Despicable Me is an American computer-animated 3D comedy film distributed by Universal Pictures as the first offering from its Illumination Entertainment division, and is the first CGI feature produced by Universal and Illumination Entertainment. It is also Universal's first animated theatrical film to be rated PG by the MPAA. Released July 9, 2010, the film stars the voice of Steve Carell as Gru, a super-villain who adopts three girls (the voices of Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Elsie Fisher) from an orphanage; and the voice of Jason Segel as Vector, a rival of Gru who steals the Great Pyramid of Giza. When Gru learns of Vector's heist, he plans an even greater heist to shrink and steal The Moon.
Gru, a super-villain, has his pride injured when an unknown super-villain steals the Great Pyramid of Giza, an action that is described by his colleague Dr. Nefario as making "all other villains look lame."
Gru decides to do better, with the assistance of Dr. Nefario, by shrinking and stealing the moon, an idea based on his childhood dream of being an astronaut, which is always discouraged by his mother Marlena. The plan is quite expensive and Gru seeks a loan from the Bank of Evil, where the president Mr. Perkins is impressed by the plan, but will only provide the money if Gru can obtain the Shrink Ray first.
Gru and his Minions steal a shrink ray from a secret base in Asia but the up-and-coming super-villain, Vector, who is also responsible for the Pyramid theft, immediately steals it from Gru, as revenge for freezing his head earlier. Gru attempts to break into Vector's fortress to get the shrink ray back, but is defeated by numerous booby traps.
However, he notices three orphan girls Margo, Edith, and Agnes easily walk into the base to sell Vector cookies. Gru, faking his credentials as a dentist, made by his minions at random, adopts the girls from Miss Hattie's Home for Girls, planning on using them to infiltrate Vector's base so he can steal the shrink ray back. However, Gru has much difficulty nurturing them properly between their own rambunctiousness, their ballet classes, and his own ineptitude as a parent.
Eventually, Gru and the girls arrive at Vector's fortress and Gru manages to steal the shrink ray. The girls then suggest a day at a vibrant theme park - Super Silly Fun Land; Gru agrees, believing he can leave the girls there, but when he attempts to leave them upon a rollercoaster, he is told by the attendant they cannot ride without an adult - to his dismay. He is then dragged around the theme park for the day, eventually warming up to the girls after they compliment him over blowing up a rigged carnival game.
Later, Gru contacts Mr. Perkins, stating that he has finally got the shrink ray in his possession. Margo, Edith, and Agnes interrupt the meeting, and Perkins announces that he has lost confidence in Gru and will no longer fund his operations. As Gru tells the minions about the bad news, the girls offer the contents of their piggy bank to fund the plan. His minions then hand over their own savings. Gru, inspired, sacrifices parts of his lair to construct a Rocket by selling everything possible to support the plan. Gru plans to steal the moon when it is nearest the Earth but this ends up being the same day as the girls' ballet recital. Gru becomes conflicted and Dr. Nefario, seeing this as interfering with the plan, arranges for the girls to be returned to the orphanage.
Around the same time, Mr. Perkins informs Vector (who is actually Mr. Perkins' son) of Gru's possession of the shrink ray and the adoption of the three girls, inciting Vector to take action.
Gru proceeds with his plan to steal the moon, successfully shrinking it to fit in his hand (with a brief prior attempt by Vector to latch onto the rocket where he receives an electrical shock), but is too late to attend the recital. He then finds a note from Vector, who has kidnapped the girls, telling him to give him the moon in exchange for them. After arriving at Vector's lair, Gru readily makes the trade, but Vector reneges on the deal, flying off with the girls and the moon, much to Gru's anger.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nefario has discovered that the effects of the shrink ray are temporary; the bigger the object is originally, the faster it will regain its original size. As the moon starts to expand in Vector's ship, Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the minions pull off a daring mid-air rescue of the girls just as the moon explodes out from Vector's ship and launches itself back into orbit, with Vector trapped on the moon.
Some time later, Gru has readopted the girls and treats them as his daughters, writing them a bedtime storybook framed around his own experience - named One Big Unicorn. The film ends with the girls performing their own ballet recital for Gru, Marlena, Dr. Nefario, and the minions. A final shot shows the moon back in its rightful place, with Vector dancing on the moon with the anti-gravity afflicted minion, Bob.