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Super Bowl Ad for Despicable Me 4 Mocks AI Images with a Minions Twist

Leave it to the Minions to make AI go wrong in the best way ahead of the release of Despicable Me 4. 

By Grace Jidoun
A Scene from Despicable Me 4.

This July, Despicable Me will make its long-awaited return after seven years, immersing us once again in the world of Minion mayhem. For a solid decade, Gru and his henchman ruled the roost, becoming the biggest global animated franchise in history. But we have to wonder, will our favorite characters in Illumination’s upcoming Despicable Me 4 stand up to the tastes of a demanding 2024 audience?

RELATED: Illumination's Cutest Characters, from Agnes to Grammy Norma

If the “Big Game Spot” released during the 2024 Super Bowl is any indication, the Minions are still as mischievous and charming as ever. In the trailer, the Minions have discovered a strange and powerful tool of modern times: artificial intelligence. And they’re having fun using AI just as we secretly would: generating super weird portraits of Steve Carell and Will Ferrell, adding extra legs to photos of our grandmas, and messing around with pet portraits.

What we know about Despicable Me 4 so far

A Scene from Despicable Me 4.

We last left off with the Minions in 2022, with Illumination’s epic summer blockbuster, Minions: The Rise of Gru, where fans finally learned the origin story of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and watched him face off against the supervillain group, the Vicious 6. Described as the “world’s favorite supervillain-turned-Anti-Villain League agent” in a press release for the movie, Gru is a surprisingly layered and complex villain who deserves an equally formidable and funny opponent. In the upcoming film, Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell) and his femme fatale girlfriend, Valentina (Sofia Vergara of America’s Got Talent), and his family is forced to go on the run.

We can’t wait to see Carell as Gru and Ferrell as Maxime attempt to outsmart each other. And we’re delighted that his wife Lucy (Oscar nominee Kristen Wiig) and their girls — Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Madison Polan) will be central to the story. Despicable Me 4 will also introduce a new member to the Gru clan, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad.

Who else stars in Despicable Me 4?

A Scene from Despicable Me 4.

The film is bursting with talent, including a few well-known wisecrackers. We’ll be introduced to new characters voiced by Joey King (Bullet Train), Emmy winner Stephen Colbert (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), and the hilarious Chloe Fineman (Saturday Night Live). Pierre Coffin will again speak frenetic gibberish as the iconic voice of the Minions, and Oscar nominee Steve Coogan returns as Silas Ramsbottom.

Despicable Me 4 is directed by a co-creator of the Minions, Chris Renaud (Despicable MeThe Secret Life of Pets), and produced by Illumination’s founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and by Brett Hoffman (executive producer, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Minions: The Rise of Gru).

Patrick Delage (animation director of Sing 2 and The Secret Life of Pets 2) is co-director.

Promising to bring non-stop action, the movie will lean into Illumination’s signature subversive humor, with Emmy-winning writer Mike White (White Lotus, Migration) behind the screenplay along with Ken Daurio, a veteran writer of every Despicable Me film. 

With such a powerhouse team, we’re sure the Minions will have audiences in the palms of their little yellow hands.

Despicable Me 4 hits theaters on July 3, 2024. Catch up on the past movies on Peacock now.