*Please be aware that this post has been written by someone that has not seen the recently released Minions but does intend to soon. So all opinions expressed are done so on the basis of Minion behaviour in the two Despicable Me films.*
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years and have the means to access and read this post you have seen or at least heard of the two Despicable Me films. This is no bad thing, there funny, there charming and enjoyable for children whilst also containing a number of more adult gags to keep the parents from striking against them, like my parents almost did a few years ago when I dragged them to see that God-forsaken Pokémon film.
Unsurprisingly the show stealers of both films were the lead protagonist’s minions known as…Minions, go figure. Like Ronseal and any other British product that carries its mediocrity like a badge of honour, with the exception of Tim Henman and Frank Bruno, Minions do exactly what they say on the tin. They serve their master with unflinching loyalty and carry out his bidding as a matter of pride but mediocre they certainly are not.
Apart from being far funnier than you could ever fairly expect a group of yellow jellies that speak complete gibberish peppered with a few French & Filipino utterances here and there to be there’s also a lot to admire about them as characters. Perhaps I’m reading to deeply into this, in much the same way that I believe the first film has a subtle but classy nod of approval towards adoption and the positivity that it can create, but these Minions bring a lot of positivity of their own to the party.
Now before you stick me with your verbal pitchforks and accuse me of smoking too much pot and drinking too much vodka let me make this clear; I have definitely done too much of at least one of those things in the last few years but back on topic. I am not saying that kids should admire Minions for all of their physical actions. Kids should not be encouraged to hit each other with hammers, carry axes or other sharp instruments, fire rockets into crowds of their friends or act out any other dangerous activities because they saw Minions doing it. Surely the fact that this film is a U along with many others of its kind should establish that this goes without saying but you just never know these days…
What I’m referring to is the dedication, loyalty and quite frankly generous, charitable and hard-working attitudes of these Minions particularly in the first film. Those little yellow blobs work day and night for their boss and even when the chips are down they never waver in enthusiasm or in their up-beat nature. This is clearly not out of fear as Gru is seen to have an excellent rapport with them and is well liked throughout their ranks.
Speaking of chips being down, perhaps the best example of Minion-goodness involves Gru’s unsuccessful attempt to get a bank loan. When Gru breaks the news to the Minions he expresses that it’s been a pleasure but stresses that the gravy train has run dry and even encourages them to flee the sinking ship. However, rather than cashing out and leaving their boss to hang they dig deep giving their money, jewellery, electronics and one is even seen handing over what looks like it’s meant to be deeds in order to keep the dream alive. This is, in my humble opinion, and all laughs aside a pretty classy display and I bet you’d never see it in any of Rupert Murdoch’s establishments! They could easily have jumped ship and gone to work for the other villain but they chose to weather the storm and also gave us a brilliant montage over the sheer-genius that is Prettiest Girls by Pharrell Williams to boot.
What I’m trying to say is that even though kids may enjoy them for completely different but perfectly justifiable reasons the Minions could perhaps be more than just funny characters in that they have big hearts, a genuine sense of loyalty and a cracking attitude to boot. Said qualities in this day and age are admirable and maybe those Minions are setting a better example to the kids than they may first appear.