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'Despicable Me 4' serves up 90 minutes of bankable mayhem

Steve Carell voices Gru in <em>Despicable Me 4. </em>
Universal Pictures
Steve Carell voices Gru in Despicable Me 4.

Despicable Me 4 is the latest film in an animation franchise that made household names of reformed supervillain Gru (Steve Carrell) and his army of nattering Minions. The franchise has grossed billions of dollars, and the latest movie topped the weekend box office. But are these films growing up with their audience, or continuing to cater to young kids? And does that matter?

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Candice Lim
Candice Lim is a production assistant at Pop Culture Happy Hour. Prior to joining NPR in 2019, she interned at several publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, WBUR and the Orange County Register. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and is proudly from Fullerton, California.
Cristina Escobar
Mike Katzif
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