Back in 2010, the world first laid eyes on - and fell hopelessly in love with - the Twinkie-shaped, overall-wearing Minions. Despicable Me was a huge success at every level; clever, funny and flat out adorable, the film exceeded expectations at the box office. Three years later, directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud gather their loyal minions once again, and take on the daunting task of trying to top the original.

With the moon back in its rightful place following the events of the first film, former super-villain Gru (Carell) is now a devoted dad to his three adopted daughters, Margo (Cosgrove), Edith (Gaier) and the forever endearing Agnes (Fisher). His new jam and jelly business, run by his ever-trusty minions, keeps him busy.

Pretty soon, however, Gru finds himself kidnapped and whisked away by Lucy (Wiig); an agent for the Anti-Villain League. The secret global organisation, run by the toffee-nosed Silas (Coogan), makes it their business to fight the bad guys. They recruit Gru to help put a stop to a criminal who has managed to get his hands on a dangerous serum; though reluctant at first, Gru eventually agrees to help.

No working closely together as partners, Gru and Lucy wade through a list of possible suspects including zany, Mexican restaurant owner. Eduardo (Bratt), and a mysterious shop owner named Floyd (Jeong). Meanwhile, Gru finds himself growing closer to Lucy and a romantic edge to the story materialises.

The returning writers, Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, offer up even more minions and the little yellow gabble-babbles are everywhere; stirring up the laughs at every corner, it's very hard not to fall in love with them all over again. The voice casting is nothing short of perfect and stepping up as a newly reformed villain, Carell and his unidentified European accent is utterly engaging. As the madcap agent, Wiig also offers a highly dynamic and an amusing performance, while Bratt and Jeong's characters and performances fit into the cast seamlessly.

Appealing to both the kids and the inner-child in all of us, Despicable Me 2 is smart, funny and utterly lovable. Boasting an enormous amount of wit and energy, animation doesn't get better than this and the storyline is perfectly balanced. With yet another sequel already in the works - titled 'Minions' – it will be interesting to see if the franchise manages to keep up its considerable momentum.