The Illumination Animation rant AND mini review of their movies 2010-2017!

Warning, this post may be controversial here, but I really just want to discuss my strong dislike for this animation studio!

So if you have lived in the 2010's (obviously) you have probably seen a movie produced by this animation studio "Illumination Animation". Now I would like to talk about why I think they went from a "meh" company to a cash-grabbing monstrosity over 6-7 years!

It all starts with despicable me, a movie released in 2010. It was well received and did good. Did I like it? Yes, I did! But what about after that?
They then released "Hop" the year after was a rather dumb/forgettable movie, and as this decade went by, it stayed that way, and dare I say got worse! They then released "Despicable Me 2" in 2013, which I honestly did not find great (didn't have the same charm). It was also well received and that's when the 'minions' went into marketing OVERDRIVE. Everywhere you went, you could not avoid the tic-tac looking beings that plagued society! Ok maybe over-the-top on that statement but nonetheless, they still were seen everywhere, and got a ton of merchandise to the point where I got aggravated at how much was being shoved in my face, even more than Frozen (probably because Frozen is a good movie too, and not the minions movie). And I'm not alone on that one.

It wasn't until the year 2015, where I lost all hope for this animation studio, with the release of "minions" (an abominable animated feature that exists only for money). This unfunny, nonsensical movie earned a TON in the box office, however it was not as well received as the others (not horribly though). But honestly, that's probably what made this company realize, "Hey, we don't have to make good movies! This movie wasn't as well received... but hey, we got a crap load of cash off of it!"

2016 came by and "The Secret Life of pets" and "Sing" were released. I'm gonna get hate for this, but I think both of these movies were made to pander to groups of people all around. TSLOP was made for those who owned pets, so they could go, "Awww look funny pets XD" while Sing was made for people who have heard or love pop music from this past decade so they could go, "Hey, i know that song, oh look a singer I know and love yay!!" These movies made me realize even more that this "illumination animation" company has only prioritized money making when making movies. Take a look at Disney animation studio, Pixar, and even dreamworks (in their earlier days). You can tell a lot more heart went into MOST of their movies and were made to balance out great stories/animation/characters, you name it! Whereas Illumination has mostly mediocre stories, "meh" animation (in comparison to Disney/Pixar) and all around mediocrity!

I will write a short review of each of their movies:

Despicable Me (2010):
The ONLY movie by this company I like. It had a decent/wacky story, mostly good and fun characters, and funny jokes! The animation wasn't great (it really never was) but it wasn't bothering. I didn't like the villain, he was really annoying and very undeveloped. Other than that, it was good, but definitely not in my top 15.
Rating: 7/10 (Good)

Hop (2011):
I haven't watched this in a while, but I remember it being pretty stupid. The CGI also kind of sucks, and the characters kind of do too. The story was also ridiculous (and not in the fun quirky way despicable me is). It wasn't very funny at all either, I could only remember 1 joke, and it was a poop joke! Really?! Forgettable movie that was also forgotten by everyone else apparently.
Rating: 4/10 (Mediocre)

The Lorax (2012)
I pair this with "Hop" for its forgettability. I really only remembered this through the 'let it grow' or 'thneed' memes being spread around the internet. I do give props for the company TRYING to make a musical (-coughsingcough-). Not very memorable at all, but this was probably the last time Illumination tried.
Rating: 5/10 (Passable)

Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Sorry everyone, it wasn't that great in my opinion. I thought it focused too much on the minions and not enough on the main plot line with Gru. Also it just did not have the same charm as the first one did. Less of the jokes hit (Still a couple that got a chuckle) and I just wasn't that satisfied, but it's not terrible at all.
Rating: 5/10 (Passable)

Minions (2015)
Gah! I hate this movie, sorry! This movie was only made to sell more minion merchandise and to make money, not quality! We get a minion "origin" story in this movie, that is terrible. They don't tell us where they came/evolved from, tell us where their strange language comes from, why they are evil and looking for a boss, et cetera. Plus the villain they work for (forgot her name because this movie is also forgettable!) is really bland and sucks. The jokes are also pretty bad, mostly just jokes of minions doing things, bad pop culture references, or too much "LOLRANDOM" humor. At least they told us how they got to work for gru at the end (which is only shown for a minute!).
Rating: 2/10 (Terrible)

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
This movie was actually kind of disappointing. I could tell from the get-go this movie was made to pander to pet lovers to go "aww pets!!!" But the trailers were actually kind of funny, and I was interested. Turns out the trailer moments were most of the parts in the movie that gave me a chuckle. The rest of it was a ridiculous/obvious rip-off of "Toy Story" where the two get lost and have to find their way home. The characters were mostly forgettable except maybe a couple. Other than that, this movie was kind of mediocre, but passable to me.
Rating: 4.5/10 (Mediocre-Passable)

