Despicable Me was released in an awkward moment for animated comedies about supervillains. Positioned against the higher profile and far more flamboyant Megamind, Despicable Me seemed destined to be forgotten in an era already soaked with superhero irony. And yet, the story of hapless super-criminal Gru taking in a trio of orphans managed to come out on top of the heap, grossing over $530 million against Megamind’s $320 million.

Given the massive return and public love for Despicable Me, a sequel was inevitable. Today, the second teaser trailer for Despicable Me 2 was released via iTunes Trailers. This time around, we get a glimpse of what the second movie might actually be about.

Like most teaser trailers, Despicable Me 2’s newest preview doesn’t tell us much about the overarching plot of the film. However, unlike other teasers, it functions as a kind of short film or prologue, complete with its own characters and narrative.

A pair of Gru’s bumbling, pidgin-tongued minions tuck in the kids, attempt whacky hijinks, get scared by a wayward alley cat, and are abducted by a mysterious force. The most we can infer from the teaser is that the sequel will deal with someone (or something, moohaha!) snatching Gru’s underlings. Who is this faceless villain, and what does he or she intend to accomplish by kidnapping those closest to Gru? Looks like we’ll have to wait until next summer (or at least the next trailer) to find out.

I have to admit that the first Despicable Me didn’t blow my socks off, but it wasn’t insulting or offensive, either. It was certainly predictable and trafficked in schmaltz a few times too often. That said, Despicable Me was also a surprisingly sweet-natured and heartfelt movie about how family need not be related by blood. Its strongest scenes – and biggest laughs – came from the trio of adorable moppets learning the ropes of supervillainy and just rolling with it.

Thus, it makes me a tad nervous that the trailers for the new film are focusing so heavily on Gru’s minions. The minions are humorous in small doses, but their capital letter WHACKINESS tends to grate in larger quantities. (Well, it tends to grate on adults, anyway.) After showing the trailer to my four-year-old cousin, I can verify that the gibbering yellow creatures remain as amusing as ever to Despicable Me 2’s target audience. One can only hope that the rest of the film has enough to hold the interest of the people who have to drive that audience to the theater and pay for their tickets.

All this said, the trailer certainly gets season-appropriate points for its grin-inducing use of the Halloween theme.

Despicable Me 2 slinks into theaters July 3rd, 2013.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers