Despicable Me (2010)

Screenplay Genre: Animation / Comedy / Family

Movie Time: 95 minutes

1. INCITING INCIDENT

With Gru’s pride wounded with news of The Great Pyramid of Giza heist, he resolves to get back on top of the villain world by stealing the moon. But in order to carry out his plan, he needs money to build a rocket, so he arrives at The Bank of Evil to request a villain loan. Mr. Perkins, however, refuses to give Gru the loan until Gru obtains the shrink ray needed to carry out the moon heist. (00:14:56)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After Gru fails to break into Vector’s lair to steal back the shrink ray, Gru watches the cookie-selling orphan girls effortlessly allowed inside. Gru then has a “lightbulb” idea: adoption. So Gru arrives at the orphanage, portraying himself as a widower dentist and officially adopts the girls. Now he must live with and care for Margo, Edith, and Agnes until he can use them to get into Vector’s lair. (00:28:25)

3. FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

As the girls deliver Vector’s cookie order, Dr. Nefario’s robot cookies cut a hole in Vector’s fortress to let Gru and two minions in to steal the shrink gun, but the plan backfires when the robots seal Gru inside the vault, but with some quick thinking and a bit of luck, Gru manages to escape with the shrink ray in hand. This is a high point for Gru. He is winning - everything going his way. (00:48:08)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

As Gru builds a relationship with the girls, enjoying domestic life and being a “Dad”, Nefario sees them as a distraction and gives Gru an ultimatum: the girls or the moon. Gru does nothing to part with the girls, so Nefario arranges for them to go back to Miss Hattie at the orphanage. This is an emotional low point for Gru as well as for the girls, who finally found a home but are abandoned yet again. (1:07:26)

5. THIRD ACT TWIST

Gru successfully steals the moon but realizes his priority is to be there for the girls and hates himself for choosing the moon over them, so he rockets back to Earth in a vein attempt to catch their recital, but he’s too late. Gru discovers a handwritten note taped to a chair in the front row, meant to save a seat for “Margo, Edith, and Agnes’ Dad”.  But on the back is a ransom note: “Bring the Moon. V.” Vector has kidnapped the girls and Gru must exchange the moon to get them back. (1:15:38)