Felonious Gru, or simply just "Gru", is the main protagonist in the Despicable Me franchise. He is voiced by Steve Carell. Gru is a 50-year-old man who wishes to be the world's #1 villain. His plan involves stealing the moon, which would be the crime of the century. When he saw Margo and her little sisters go inside Vector's lair, Gru decided to adopt them so they could sneak into Vector's lair and take the shrink ray Vector stole from Gru who stole it from an Asian laboratory. At first, he just wanted to send them back to the orphanage as soon as he got the shrink ray, but he began to like them after spending an afternoon with them at an amusement park.
Gru came from a long lineage of Grus. As a child he had always dreamed of going to the moon. He made a "prototype" rocket out of macaroni and an actual working prototype rocket. For most of his childhood he was neglected and ignored by his mother, and it is unknown if this is what inspired him to become a supervillain, or if the Gru family is a family of supervillains, although his mother showed no signs of being one.
He has worked with Dr. Nefario, who builds gadgets and weapons for Gru, for some time and based on what Dr. Nefario said, they have been planning the moon heist for a long time.
When he learns of the theft of the Pyramids of Giza through the news, his pride is badly wounded, and he assembles his minions in his underground lair. He recalls their accomplishments (theft of the Times Square jumbotron, and the miniature Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower from Las Vegas). He then reveals his next big scheme, to steal the moon, apparently the biggest heist in world history.
He meets the young villain Vector in the Bank of Evil while waiting for his audience with Mr. Perkins, the bank's owner. Vector annoys him by explaining his name to him and showing off his piranha gun . When Gru finally gets to face Mr. Perkins, he asks for funding for him to build the rocket necessary for his plan to steal the moon, but Mr. Perkins refuses to give him a loan unless he presents the shrink ray, and finds out from him that it was Vector who stole the Pyramids of Giza. As Gru leaves the bank, he freezes Vector's head with his freeze ray.
During a testing of the shrink ray in a facility in East Asia, Gru steals it and flies off on his ship. However during mid-flight, Vector steals the shrink ray from him as payback for freezing his head. Gru tries to shoot him down, first with guns, then with missiles, all of which miss. Vector then blasts Gru's ship with the shrink ray, causing him and the minions on board to ride upon it.
Gru attempts to steal the shrink ray from Vector's lair only to be thwarted by its defensive systems, and Vector's pet shark. He sees the girls try to sell Vector cookies, and he lets them in. Gru plans of using the girls to steal the shrink ray and contacts Dr. Nefario and tells him to build Cookie Robots for the theft.
Gru goes to Miss Hattie's Home for Girls, the orphanage Margo, Edith, and Agnes are from, as a dentist and adopts them, and initially, treats them coldly, like pets. The following day, The girls convince Gru to drive them to dance class before going to Vector's lair to deliver the large quantities of cookies that Vector ordered. Meanwhile, the cookie robots are activated and break into Vector's vault, and Gru enters through the opening made on one side of the wall and grabs the shrink ray, but they are sealed in by the cookie robots. They escape through some air vents and out the main entrance (without Vector noticing) and return to Gru's house.
On the way, they stop by an amusement park called Super Silly Fun Land, which Gru sees as a chance to abandon the girls. After being forced to ride the roller coaster with them and helping Agnes win a unicorn stuffed toy, he ends up having fun with Margo, Edith, and Agnes.
At his home, he fine-tunes his plan to Mr. Perkins (via either videophone, webcam or some high tech transmission). But he is interrupted by the girls during his presentation. Perkins surprises him by again refusing him the loan—claiming that while he doesn't have a problem with the plan, he doesn't want Gru to do it and he still wants a younger villain to do it. This leads Gru into a flashback of his childhood, where we see he's wanted to go to the moon ever since he was a child. He tried to impress his mother with models (and an actual working model) and make her proud of him, but she never seemed to care about anything he did—thus fueling his desire. Though Gru is ready to abandon his plan due to lack of funds, the girls and the minions take up a collection to keep it going.
While the rocket is being built, Gru has fun with the girls, having tea parties with them, allowing them to have a slumber party, telling them a bedtime story and cooking them various shaped pancakes. Dr. Nefario soon begins to see the girls as a distraction to Gru, since the moon heist and an important ballet recital the girls are in fall on the same day, and Gru wants to move the day of the heist, so he contacts Miss Hattie, who arrives to take the girls back to the orphanage, after he claims Gru wanted to give them back. Both Gru and the girls are heartbroken. Eventually the day of the heist comes, and with a broken heart, Gru boards the rocket and flies off to the moon, but not before one of the minions puts the ticket Agnes gave him into his space suit's pocket.Gru shrinks the moon and pockets it, but returns to Earth once he sees the ticket Agnes gave him and realizes he has time to catch the recital. However, it has ended by the time he arrives. On the seat that the girls reserved for him, he finds a note from Vector which is in a note from the girls as a reserved seat for Gru, who has kidnapped the girls, telling him to bring the moon. After forcing Gru to hand over the moon, Vector goes back on the deal and keeps the girls as his captives. This enrages Gru, who storms Vector's lair, his defenses proving useless. Vector then leaves his lair in an escape pod with the girls inside. Gru chases after them,climbing the disguised Pyramid attempting to hitchhike on the exterior of the ship, and nearly falls to his death, but is rescued by Dr. Nefario in the ship that Vector shrank previously. Nefario reveals that the effects of the shrink ray are not permanent and the effect wears off at a rate proportional to its original mass (which he calls the "Nefario Principle"). As Gru gives chase to Vector, the effects of the shrink ray on the Moon begin to wear off, causing the Moon to grow and smash open the glass bubble holding the girls. Gru rescues them by securing Vector's ship using a rope with a grappling hook and tells them to jump and that he will catch them. Edith and Agnes jump, and while Margo is about to jump, Vector catches her, but the (rapidly-expanding) Moon wrecks Vector's controls, causing his ship to hyperjump and carry the moon back into orbit, Margo falls off and Gru jumps in to catch her, and the minions join hands to form a lifeline, saving Gru and Margo.
