"Despicable Me 2" collaborators Chris Meledandri, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud and Pharrell Williams shared some of their creative processes following a showing of their toon Nov. 14 at the Variety Screening Series.
Williams couldn't stop gushing about animation and working with Illumination, in particular. "I love cartoons. I've loved them all my life and still, to this day -- I'm 40," and he wanted to be involved with them in some way. Writing the score for the first film and songs for the second, "It's like the gift that just keeps on giving," he said. "To see what 'Despicable Me' has done and what 'Despicable Me 2′ is doing right now is just an incredible ride. I'm the luckiest one up here, OK?"
"Initially the Minions were supposed to be this army of Orc-like brutes, but they just kept becoming smaller and smaller," said Coffin, who also provides the voices for a majority of the Minions. "We needed to make Gru sympathetic and the easy way was to actually have him surrounded by incompetence."
"Then you can understand his frustration," Renaud added.
The Q&A was moderated by Variety's Chief Int'l Film Critic Peter Debruge at the ArcLight in Los Angeles.