The Minion Phenomenon

2017.10.18
The Minion Phenomenon
Column
Lash
by Lash
The Minion Phenomenon

Every now and then, a cinematic phenomenon comes along and leave us in awe. In the 70s, the emergence of Star Wars changes the way we appreciate Science Fiction, while E.T. in the 80s opened up a whole subgenre of Sci-Fi – Alien visitation. In 1995, Toy Story, Pixar’s first animated film, broke new ground and revolutionised the animated industry, and also offered us many memorable animated characters.

Fast forward to the year 2010, where Illumination Entertainment introduced us to Despicable Me. While Gru (Steve Carell) and the girls form the main crux of the movie, it’s the Minions that really stole our hearts. Shapeless with big bulging eyes, terribly bad at their jobs and uttering a language that’s basically jibberish, it’s hard to understand their appeal on paper. But onscreen, they are on fire. Since their emergence in Despicable Me, they’ve gone on to spawn their own origin story, sold millions of merchandise and even have their own theme-park attraction. Why are these tiny yellow pill-like creatures so popular?

Despicable Me

Irresistibly Adorable

There’s no denying that the Minions are cute. They’re ageless, behave like kids and while they may be just formless yellow blobs, they have an incredible range of expressions. The Minion language is another highlight. Made up of nonsensical words, the Minions utter a combination of real words and garbage to string together sentences that sound hilarious, although they make no sense at all. And don’t get me started on their infectious giggling. Suffice to say, even the sulkiest person would break into a smile when they hear the sound of a Minion giggle. Apart from these, there are also their quirks (their weird obsession with bananas) and how they are ridiculously bad at their jobs. Get to know the Minions better with our article: 5 Things You May Not Know About the Minions

Engaging Story-telling

The premise of the Despicable Me franchise and the Minions movie are kept simple, but appealing. The storyline for each is always about good and evil, but it’s in the story-telling that these movies shine. Combining cute animated characters, not just the minions but its human counterparts as well (remember Agnes’s “It’s so fluffy!” declaration?), slapstick humour and physical comedy, the Despicable Me movies and the Minions origin movie take time to focus on the little details and flesh out the characters. Each minion character has a distinct personality and Gru and the girls have really come into their own. From the failed villain to a spy working for the government, Gru has come a long way, and so did his girls. In Despicable Me 3, we got to see a little bit of the old Gru, with him returning to evil and being torn between choosing a side.

Despicable Me 2

Theme Park Attraction

Since they exploded onto the big screen in 2010, the Minions have captured all our hearts. “Bello!” becomes part of our vocab, Minion memes are being used in email correspondences and we no longer called the fruit banana- we say “Bah-Na-na!” instead. Basically, the Minions have wormed into our everyday lives. In fact, they are grown so huge that they’ve even inspired a theme park attraction. The Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opened its doors in 2012 and quickly became a popular attraction for both adults and kids. Read more about the attraction in our article: Riding the Movies: Movies Inspired Theme Park Attractions Part 2: Universal Studios and more

Despicable Me 3

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