Those adorable yellow henchmen from the Despicable Me movies get their own animated adventure and it’s a cute, cuddly treat for fans.
Beginning at the dawn of time (their story told using an enjoyably solemn narration from Geoffrey Rush) we see the little pill-shaped fellows working for various masters (dinosaurs, ancient Egyptians, Napoleon, even Dracula) before each employer meets an accidental and unfortunate end. Bored without any villains left to please, three of the Minions – Stuart, Bob and Kevin – set out on an adventure to find a new evil genius to work for, and their quest leads them to New York, 1968 and the pursuit of Scarlet Overkill (Bullock), the world’s first female super-villain.
The slim plot and rather forgettable villain are really just devices to put our loveable minions in silly (and often very funny) situations as they find themselves in London carrying out Scarlet’s wishes. They encounter tea-sipping policemen, dancing Beefeaters and even the Queen herself (voiced by Jennifer Saunders) and there are plenty of visual gags, burps, bottoms and gadgets to keep kids chortling throughout and wanting a repeat viewing as soon as it’s over. And that’s quite impressive for a movie whose central characters don’t even talk (or at least speak many recognisable words – apart from ‘banana’ of course).
While adults may have been hoping for some sharper humour, they will nonetheless get a kick out of the sixties soundtrack and references (watch out for a brief glimpse of Abbey Road) that come thick and fast. Ultimately, though, this is a movie made especially for kids – and it’s bright, chaotic, bouncy, and fun, fun, fun, just like the Minions themselves.
Is Minions suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The Minions are taken down to Scarlet’s torture chamber, which is a tiny bit creepy for very young viewers. However, Stuart, Bob and Kevin are soon having fun and aren’t harmed in any way.