Banana!

Minions put the scene stealing characters from Despicable Me front in center. Right from the start I knew it was an obvious marketing gimmick. Illumination literally waited 2 years to release the spin-off just to exploit its merchandising opportunities. I guess it worked since Minions merchandise was everywhere and the movie ended up becoming the third animated film to gross over a billion dollars. My brother and I saw Minions in theaters surrounded by the target audience. Although the computer animation is a vast improvement, Minions is the first movie that feels like a corrupt product. Despite speaking Minionese, which is basically gibberish the entire movie, Minions manages to keep the story going. The first half is like a nature documentary narrated by Geoffrey Rush. Minions begin life as yellow single-celled organisms who are basically immortal and live only to serve the most despicable villain at the time.

They accidentally kill a T-Rex, a caveman, a Pharaoh, Count Dracula, and Napoleon before becoming discouraged and living in an arctic cave. It’s a good thing they did become discouraged, or else they would’ve ended up following Hitler. Minions follows three Minions who were previously introduced. Kevin is the tall leader, Stuart is the one-eyed guitar player, and Bob is the cute one with a teddy bear. They travel all the way to New York where they gain their trademark overalls. Although Minions isn’t above childish humor, there are a ton of innuendos that will go over kids heads. Minions is set in the 1960’s with jokes only Baby Boomers will understand. Since Minions voice actor Pierre Coffin isn’t a big name, the rest of the cast has star power. Michael Keaton and Allison Janney are part of the unassuming suburban Nelson family who pick up the Minions and turn out to be criminals. The Minions have their usual short films Cro Minion and Competition, but Binky Nelson Unpacified is dedicated to their baby.

Together they head to Villain-Con in Orlando where we see many creative supervillains (and one familiar face). Without Gru, Scarlet Overkill stands in as his less endearing replacement. Not that Sandra Bullock doesn’t give it her all as the world’s first supervillainess. She’s joined by her laidback inventor husband Herb appropriately voiced by John Hamm. Scarlet recruits the Minions, then betrays them when she gets what she wants. We head to England where the Minions steal the Royal crown for Scarlet. Jennifer Saunders voices the Queen who’s forced to abdicate the throne to King Bob! When Scarlet seizes the throne, it’s up to the Minions to stop her. Through a series of crazy shenanigans, Kevin grows to enormous height and battles a rocket powered Scarlet. The rest of the Minions join them and the three primary Minions are honored by the Queen. Although it feels like a natural conclusion, young Gru suddenly appears voiced by Steve Carell in a split second cameo. Minions gave the audience what they wanted.

3. Minions

The Minions explore

Followed by: Minions: The Rise of Gru

4 thoughts on “Banana!

  1. I do get a kick out of seeing the Minions, but I don’t know if they were built to carry a feature length film as the leads, but I do give them credit for trying extra hard. They definitely work great in short subjects as the leads though.

    Liked by 1 person

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