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Movie Review

Minions also known as “The Minions”

MPAA Rating: PG for action and rude humor.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Animation Kids Family Comedy 3D
1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 10, 2015 (wide)
DVD: December 8, 2015
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

seeking a life of crime and following evil people

plots to take over the world

Evolutionism—DINOSAURS are depicted as existing millions of years before man’s appearance

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Featuring: Sandra BullockScarlett Overkill (voice)
Steve CarellYoung Gru (voice)
Jon Hamm … Herb Overkill (voice)
Michael KeatonWalter Nelson (voice)
Allison Janney … Madge Nelson (voice)
Steve CooganProfessor Flux / Tower Guard (voice)
Geoffrey RushNarrator (voice)
Jennifer Saunders … The Queen (voice)
Pierre Coffin … The Minions (voice)
Katy Mixon … Tina (voice)
more »
Director: Kyle Balda
Pierre Coffin
Producer: Illumination Entertainment
Distributor: Universal Pictures

Prequels: “Despicable Me” (2010), “Despicable Me 2” (2013)

Ah, the Minions! Those lovable, loyal yellow creatures have warmed their way into many hearts since we first met them in “Despicable Me.” But have you ever wondered where Minions come from?

Minions have been around since the beginning of time. Whether it was working for the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex or even Napoleon Bonaparte, Minions have always needed to serve a master, or the most powerful villain. It’s their nature. Without a master, a minion’s life is apparently unfulfilled.

The year is 1968, and the Minions are left without a master. One of the minions, Kevin, has a brilliant idea, he and his friends, Stuart and Bob, will set out on a journey to find the bad-dest villain of all for the Minions to serve. On their journey, Kevin, Stuart and Bob run into Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who tells them that she will allow them to continue to work for her provided they can steal the Queen of England’s crown. Minions is a story of friendship, adventure… and a few bananas.

Call me a kid at heart, but I for one have always been a fan of the Despicable Me franchise. While somewhat juvenile and childlike as the franchise may be, the films always contained enough humor to satisfy both the children AND the adults.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, as inevitably following “Despicable Me 2,” Universal and Illumination determined it was time to focus on the minions for once. Inevitable? Yes. Necessary? No. Successful? Well…

I’ll be frank. Establishing a film entirely based on the Minions is a risk. In my recollection, I had seen this done once with the Shrek franchise, as similarly when Shrek’s stories ended, a supporting character, Puss in Boots, had a film entirely based on him, From my perspective, it seemed to work.

Can I say the same for “Minions”? Well yes, I can. While they’re may not be a lot of “heart and sentimentality” to the movie, there sure is a lot of slapstick humor. Some appropriate, some not. But behind all the “shtick” lies a story of loyalty and friendship, and in a small way, and by the end of the movie, a sort of love for these yellow guys that can be felt by the audience. During tonight’s showing, I found myself laughing and cheering on these yellow guys, as even though they serve villains, they themselves aren’t necessarily as bad as their masters.

On top of that, from a cinematic perspective, Minions has a lot going for it. Sandra Bullock gives a stellar performance to the two sided, somewhat psychotic Scarlet Overkill, as does Jon Hamm in his role as Herb (Scarlet’s husband). The animation, also, was simply amazing, as one would expect from Illumination Entertainment.

Content for Concern

Violence: Moderate. At the beginning of the film, we see the minions’ various masters being accidentally killed in various ways (one is eaten by a bear, Napoleon is shot by a cannon, a T-Rex falls into lava, etc.). During a contest to see who will be Scarlet’s Overkill’s henchman (by means of snatching the ruby out of her hand), we see her punch, kick, and wrestle wanna-be henchman to the ground. Stuart is seen being hit in the crotch with a pole. There is also a scene where Kevin, Stuart and Bob are being tortured, unsuccessfully, by having their bodies stretched (however, they are not hurt or feel it). The three minions are seen being killed in a bedtime story. There is also a car chase scene, following a robbery by a family of robbers and the minions, where we see Stuart use a rocket launcher to take out a water tower, which causes the police cars to crash.

Language: Minor. The Minions don’t speak English and so there really isn’t much language worth mentioning. The worst includes the words “heck,” “gosh” and “blimey.”