Gru and the girls settle down to live a happy life as a family. He tells them a bedtime story about a unicorn whose life was changed when he met three little kittens (his own life story). Vector is stranded on the Moon with a minion that drank a sample of an anti-gravity potion and floated out of the lab after Nefario forgot to close the skylight. The girls give a special recital for the minions, Gru, and his mother, who after years of neglecting her son, finally tells him she is proud of him. The music changes from Swan Lake to disco, and everyone present rushes onstage to dance (even Vector dances while he is still stranded on the moon).
At the start of the film, Gru was a sneaky and somewhat cold-hearted man, who was determined to become the greatest villain in the world. He showed a dislike of children, as he was easily irritated by Agnes, Edith and Margo. He was selfish and at first he only adopted Agnes, Edith and Margo so that he could get a shrink ray which he intended to use to shrink the moon so that he could steal it. He was also rather indifferent to their needs and welfare; when Edith was trapped in a spike filled coffin and briefly presumed dead, he indifferently said that his plan could work with two children.
Gru was also rather cruel and even sadistic at first, shown when he enjoyed using his Freeze Ray (his signature weapon) just to freeze people for the sake of it. Near the beginning of the movie he made a balloon animal for a boy who'd dropped his ice cream and then popped the balloon just for fun. When Vector kidnapped his adopted daughters he furiously told him that he was in for a world of pain. However this was not a sign of his sadism; instead it was a sign of how much he cared for the three girls.
Despite these traits, Gru was shown to be good friends with Dr. Nefario and also treated his minions quite well, interacting with them and calling each one of them by name instead of just treating them like slaves. However, he also said that he had no intention of giving his minions a raise. He had a somewhat strained relationship with his mother who hadn't been a particularly good parent but he was determined to make her proud.
As time went on, Gru started to enjoy spending time with his three adopted daughters and in the end he grew to genuinely love them, putting aside his dream of stealing the moon and risking his life to rescue them from Vector. Dr. Nefario disapproved of the fact that Gru's warmer side was starting to reveal itself and sent the girls back to the orphanage. Though Gru didn't attempt to stop Miss Hattie from taking them, he was clearly upset about them leaving and later said that giving them up was the worst mistake he'd ever made. He also did his best to get to their dance performance after stealing the moon and was upset when he discovered he was too late.
Gru also had a tendency to say "lightbulb" whenever he had an idea. He spoke in an unusual accent which was described as 'a mix of Ricard Montalban and Bela Lugosi'.
Appearance and Abilities
Gru is a tall, bald man with a long nose and broad, powerful physique, (unlike Vector) and dress in a light grey sweater underneath a black collared coat along with a striped scarf, black trousers, and shoes. He is very strong and athletic, being capable of dodging and leaping off several heat-seeking missiles, backhanding Vector's shark with a single punch (without even looking at it), and smashing his fist into Vector's monitor, easily cracking the screen without doing any damage to his hand. It is even shown in the sequel that he can break a mexican drink glass into pieces without cutting himself, especially when he was horrified to see a romantic relationshiop between Margo and Antonio (son of his arch-nemesis of the movie, Eduardo Perez/El Macho) blooming.
Apart from his remarkable agility and strength, Gru is also considerably intelligent. For example, as a child he built a real rocket. However since becoming a supervillain he seems to let Dr Nefario handle most of the mechanical work though he was seen helping Nefario from time to time. Gru was also capable of forming clever plans such as his plan to steal the shrink ray from Vector.
- Drawing a picture of himself landing on the moon
- Making a macaroni prototype of the rocket
- Making a full-sized, fully-working rocket
- Villiain of the Year (seen on a newspaper)
- Stealing the Times Square Jumbotron
- Stealing the Statue of Liberty (the small one from Las Vegas)
- Stealing the Eiffel Tower (the small one from Las Vegas)
- Stealing the Shrink Ray from a secret East Asian facility
- Adopting three girls from Ms. Hattie's Home for Girls
- Stealing the Shrink Ray (back from Vector)
- Making a rocket (with the help of the Minions and Dr. Nefario)
- Stealing the moon (momentarily)
- Saving Margo, Edith, and Agnes from Vector
- Unintentionally returning the moon
- Becoming the world's second greatest supervillain
- Started his jams/jellies/perserves business
- Being assigned by the Anti-Villain's League on a mission
- Found out that El Macho was still alive after 20 years of his 'death'
- Avenged Margo's dumped moment on Antonio by using his Freeze Ray on him
- Got his minions back to normal (most of them)
- Defeated El Macho by using a Lip Stick Taser (and copied Lucy Wilde's pose)
- Saved Lucy Wilde from the rocket going to an active volcano (and started his first of 147 dates)
- Recieved an apology from Mr. Ramsbottom for underestimating his abilities (in spite of not being shown in the movie)
- Married Lucy Wilde
- Despite being an original character of his own, some viewers believe Gru might be based on the Sonic villain, Dr. Julian Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, seeing that both have lanky arms and legs attached to their roundish toros and both are bald and both can be hybrid heroes/villains.
- Gru also has a similiar appearance to Uncle Fester of the Addams Family.