The Minions have been on the Earth since life began and from the start have followed whoever is the biggest and baddest villain around. However, after falling foul of one of their masters’ armies, they are forced to live alone for centuries. Despite initially thriving, the loneliness creeps back in so Kevin, Bob and Stuart head out in search of a villain for their tribe. Supervillain, Scarlet Overkill, seems to fulfil their needs but after a misunderstanding, Scarlet is soon trying to kill the three hapless heroes; but will her evil and ingenious gadgets be a match for their innocence and copious amounts of good luck?
Minions (2015) – Director: Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin
Running Length: 91 mins
Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Geoffrey Rush
Genre: Animated, Comedy
Following their initial and hugely popular introductions in both Despicable Me movies, it was inevitable that the potential for a successful standalone Minions movie would come to be realised. Even though it’s clearly a movie aimed at kids, there are plenty of laughs to be had for accompanying adults. Unlike many animated films, it never forgets to appeal to every member of its audience without stooping to inappropriate double entendres.
The joy of the Minions as characters is their simplicity and child-like innocence; this on its own however is not enough to carry a whole film so it is a testament to the writers and direction that a group of small, incoherent creatures can be so loveable and interesting from start to finish.
While the majority of viewers are bound to be kids, any adults who find themselves watching the exploits of Kevin, Stuart, Bob and the rest of the Minions gang definitely won’t be disappointed!
IS ‘MINIONS’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
The movie begins with the Minions evolving from single cell life forms which follow any predator that they come across. One of these predators is a Tyrannosaurus Rex which, after a clumsy mistake from one of the Minions, ends up running on top of a large boulder. The boulder finally comes to a stop above a huge pit of molten lava; the dinosaur looks terrified and tries to save itself but one of the Minions accidentally knocks the boulder and the dinosaur falls into the pit. Nothing graphic is seen but the small amount of distress seen could be upsetting for some young kids.
There is a commercial for a supervillain who, in a very stylised way, is shown to kill many people; it is mostly silhouettes which stop suddenly and fall to the floor. At the end of the commercial, they walk up a mountain made up of bodies in silhouette. Obviously there is no blood or gore but the high body count in the section could cause some concern for parents.
In order to travel somewhere, Kevin, Stuart and Bob hitchhike; this scene lasts a few minutes and rather glamorises it. They eventually get picked up with a very strange family whose motives aren’t entirely noble. Although the Minions are not actually in danger during this scene, they do get a little scared for a short amount of time; a lot of parents may feel that this may encourage children to hitchhike which can be extremely dangerous.
One incidental character is killed by being hit on the head; they crumple to the floor and slump into a very unnatural position. This sudden, somewhat violent death followed by an unpleasant visual could be disturbing for some kids.
Several yetis come across the Minions’ tribe and, as the Minions see them as potential new masters, they work hard to make them happy. During a particularly entertaining performance, the main yeti, which is having a great time and has so far seemed to be friendly, is killed suddenly when a huge rock lands on top of its head. This unexpected death of a ‘nice’ character could be quite upsetting for some kids.
While making fun of a character, Bob turns his back to them, folds his arms across his body, strokes himself up and down and pretends to kiss and cuddle an imaginary girlfriend. After a few seconds, Bob reaches down and squeezes his own bottom.
The Minions visit Buckingham Palace and ride on the backs of the Queens Corgis. When they run off-screen, several royal servants who are joining in the game also ride the dogs which don’t appear to be suffering, however another servant is too heavy and, while sitting on its back, drags the corgi along the floor.
The three Minions are tricked into entering a medieval torture chamber, complete with sharp blades and brutal looking equipment. The torturer tries to harm them but it is soon made clear that they are not going to be hurt and are actually enjoying their time there. Despite this, the tension that is built up before the Minions’ safety is secured could be a bit upsetting.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
This endlessly entertaining ‘kids’ film is not one that is going to disappoint many people and its sweet, innocent protagonists are a refreshing change from the highly intelligent, witty and sometimes too self-assured characters of other similar movies. While it’s generally suitable for all ages, we do recommend caution for children who may empathise with the ‘nice’ characters who quickly come to a sticky end as this happens several times. Most of the violence is comedic and slapstick so should not be too distressing
- Violence: 2/5 (one character is crushed by a huge chandelier. One of the Minions enters a phone booth and when he turns around he realises that a man with scary face paint and a chainsaw is trying to kill him)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (One good character appears to be dead. Everyone is upset but one character in particular is distraught)
- Fear Factor: 1/5
- Sexual Content: 2/5 (Three incidental characters dance and have a few sexy moves, including hip/groin thrusts and smacking each others’ bottoms. One of the Minions walks into a Jacuzzi wearing a thong and a short time later he is seen inside cuddling two yellow fire hydrants that look like Minions which he clearly finds attractive. Some hippies chant ‘Make love, not war’)
- Bad Language: 0/5
- Dialogue: 1/5
- Other notes: Deals with themes of following a leader, helping you friends, doing whatever it takes to protect the people you care about, having the courage to leave your comfort zone and the consequences of being evil.
Words by Laura Record