Steve Carell thinks parents will relate to Despicable Me 4

Watch: Steve Carell discusses Despicable Me 4's approach to parenthood

The Despicable Me movies may be aimed at younger viewers but the newest film in the franchise has something that parents watching can easily relate to, Steve Carell tells Yahoo UK.

Despicable Me 4 finds Gru (Carell) and his loved ones enjoying life with a new member of the family, Gru Jr., but try as he might the villain can't get his son to take a shine to him. The experience leaves Gru feeling "self doubt and angst", an experience that the actor feels will resonate with a lot of the older audience who are watching.

Read more: Why are there no female Minions?

"It's really funny the way he's trying to bond with Gru Jr. because you know it's eventually going to be okay, you know it's not a mystery that his son has to fall in love with him at some point, but that journey there is so much fun, and I think something that a lot of parents can relate to," he explains.

Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are back for Despicable Me 4 this summer. (Illumination/Universal)
Gru's struggle and journey to bonding with his son is something that'll resonate with parents, Steve Carell has said. (Illumination/Universal)

"Because immediately after you become parents you want a bond with your children. Obviously you want them to think that you are the best and the only thing in the world, and, if they don't do that, instantly you feel like, 'oh, what's what's wrong?'

"And to see the character of Gru filled with self doubt and angst about bonding with his kid and the way they animate it too is so funny, as he turns to see his mom, Lucy, [there's] just joy and he turns to see Gru and it's nothing but spite and anger and it's really cute, it's really funny."

Parenthood is not the only thing that Gru has to contend with in Despicable Me 4, there's also the rise of a new threat from an old classmate and fellow villain: Maxime le Mal. The character is obsessed with becoming the most infamous bad guy in the world, and has a long-standing hatred for Gru from their school days.

When Maxime escapes after being captured by Gru, the villain and his family are forced to go into hiding so that he can't find them. Maxime is voiced by Will Ferrell, who Carell previously worked with on comedy classic Anchorman.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: (L-R) Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Steve Carell attend Universal Pictures And Illumination Present
The film sees Steve Carell reunite with his Anchorman co-star Will Ferrell (left), who plays new villain Maxime le Mal who wants to take over the world and ruin Gru's life. (Getty Images)

"I had thrown it out there years ago, during an interview someone had asked me 'who would you like to see play a villain in the Despicable Me movies?' and I brought Will up and I think from there it started to percolate," Carell says of his co-star.

"He was made an offer unbeknownst to me, I think Chris Meledandri, the head of Illumination, said we're going to ask Will if he wants to be a villain and Will jumped at it, and he's so talented and so funny."

Another aspect of the film that fans both young and old will be looking forward to seeing are Gru's side-kicks, the Minions. The characters, by Carell's own admission, have become a phenomenon all by themselves, and the fourth film only adds to their power in the forthcoming film — figuratively and literally.

"Now [in] this one they have evolved, some of them, into things called Mega Millions, which are minions with superhuman powers," Carell teases. "What you learn, and I don't think I'm giving anything away, is that even a Minion with superhuman powers is still a Minion, and they are going to mess things up terribly."

The Minions in DESPICABLE ME 4, from Illumination (Universal)
Another aspect of the film that fans both young and old enjoy are Gru's side-kicks, the Minions, whose appeal is undeniable according to Steve Carell. (Universal)

Despicable Me has become one of the biggest animated franchises in the world, and the actor admits the reason this likely has happened is because it doesn't "condescend towards children" and has "a little edge to it and a little darkness".

Carell explains: "I think it respected kids' sense of humour and the limits that you could push with children, so that was helpful. It felt like a fresh take on an animated series family series, but also the Minions — they are undeniable.

"The fact that they became this phenomenon that I don't think anyone anticipated at all, and people love them and they're funny."

Despicable Me 4 premieres in cinemas on Friday, 12 July.