Saturday, January 11, 2014

Despicable Me 2 and jokes just for adults

I'm not even sure I finished Despicable Me when it was on HBO, but when the sequel made its way into the apartment, eh why not. Now, I have very little desire to write animated movies for kids/families, so I watch this with a different sort of attention--and also a shallower pool of knowledge/referent. So if a person in a horror movie approaches a door and then jumps when a cat surprises him, I know what's going on and can judge whether it's a good example or not of that trope.

But when a kid's animated movie breaks out into a music video, I'm not sure what to compare it to: Anchorman's "Afternoon Delight," The 40-Year Old Virgin's "Age of Aquarius," This is the End's song in heaven? Or is this something that has invaded animated films? Somehow, I doubt it.

So when the minions break out in song--and that song is "I Swear" from 1993/4--I wonder who in the audience this is for. Perhaps the kids will laugh because it's silly, even if they don't get the referent. And just a few moments later, I had the same thought when the minions break into "YMCA" dressed as the Village People. Will kids know this from somewhere? Or is it just for the adults? That this seems like it would bewilder half the audience mostly seems problematic because it's the focus of the movie, with nothing for the kids to enjoy.

But other than those moments that seem like misfires to me, the film is colorful and fun and light. There are some fun visual gags, like the toupee-shop owner acting the supervillain and petting a toupee. It's so colorful and light that the nonsensical parts and the dropped threads are probably not going to bother anyone. Why did the villain fake his own death all those years ago? When did he get a son? Why does the daughter's romance plot end so abruptly.

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