Despicable Me

Inciting Event: Gru is embarrassed when a rival villain steals the great pyramids of Egypt. Vowing to become the ultimate bad guy by stealing the moon, he is denied further funding for the project until he obtains the shrink ray needed to pull it off, which he almost succeeds at, only to have the same rival steal it from him.

First Plot Point: Gru adopts three orphan girls when he sees how easily they entered his rival’s stronghold by selling cookies. He gets them to help him steal the shrink ray.

First Pinch Point: This seems to be intermixed in various ways through the first half of the Second Act. Between the orphanage director, the banker, Vector, and Gru’s initial disdain for children, it’s hard to pin down a definite pinch. Maybe it’s just Gru almost ditching the girls.

Midpoint: Gru intends to ditch the girls now that he has what he wants, but winds up taking them to an amusement park. When he stands up for Agnes when she is treated unfairly by an employee at a theme park attraction, he finds he cares about them and wants them to stay with him after all.

Second Pinch Point: The Bank of Evil denies Gru’s moon-stealing project loan again in favor of a younger villain who is none other than Gru’s rival, who also happens to be the banker’s son.

Agnes starts an It’s-A-Wonderful-Life scene where the minions all pitch in their wages to help fund the moon heist, after she offers everything in her piggy bank to her new dad, Gru, so he can pursue his dream.

Third Plot Point: Gru’s assistant has the orphanage take the girls back, because Gru is laxing from his dream of reaching the moon and stealing it. Gru succeeds in the moon heist but tries to make it back in time for Agnes’s ballet recital, only to find that not only did he miss the entire thing, but all three girls were kidnapped by Vector to force Gru to give up the moon.

Climax: Gru gives Vector the moon in exchange for the girls, but Vector doesn’t let them go. Gru launches a rescue, acting like a superhero instead of a super villain. The moon grows back to normal size, destroying Vector’s getaway spaceship and freeing the girls.

Climactic Moment: The eldest of the girls, previously mistrusting of Gru through the whole movie, trusts him with her life and they all get away before Vector’s ship is totally destroyed

Resolution: Gru and the girls settle into a happy family life.

Comments: This movie seems to have switched the Midpoint with the First Pinch, unless the Midpoint is actually when the orphanage takes the girls back, in which case two of the other points still feel mixed together or swapped.

(Submitted by Aaron McCausland.)

Sign Up Today

hwba sidebar pic

Sign up to receive K.M. Weiland’s e-letter and receive her free e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life.