As Despicable Me 3 hit the cinemas, it became the biggest animated franchise ever. However, all eyes were on our favourite super-villain helpers. The yellow, goggle eyed, jumpsuit wearing minions. Their personalities resemble childish grown-ups, they have an undeniable energy with which people fell in love with back in 2010. The biggest question was – how many minions even exist? The answer was cleverly provided in the promotion for Despicable Me 2 – 10,400. Yup, you read that right! Only 899 are credited to be voiced by Pierre Coffin, with 48 different combinations of height, weight, hair and eyes. The most significant minions have English names, such as Bob, Jerry, Stuart, Kevin and Phil.
They even have their own language. Its true. Minionese, a mixture of a different languages, explains and gives a basic understanding to their gibberish. Made up from at least 7 different languages, it only contains short phrases and words. For example, terima kasih and tank yu are both spoken meaning the same thing – thank you. From bello (hello) to poopaye (goodbye), with the occasional buttom (bottom), whatever they say it will guarantee to make you laugh. But, if you understand it and still have no idea what they actually said, there is a reason. Phonetics. A useful trick that means if the word sounds like or has the rhythm of a word you are familiar with, your brain understands that word.
Minions aren’t just cute either, having a hand in the demise of their previous masters (even if it was accidental), they are true villainous characters (even if they do have good intentions!). They have become such a fundamental element of the animated world, it leads us to question – where on earth did they come from? Minions evolved from single celled organisms and have existed before the beginning of time. They predate humanity and due to their supposed immortality, they will outdate humanity too. Oh and did I mention they can survive in outer space? They are cooler than we originally gave them credit for!
With the next movie Minions 2 coming out in 2020, the minions are in high demand. Who doesn’t love a good sidekick (or 10,400 of them!) who can’t be tortured due to their unusual shape and abilities?
But why do we love them so much? I think it goes deeper than appearance and language. Unlike most, they have a solid idea of what their role in life is. To serve the baddest guy around. Their humour reaches two levels, children and adults. Those puns aren’t for your child’s benefit! And who doesn’t love a rebellious baddie that has good intentions? Even better, they aren’t self-celebratory. Given all the hype that surrounds them that may seem ludicrous. But, they really aren’t. They are impulsive but with childish characteristics, they are impossible to hate.