Sex/Nudity: Moderate. There are several instances where we see minions’ rear ends. One minion is seen wearing a thong on his way to the pool; when he arrives at the pool, he is seen making out with two yellow fire hydrants. Kevin Stuart and Bob are seen dressing up as a woman in one scene, and Stuart pokes his eyes out around the woman’s chest area. There is a urination joke, as well as a scene where a couple is kissing. Some guards, once hypnotized, are told to dance, and they strip down to their underpants

Other: Be aware that crime is shown in a positive light. Dinosaurs are depicted as existing millions of years before man’s appearance. One minion is shown drinking a martini.

Spiritual Themes

“Minions” contains various positive themes of loyalty, friendship and even forgiveness. In the film, we watch as Kevin, Stuart and Bob look out for one another, take care and love each other in a brotherly manner.

As Christians, we are called to act in the same manner, setting ourselves apart from the world that, in some respects, promotes self reliance and self-fulfillment. In treating each other the Bible states,

Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing. —Philippians 2:3-4, TLB

As such, we must make company with those who wish help us in our walk with God.

Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts. —2 Timothy 2:22, TLB

Closing Thoughts and Recommendation

Perhaps I was not the target audience in tonight’s early screening of “Minions,” but, as I said earlier, I couldn’t help finding myself laughing with the kids, and, yes, even the teens and adults in attendance. With the objectionable content aside, “Minions” is a colorful and decent prequel to the “Despicable Me” franchise. Parents should be aware of the slapstick violence, glorification of crime (although in a goofy fantasy world), and sexual references previously mentioned.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None (but some minor vulgarity) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—…This movie is fun and funny. For parents complaining about slapstick comedy, do you remember Tom and Jerry or Looney Toons? And minions are not humans, they don’t know stuff we know, so I advise you discuss with your child what is right and wrong, that is not the movie’s job bit the parents.” And the minions might be technically evil, but their hearts are in the right place, as demonstrated by Bob at the end of the film. Also, if you’ve seen the “Despicable Me” films, you would know that GRU and the minions turn good. This film is extremely funny the whole runtime. I highly recommend this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Danny, age 21 (USA)
Positive—I seen this movie with my wife and loved it. I do want to address other reviews though, I’ll do that near the bottom. The movie itself is the third (sort of) movie in the “Despicable Me” series—a series that, while about a villain, had good morals to the story later on. So he becomes somewhat of a hero/anti-hero. In this movie, it is a prequel to the other movies and is about perhaps the favorite characters in the series… the Minions. Obviously, a minion in most movies means someone who works for someone else. I really have been waiting for this movie because I knew they would make one out of the minions.

Personally my wife and I loved the movie. It had tons of humor, silly jokes and story (though nothing detailed, of course). The graphics were top notch, as always, and we love the minions even more now. Though in this movie there’s not really a hero per say, it’s more of a backstory about how the minions were before meeting Gru. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt S, age 33 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed the film. A couple of questionable things like a minion in a thong and giant minion spray water on a lighted fuse poised to suggest urination. My objections should not stop kids from watching the movie. It doesn’t have the heart of the original “Despicable Me” movie, and I doubt it will go down as a family classic; still, overall, it’s a fun, light, family/kids movie I would recommend to everyone. Also, minions are cute, don’t be surprised if your kid wants a plush minion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Keith Cahandler, age 37 (USA)
Positive—If you’re a fan of the Despicable series, you will LOVE the Minions prequel! I laughed—sometimes very loudly—the entire time. My boys (9 and 6) loved this movie. It’s just plain goofy. It has as much violence as “Looney Tunes” or “Tom and Jerry,” but a lot more comedy. My only drawbacks are the rude humor, naked butts, and scantily clad women. They’re cartoons, but still… they’re not necessary.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chrystal, age 38 (USA)
Neutral—…I viewed this movie in Singapore, where it has already been released. I viewed this movie with my 6 and 8 year old sons and my wife. We like to go for family movie nights where we will view usually an animated film. This one was okay, not great, not terrible. There were elements in the film—some of the mildly suggestive dancing, and suggested nudity that I would have preferred to not have my children view. Also, the scene where the minions are tortured could give kids the wrong idea about this being funny.

