Agnes mistakes this as him fainting from liking it.
Despicable Me 2
In the sequel, Gru is now running a jelly business with the help from the Minions, but is saddened to see Nefario leaving because of the latter's desire to do evil despite their previous success. Eventually, Gru is recruited to the Anti-Villain League (or AVL for short) to help them fight a new villain named El Macho due to his knowledge on villains. Teaming up with AVL agent Lucy Wilde, Gru helps set up a cupcake bakery at local mall to find clues while developing a relationship with Lucy.
During the Cinco de Mayo celebration, Gru finds out that the local Mexican restaurant owner Eduardo Perez is actually El Macho and that Nefario is currently working for him. Gru is even horrified to learn that El Macho and Nefario have kidnapped many of the Minions and mutated them with a stolen mutagen called PX-41, turning them into purple savage hairy monsters, and that El Macho plans to send numerous rockets containing the mutated Minions to major cities around the world to achieve world domination.
Having learned about Gru's previous success of stealing the moon, El Macho offers Gru a team-up, but Gru politely refuses and leaves, prompting El Macho to send a mutated Minion named Kevin to go after him. Gru enraged upo learning Margo has been dumped by her boyfriend Antonio Perez, who is El Macho's son and ends up being encased in ice by Gru for breaking Margo's heart.
When Lucy arrives to attend the Cinco de Mayo celebration, El Macho (being aware that she's working for the AVL) kidnaps her and takes her hostage. Witnessing this and realizing his mistake, Nefario quits El Macho's employ and rejoins Gru's team, secretly informing Gru that El Macho's on to him and Lucy has been taken hostage. As Gru heads off to El Macho's lair to rescue Lucy, Nefario creates an antidote for the PX-41 and mixes it with Gru's jelly to help turn all the mutated Minions (including Kevin) back to normal. Gru and El Macho (who mutates himself into a huge furry monster after drinking the mutagen) engage into a fight, which ends when Gru uses Lucy's Lipstick-Taser to defeat him. He then rescues Lucy from being sent into a volcano on a rocket (fired by El Macho's pet chicken El Pollito) before successfully asking her out on a date.
Following 147 dates, Gru marries Lucy and the girls are happy to have a mother. The Minions close with a rendition of "I Swear" and "Y.M.C.A." as the whole family celebrates.
Despicable Me 3
Felonious Gru reappeared in Despicable Me 3. Gru and Lucy were fired from the AVL after his attempt to capture Balthazar Bratt goes horribly wrong. After that, through an invitation Gru soon finds out that he has a richer, more successful and somewhat dimwitted long lost brother named Dru, who tries to get him to reconnect with his supervillain roots, which is encouraged by his minions. He also went back to being a villain, but he later redeems himself again.
At first, Gru is a sneaky, dishonest, manipulative, and somewhat cold-hearted man who is determined to become the greatest villain in the world. He hates children, being easily irritated by Agnes, Edith, and Margo. He is self-centered, pompous, and vain, he only adopts the girls so that he can get the shrink ray, which he intends to use to shrink the moon so that he can steal it.
He is also rather cruel, arrogant, flagitious, and even sadistic, enjoying using his Freeze Ray, which is his signature weapon often freezing people just for the sake of it. Despite these traits, Gru is shown to be good friends with Dr. Nefario, and he also treats his Minions quite well interacting with them and calling each one of them by name instead of just treating them like slaves. However, he also says that he has no intention of giving his minions a raise.
As time goes on, Gru starts to enjoy spending time with his three adopted daughters, and he eventually grows to genuinely love them, putting aside his dream of stealing the moon and risking his life to rescue them from Vector. Dr. Nefario disapproves of the fact that Gru's warmer and compassionate side is starting to reveal itself and sent the girls back to the orphanage. Though Gru doesn't attempt to stop Miss Hattie from taking them, he is clearly upset about them leaving and later said that giving them up is the worst mistake he had ever made. He also does his best to get to their dance performance after stealing the moon, and is upset when he discovers that he is too late.
Gru also has a tendency to say "light bulb" whenever he has an idea. He also speaks in an unusual accent (probably East European) which was described as "a mix of Ricardo Montalban and Bela Lugosi". When being asked about his accent by Ellen DeGeneres, he says that he was from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he asks Ellen not to push this topic any further. At the end of the first film, and throughout the rest of the series, Gru has turned into a softie.
Enemies/Villains defeated by Gru (in Order)
So far, Felonius Gru has defeated 9 Enemies.
- Scarlet & Herb Overkill- As a teen, Gru freezes them and walks away while stealing Queen Elizabeth II's crown from them.
- Victor Perkins - At the Bank of Evil, after realizing Vector stole the pyramid, Gru angrily freezing his head. However, Vector survives this and jumps on Gru's rocket, but Gru defeats him again with electrical countermeasures, causing Vector to be sapped by power pylons. Vector returns and kidnaps Gru's girls, but Gru, his minions and Nefario save them before the moon could expand, ultimately defeating Vector and trapping him on it for eternity.
- Antonio Perez - After Antonio dumps Margo and breaks her heart by dancing with another girl, Gru freezes Antonio.
- Evil Minions - Gru, along with Margo, Edith, Agnes and the reformed Dr. Nefario, defeat the Evil Minions with Jelly guns, so the minions are back to normal.
- El Macho - After drinking the last cup of PX-41, El Macho turns into a giant purple beast, Gru runs out of ammo in his jelly gun and a showdown occurs. When El Macho tries to kill Gru, he is delayed by a freeze ray before being paralyzed with Gru's lipstick taser. Nefario, who aided Gru earlier in the fight, later knocks out El Macho with a fart gun.
- Clive - Clive is presumably defeated by Gru when Balthazar Bratt's robot falls, as he is not seen when Gru and Bratt have a dance battle.
- Balthazar Bratt - After successfully stealing Bratt's keytar from a dance fight he uses the same keytar against Bratt to blast his clothes off and make him get stuck to one of his bubblegum balloons.
- Although never specified, his accent and dressing style implies he is either of Russian or German origins and for many years, Germans and Russians were portrayed as antagonists in many forms of media during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. The third installment reveals that his family is from the fictional nation of Freedonia, which is implied to have been based on Dusseldorf in Germany.
- Gru can be seen as a black sheep of his bloodline since he rejects the tradition of villainy that dated back centuries ago in his family. Fortunately, his twin brother Dru insists keeping it alive and fully commits himself for so.
- Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, and Ethan Hawke were all considered for the role of Gru before Steve Carell was cast.