Minions surprised me tremendously. After avoiding Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 because I honestly thought they’d be way too juvenile, I decided that I would finally give them a chance on their own. Our local small town theater is a perfect place to see a movie since the large-town crowds aren’t present. I attended an afternoon show, secretly cringing at the expected gathering of kids, but I was shocked to see that the majority of the audience was in my age group, and it was probably just as well.
Although the Minions speak a varied gibberish as their language, I caught a smattering of Spanish, French, and Latin words in the mix. There were also many references to 1960s culture, which would have been too deep for the youngsters. The main part of the story is set in 1968 England, and nothing was sacred, from a Richard Nixon campaign poster to the famous walk across a London intersection by the Beatles. There are also clever digs at fan conventions, espionnage, torture, and pop music.
The story opens at the beginning of time on Earth as we see the prehistoric Minions align themselves with whoever the most evil character is in the food chain. They eventually leave the ocean and align themselves with a T-rex, but they manage to mess that up. Next come humans, and they go through the gamut of caveman, Egyptian pharaoes, and Napoleon before winding up on their own, falling into a funk as they have no one to serve.
Three of the Minions leave the group and strike out on their own to find a new evil master, and that’s where the story really gets going, and the sight gags manage to trump the action. The script is so well thought out, and the voice talent so brilliant that when the Minions speak,we can easily figure out what they’re saying by matching it with what’s going on.
The entire thing comes to a head within the last two minutes of the film, where we find out how the pairing for Despicable Me happened. Don’t get up and walk out on the closing credits or you’ll miss a bit more animated hijinks. I walked out of there with a new understanding of these characters. They aren’t overtly evil—-they just have misguided allegiances.