Sing (2016)
Gonna get hate for this, but I thought this movie was pretty bad, not just ok, bad. First off, all the characters are made to relate to a specific group. The elephant is for shy people, the pig is for moms, the porcupine is for angsty teens, and the gorilla was for people with daddy issues. There were also others, but I probably forgot them too! The story is so simplistic to the point where it's boring, yes I was bored, and the jokes weren't funny either! I didn't care about any of the characters, and what was happening. Speaking of characters, why are they animals?! The story would be pretty much the exact same with the characters as anything else, unlike "Zootopia" which came out the same year, where the whole story RELIED on the idea of a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. A lot of people like this movie for the songs too, but I think they were too lazy to write their own songs, so they pulled pop hits from the last decade. And it worked of course, because people were like, "OMG MY FAV SINGER IN THIS MOVIE LOVE IT 😍!!!" I don't care if it's a harmless movie, because it's also an incredibly uninspired and bland movie.
Rating: 3/10 (Pretty Bad)

Despicable Me 3 (2017)
This series is just tired by now, I honestly have very little emotions toward this movie, it's mostly a cash-grab if not something the fans just asked for. If I can compare this movie to anything, it's a sit-com episode format. You have plot A with Gru, plot B with Lucy and the girls going off on their own, and a small plot C with the minions (who thankfully were not in it too much, props to that!). They all come together at the end and some final thing happens, then it ends. The problem was this movie did not focus much on any of these plots, like you should in a movie. You can do this with a 30 minute TV show, but you're dealing with a feature length MOVIE! Also the villain was very annoying, but at least you see why he acts like he is and give at least a tiny bit of depth (also props to that). The jokes weren't funny most of the time, probably chuckled once or twice. It was just very unnecessary, and they honestly should just end this franchise before it gets even worse, like suffering the same fate as the "Ice Age" franchise. EDIT: The more I think about this movie, the more I dislike it because it genuinely feels like an uninspired, stupid cash grab more and more. Changed my score.
Rating: 3/10 (Bad)

And those are Illumination's movies from 2010-2017 reviewed briefly by me. Notice that barely any pass the "5/10" range. These folks at this studio have yet to really wow me at one of their movies (Despicable Me was just pretty good, not amazing). If you like any of these movies I thought were bad or just ok, good for you, it's my opinion. Who knows, maybe Illumination will change soon!

-Sees minions sequel being planned, and a possible TSLOP sequel being planned-

God no.


Nice rant - visitor

Thank you - Phillip873

Your welcome - visitor

I DID A POST LIKE THIS A WHILE BACK AND YOU TOTALLY COPIED ME! I'm the only one on this website whose allowed to make posts and rants related to the film industry! I'm going to get you, Phillip873! MWHAHAA!

Ha. Just kidding. Jokes aside, this is a really good post discussing the problems with Illumination ENTERTAINMENT (not Illumination Animation). Well researched and well written reviews of each of their movies. If I were you, I'd check out a video called "I HATE SING (2016)" by the YouTuber "I Hate Everything". He does a great job at roasting everything about this corporation. You may have seen it already. Anyway, nice post. - phillysports

Hey thanks dude, I was inspired to give my thoughts on this company due to your post, and I am subscribed to IHE so I've seen a lot of his videos already including that one! - Phillip873

Great rant but THE LORAX IS LIT


I will admit I liked the memes for the Lorax, and I thought a couple of the songs were decent at best too - Phillip873

We already know the horrors of watching Illumination films and seeing how far they've gone down the drain, but imagine what the horrors of working for Illumination Entertainment would be like. - Disneykid00

It sounds easy, all you have to do is make a bland movie on things general people like and market it to the maximum so everyone sees it. Profit. - Phillip873

Agreement. You should watch I Hate Everything he agrees with you.

The character models are lazy and don't show anything about the character and they'll do anything to save or gain money. I liked the first two "Despicable Me"s which would have been a whole lot better without the money making abomination which is minions - visitor

I was actually inspired to make this because of IHE's video, I'm a fan of his. - Phillip873

Ha nice - visitor

Ha! That video was awesome. - visitor

Illumination sucks. At least Sony has some good movies. Illumination has nothing over a good movie. Here are my scores:
Despicable Me: 7/10
Hop: 3/10
The Lorax: 1/10
Despicable Me 2: 7/10
Minions: 3/10
The Secret Life of Pets: 4/10
Sing: 3/10
Despicable Me 3: 3/10
And that Grinch movie looks awful. - iliekpiez