As if to remind us of what we're otherwise being spared, this superior computer-animated family romp contains just one each of the following: fart jokes, topical references that will sail over kids' heads, and dance numbers in which the characters bust zany moves to a 70s disco hit. The topical reference is pretty funny, actually, and everything else about the movie is wonderful, especially the visual and character design. The main character is a bilious, Bond-style supervillain (Steve Carell, doing Russian-inflected shtick) who's suddenly outclassed by a brash young newcomer (Jason Segel); as part of the old-timer's plan to even the score, he adopts three plucky orphan girls, and darned if they dont awaken the better angels of his nature. Like the best kids' entertainment, this creates a daffy little world all its own. Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin directed (95 min.).
Director: Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin
Producer: Chris Meledandri, John Cohen, Janet Healy, Nina Rappaport-Rowan and Robert Taylor
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher