Despicable Me & Minions Viewing Order (Release & Chronological)

Despicable Me & Minions Viewing Order (Release & Chronological)

The best order to watch each of Universal Pictures’ animated Despicable Me and Minions movies, in both release order and chronological order.

Gru and his legion of clumsy yellow sidekicks are back in theaters with Minions: The Rise of Gru, and there is an easy path to binge-watching the entire Despicable Me film franchise in the correct order. Nearing the end of his iconic run on The Office, Steve Carell reunited with producer Chris Meledandri and screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio—with whom he’d worked previously on Horton Hears a Who!—for a brand new animated feature film for Meledandri’s emerging studio Illumination Entertainment. The end result, Despicable Me, was received with open arms by both critics and fans alike and went on to gross more than $540 million worldwide, spawning two direct sequels, two prequels, and a mountain of short films, television specials, video games and even a theme park attraction at multiple Universal Studios locations.


The original trio of Despicable Me movies follows the story of supervillain-turned-father Felonious Gru (Carell), his three adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), and eventually his wife Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig). Lucy is first introduced as Gru’s secret agent partner in Despicable Me 2, and the two inevitably fall in love by the end of the movie. This leads Lucy to explore her role as a new mother to the girls in Despicable Me 3, while Gru deals with the sudden emergence of his long-lost twin brother, Dru, who is also voiced by Carell, in addition to the latest threat to humanity, Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). The Despicable Me and Minions cast has included many other major names including Jason Segel, Russel Brand, Julie Andrews, Ken Jeong, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and Danny Trejo.

Related: SNL Spoofs Trump’s Impeachment Trial With Minions & Jar-Jar Binks

While the franchise’s odd yellow Minions are largely presented as secondary henchmen to aid Gru in his various masterplans (and provide an extra layer of consistently manic, slapstick-style comedic relief) throughout the Despicable Me films, the popularity of the little cylindrical creatures saw them receive their very own prequel in 2015. Minions became the first entry in the series to generate more than $1 billion at the global box office, securing their spot as Illimunation’s chaotic mascots and a massively marketable brand for parent company NBCUniversal. With Minions: The Rise of Gru now in theaters, here’s a full breakdown of the films both in the order they were released, as well as the recommended chronological viewing order.

Despicable Me & Minions Movies In Release Order

The Despicable Me franchise hasn’t been released in a perfectly straight line, but it’s still fairly straightforward. The first animated film was released in 2010, one year before Steve Carell took his leave from The Office and ventured into full-time feature film acting. A massive surge in popularity for the Minions characters led to the release of the Minions prequel in between the second and third films in the core trilogy. Minions: The Rise of Gru will follow as a sequel to Minions, but will still take place prior to the events of Gru’s attempted moon heist in Despicable Me. Illumination has already confirmed that Despicable Me 4 will arrive in theaters in July 2024. The franchise’s release order is as follows:

Despicable Me (2010)Despicable Me 2 (2013)Minions (2015)Despicable Me 3 (2017)Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)Despicable Me 4 (2024)

Despicable Me & Minions Movies In Chronological Order

the minions 2015

While wild and unpredictable, the Minions are all dedicated henchmen at their core. The central plot of Minions takes place in 1968 as Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (all voiced by Pierre Coffin) attempt to find a new supervillain to serve, although there are also scenes early in the movie that date back billions of years, as Minions are almost as old as the Earth itself. A young 8-year-old Gru meets the Minions at the end of the first prequel, while Minions: The Rise of Gru will pick up with them serving a 12-year-old Gru during the early years of his super-villainy, some 40 years prior to the crew adopting Margo, Edith, and Agnes in Despicable Me. The franchise’s chronological order is as follows:

1968: Minions (2015)1972: Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)2012: Despicable Me (2010)2013: Despicable Me 2 (2013)2014: Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Next: Everything We Know About Despicable Me 4

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)Release date: Jul 01, 2022

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Michael Killam
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Michael Killam is a core features editor for Screen Rant covering film and television. He is a former professional wrestling journalist with more than 10 years experience, traveling all around the country and to some of the coolest arenas in the world covering entertainment’s wonderfully bizarre red-headed stepchild. Follow him on Twitter @MikeKillam.

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