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Marlena Gru is the mother of Felonious Gru and Dru Gru and a supporting character in the Despicable Me film franchise. She is voiced by Julie Andrews who also voiced Queen Lillian in the Shrek films and portrayed Mary Poppins.
Marlena Gru is rather neglectful of her son and had a tendency to be rather nasty to him. She ignored him in his childhood, though she did seem mildly impressed by the rocket he built. She is unimpressed by most of Gru's accomplishments, but eventually grew proud of him when he showed her what a great parent he is. She is also ignorant of her own lack of skill at parenting, thinking that she is a great parent, though she did admit that she thought Gru might be slightly better.
Despite her neglect towards her own son, Marlena took a liking to his adopted daughters and showed them pictures of Gru as a child because she wanted to. She also never had anyone to talk to for a while.
Marlena is Gru's mother and guardian, but she didn't seem to do a particularly good job at looking after him. She ignores him when he shows her a picture of him in the moon, a macaroni prototype rocket, and an actual working rocket. Her ignorance and neglect of her son is the most prominent reasons why Gru became a supervillain. When Gru phoned her as he is driving to the Bank of Evil, he told her that he is planning something very big and that when she heard about it, she would be very proud, to which she cynically responded, "Well, good luck with that."
Later, when Gru is building his rocket (and enjoying a fun time with the girls), she came to his house and showed the girls several embarrassing pictures of Gru's childhood, much to his annoyance.
She later attended the girl's special ballet recital, where she finally told her son that she is proud of him and that he "turned out to be a great parent, just like her. Maybe even better." However, Gru is still a little cold towards her because of her previous neglect, but smiles when she stated that he is even better than her. When the music changed to You Should be Dancing, she, along with everyone else, rushed onstage to dance and ended up dancing together with Dr. Nefario.
She also makes a silent cameo appearance near the end of the second film where she is seen attending the wedding of her son.