The West Hollywood hip hot spot Fig & Olive — a favorite of the A-list set, including President Obama, who stops in there when he’s in town — was surely the place to on the night of the soiree for Universal’s megahit, Despicable Me 2. The event was was hosted by Universal executives Ron MeyerJeff Shell and Donna Langley.

They were joined by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri, everyone’s favorite Steve Carell, singer Pharrell Williams and the film’s director, Chris Renaud. Pharrell rocked the VIP crowd, which included award voting members, press, and industry types.  Universal wants the film to win the Best Animation Oscar, so the studio is pushing it hard in Hollywood.

The film’s star, Carrell, who plays the soft-hearted villain Gru, told a funny anecdote about when a young girl came to the set and the star started talking to her in his cartoon voice. ‘See Mommy, I told you he was real,’ the girl said. Carrell then quipped, ‘Then I told her Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were a sham.” After a quiet beat from the crowd, he continued, “Aw, jeez, hey guys, just kidding!”

Carrell then went on to praise the film.  “Despicable Me 2 is a movie that puts heart out there without being cloy or sentimental. It’s an honor to be a part of it.” He then presented Pharrell to the grateful and anticipating crowd by saying, “Can you believe this guy is 40?  I want to look like that when I’m 40!”

Pharrell gleefully took the stage with a teenage choir behind him and sang “Happy” and “Just A Cloud Away” from the soundtrack. He told the crowd, “As a child, I always loved animation. I never dreamed one day I’d wake up and would be a part of this. This film was one of my greatest projects. I thank everybody on all levels. Now let’s party!”

That’s just what the crowd did.  It was a spectacular kickoff night for the animation obsessed segment of the awards season.

For the best in non-stop classic animation watch Kartoon Klassics via FilmOn:

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