|“||Don't you think, that there's more to our future than jelly?||”|
— Dr. Nefario
|Full name||Joseph Albert Nefario|
|Hair color||Gray (formerly Brown)|
Gru's gadget man
Joseph Albert Nefario, most commonly referred to as Dr. Nefario, is a major character in Despicable Me and the former minor antagonist of Despicable Me 2, with cameos in Minions and Despicable Me 3. He is Gru's gadgeteer, residing in his underground lair and laboratories. He builds and designs most of Gru's machines. Gru and Dr. Nefario seem to have been trying to shock the world with "The True Crime of the Century" for several years.
Although Nefario has doubts about Gru's plans due to lack of funds, and his new found love for his adopted daughters, he still considers him to be "one of the greats" in the supervillain world. Dr. Nefario also has terrible hearing, mistaking Gru's orders for "dart gun" and "cookie robots" as "fart gun" and "boogie robots", respectively. He is briefly El Macho's right-hand man and main henchman.
Dr. Nefario dresses like a stereotypical mad scientist. He is generally elderly, mildly overweight, and is apparently hard of hearing, which frequently gives him trouble with initial consonants. He is always seen with his labcoat, gloves, and trademark goggles, and he wears either pants or pajama bottoms with a plaid pattern. His hair, what little there is of it, is longish and faintly unruly.
In Minions, it is seen that he wore glasses in his youth, a yellow shirt underneath his lab coat, and black trousers.
Dr. Nefario is Gru's closest and most loyal friend who always comes to his rescue. He has a very high respect for Gru and even believes he is the greatest villain in the world, but he often doubts his abilities and motives. He is also quite eccentric with rather bad hearing due to his age, but although he seemed a little odd at times, he did not seem to be going senile.
Dr. Nefario doesn't like to be unproductive, as he has constantly been seen working on projects to aid in Gru's crimes, and even decides to work for someone else after Gru renounces his former life of villainy.
His accent suggests a British family lineage. Nefario seems to enjoy disco dancing and is even briefly shown doing so alongside Marlena Gru, and in the Boogie Robot scene.
When Gru returns home, Dr. Nefario informs the supervillain that someone else stole the Pyramid of Giza. Nefario also attends to the plan of stealing the Moon by making gadgets like Cookie Robots, to aid in Gru's plan of stealing the Shrink Ray from Vector. He later calls Miss Hattie to return the girls to the orphanage due to them becoming a obstruction to their plan in stealing the moon. Gru continues the plan and Nefario notices that the effect of the Shrink Ray will lose its effect. He warns Gru about this, naming it the Nefario Principle.
At the end, Dr. Nefario videotapes the girls' dance recital at Gru's house and is later seen dancing with Gru's mother.
Despicable Me 2
At the beginning of the film, Dr. Nefario makes a jam that is a combination of many flavors, however it turns out to have a horrible taste. Dr. Nefario informs Gru that he misses being evil and that he has a new work. Later, as a farewell for Dr. Nefario, the Minions do a 21 Fart Guns salute and Dr. Nefario slowly rides away on his motor scooter to start his new life, making two minions cry (possibly Jerry and Phil).
Later that same night, a silhouette (presumably Dr. Nefario's) arrives at Gru's house. Phil opens the door and greets the visitor, but he is kidnapped and the door is left opened. Soon, the Cinco de Mayo party is about to start at Eduardo's mansion. Now that he actually worked for El Macho, he has some of the Minions trapped in a fake paradise, and he captures the Minions two by two, injecting the PX-41 serum to the Minions which mutated them into a Evil Minion.
Dr. Nefario makes a full reappearance after Gru enters El Macho's secret lair and explains their plan to Gru. But, he notices that Eduardo now knows that Gru and Lucy Wilde are working for the AVL and witnesses Eduardo taking Lucy to his lab as a prisoner. He later calls Gru, telling him everything he knows about this. When Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the remaining Minions are attacked by Kevin, who is mutated into an Evil Minion, he is injected with an antidote created by Dr. Nefario. He introduces the antidote to the girls, which worked well, and named it PX-41 Antidote. He later introduced the antidote as the horrible jam he made.
He, the girls, and the remaining Minions went to El Macho's lair and normalized the Evil Minions into Minions. He knocks out the mutated El Macho with a Fart Gun. In the ending, Dr. Nefario appears in the wedding as a guest, dances with Gru's mother while the Minions are singing the Y.M.C.A song, and appears in the family picture.
Dr. Nefario makes a small cameo appearance as a young man and is seen at Villain-Con. At his stall, he shows his new invention, the Freeze Ray, to the crowd including his future partner Felonius Gru (who was then a child with his mother), and he accidentally freezes his own hand by mistake. When he finally notices, he hides his frozen hand behind his back.
Despicable Me 3
Dr. Nefario makes a silent cameo once again in Despicable Me 3. When Gru announces that he lost his job at Anti-Villain League, he mentions that Dr. Nefario previously froze himself into a giant block of carbonite out of accident, by the time some minions are knocking off the outside pieces of the block, trying to free him. He is also seen in his normal form in one of Mel's flashbacks.
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- The last name 'Nefario' is most likely a derivative of the word 'nefarious', meaning 'wicked' or 'criminal', denoting his career as a mad scientist and inventor, for evil purposes ('evil' being a simpler word for 'nefarious').
- He might have been named after Doctor Nefarious Tropy, a villain from the Crash Bandicoot series.
- Dr. Nefario shares a voice actor with E.B. from Illumination Entertainment's Hop. They were both voiced by Russell Brand.
- Near the end of Despicable Me 2, where Dr. Nefario finally knocked out a mutated El Macho with a fart gun, and then posed for a picture, is a homage to the movie King Kong, where, after King Kong fell to his death from the Empire State Building, two soldiers made almost the exact same pose for the camera.
- His middle name 'Albert' could be a reference to the famous physicist, Albert Einstein.
- He met Gru when he was young, after he created a science fair project that caught his attention.
- Dr. Nefario being frozen in a giant block of carbonite in Despicable Me 3 is a reference to the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo is frozen in a giant block of carbonite.
- Russell Brand was apparently not contacted to return for Despicable Me 3, seemingly because the studio knew he would want to spend more time with his newborn daughter.