The World Health Organization, UN Foundation and Illumination Partner on Health Messages
The Public Service Announcement Features Illumination’s Globally Beloved Gru and the Minions Characters and is Voiced by Steve Carrell
May 27, 2020
The World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to launch a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that reinforces safe and healthy practices during these challenging times, featuring Illumination’s globally beloved Gru and the Minions. The PSA focuses on lifesaving behaviors to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including physical distancing, being active at home and remaining kind to each other —all aimed at making sure people of all ages stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. The PSA can be found here.
“At this challenging time, we must find all ways possible to provide hope to people while sharing advice that can protect our health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “WHO is excited to be working with Illumination and Steve Carell and the joys of the Minions and Gru to promote the importance of physical distancing, keeping active and connected, and being kind and compassionate to overcome COVID-19.”
The PSA is voiced by Academy Award® and Emmy Award® nominee Steve Carrell, who voices the character Gru in the Despicable Me franchise. The PSA will be localized into multiple languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic, among others.
“Storytelling is a powerful tool to accelerate positive social change in the world. It is an honor to partner with the WHO and UN Foundation to remind people around the globe to protect themselves, each other and our communities during this pandemic. I am also appreciative to Participant for helping to organize the collaboration and to my partners at Comcast/NBCU for helping to amplify this important message,” said Illumination Founder and CEO Chris Meledandri.
Illumination is the first Hollywood Studio to partner with the World Health Organization, the UN Foundation and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of health promotion and protection efforts during the pandemic to create an entertaining and educational PSA for global audiences. Participant helped facilitate the collaboration between Illumination to the United Nations Foundation and the World Health Organization.
“As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19, one of our most powerful weapons is kindness,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “We are delighted that the Despicable Me characters are letting their love show and showing ways to keep themselves and their communities safe during this unprecedented time.”
About the World Health Organization
The World Health Organization directs and coordinates international health within the United Nations system. Working with its 194 Member States, WHO’s mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. For more information about WHO, visit www.who.int. Follow WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest.
About the UN Foundation
The UN Foundation brings together ideas, people, and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress and tackle urgent problems. Our hallmark is to collaborate for lasting change and innovate to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Follow UN Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org
About the COVID-19 Solidarity Fund
To support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners in their global work on COVID-19, the UN Foundation helped launch the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund that has raised more than $200 million for lifesaving work around the world. Learn more about the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO, powered by the UN Foundation at www.covid19responsefund.org.
Illumination, founded by Academy Award® nominee Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of event-animated films, including Despicable Me, the world’s most successful animated franchise. The company’s iconic and beloved properties, which are infused with memorable and distinct characters, global appeal and cultural relevance, include three of the top-ten animated films of all time.
Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, is the creator of the world of Despicable Me. Illumination is also the creator of the original properties and global hits Sing and The Secret Life of Pets, which achieved the best opening for an original movie, animated or otherwise, in U.S. history. In 2012, Illumination adapted Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax into a beloved and timeless hit that brought audiences around the world together to share an urgent message about protecting the planet. In 2018, Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch had the biggest opening weekend of any Christmas-themed movie in history, followed, in June 2019, by The Secret Life of Pets 2. Illumination’s upcoming films for 2021 include Minions: The Rise of Gru in July and Sing 2 in December.
Sarah Levinson Rothman
For the World Health Organization:
For the UN Foundation:
For the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund: