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Bright 3-D animated comedy co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda in which background characters from the "Despicable Me" franchise come to the fore for an ever upbeat, though not always tightly crafted, adventure set primarily in 1960s London. A trio of the yellow, capsule-shaped creatures (all voiced by Coffin), whose natural inclination is to serve a villainous master, gets mixed up with a famed criminal (voice of Sandra Bullock), her mad scientist husband (voice of Jon Hamm) and their wild scheme to steal the British crown from Queen Elizabeth II (voice of Jennifer Saunders). Narrated by Geoffrey Rush, and interspersed with familiar hippie-era musical standards, the freewheeling plot follows its own logic down curious courses, some of which feel like detours. But the consequences of selfishness and disloyalty are clearly portrayed while genuinely objectionable material is absent. Even so, loud scenes of mayhem may be too much for small fry, and some parents may not appreciate the brief comic hay that's made of a mustachioed bystander whose enthusiasm for Bullock's character leads him to dress exactly like her.
Watch out for: Occasional cartoonish violence, fleeting anatomical sight gags, a touch of scatological humor.
Rated: A-I, general patronage; MPAA: PG, parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015