The movie was funny but I guess I had a hard time identifying with the villains being the “heroes” in the film. To be fair it was expected that was the premise—i.e., Minions looking for a new villainous master—and our family did really like “Despicable Me”. However, I did feel “Despicable Me” had more redeeming qualities than this film.

Overall, this wasn’t a terrible movie, but I think all things being the same you could just as soon skip it and do something more redeeming with your family time. I would say that, at best, this movie is morally neutral, and certainly more suggestive than I would have liked for my kids. As a note, my kids thought it was funny, but I guess I am selective about what I want my kids watching.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—John, age 41 (USA)
Neutral—My husband and I really loved the “Despicable Me” movies so were eagerly anticipating this one. We do not have young children, but we do enjoy animated movies in general, however, this one did not live up to its hype. There was way too much talking by the narrator in the beginning, which was echoed by the children surrounding us as they began to fuss and talk during these scenes. The story line was lacking, it just felt like a bunch of slapstick comedy thrown together without much thought put into it. It just didn’t have the same energy and lighthearted feeling the Despicable movies had.

The biggest issue we had was the amount of “bare bottoms” that were shown. Not only the Minions, but for the last half of the movie we watched a sumo wrestler bad guy running in the typical sumo costume, with his bottom hanging out, pretty regularly. The other issue we had was the glorification of living a life of crime. There was no redeeming moment at the end, as soon as the good deed was done it was nullified because they chose to follow a life of crime again.

Of course, that is the premise of the movie, but it would have been nice to have had it end a bit differently. Other than that, it was pretty predictable, and from the sound of the children around us they seemed to enjoy it, for the most part. I would wait to watch it on dvd, save your money, it definitely was not worth the price of a theater ticket.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kathy, age 45 (USA)
Neutral—My son has been counting the days down for this movie to come out. The Cartoon nudity I believe is not needed to make a good movie. I had confusion on what the gender was for some of the minions because of the switch from men boxers to a lady top or thong. I did get a good laugh, especially toward the end and my son did, too. My son was worried from the trailers, due to the nudity, that I would not approve of it. But since he was being honest with me, I felt in my gut to say it was okay and Trust God with it. Being close with my son we spoke about the nudity and villain work and how he wished there was a hero in the movie. And we will talk more about how its not cool to be a crime master mind and how important we need to do what is right and to honor God by being the hero.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Angela, age 30 (USA)
Negative—We went to see this as a family today. It glorifies evil! I guess I need to read reviews before I go to a cartoon nowadays! Too bad—cute minion character idea—but awful storyline!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—April, age 43 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with my two small granddaughters and was horrified at the content in one sentence; it glorifies criminality. I think we have enough problems on this planet today without influences and mesmerising the minds of children, and maybe not so children, with theft, family bank robberies, conferences for evil, violence and abuse of others for our own greed and gain, anarchy, rebellion and outright blatant disrespect for authority figures. Notwithstanding, to do whatever it takes, no matter what or who gets hurt in the process, as long as I get what I want.

As a Pastor I would suggest you give it a miss, but then maybe you need to see this rubbish that is being dumped on young impressionable minds and spirits. Not a good film save your money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
—Sharmaine, age 67 (Australia)
Negative—We walked out of the “Minions” movie today about ¾ of the way through. Just couldn’t sit there and let my kids watch that junk. I should have looked up reviews on it before we even went, but it just wasn’t appropriate for our kids, in my opinion. The very first thing that bothered me incredibly was this family in a car with the minions, that all put on ski masks and had hand guns and robbed a bank… even the children did so. Then as the police were chasing them, they got out more weapons and blew the police up.

Some of the other major things were that they had three guards(that were human) strip down to their boxers and dance together, and even make thrusting motions. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ashley, age 27 (USA)
Negative—Thank you Ashley, age 27 (USA) for your comments. You summed up this horrible and violent movie perfectly—I don’t need to add any more gory details that you thankfully pointed out—please read her comments if you haven’t. How anyone, let alone a Christian, could find anything morally acceptable in the trash of a movie is beyond me. My wife and I went to this movie by ourselves expecting fun, light entertainment. It was fun and light for the first ten minutes and then turned into one of the most disturbing children’s movie I have ever seen, and I’ve taken my children to dozens of them.

Let’s stop saying “cartoon violence,” Violence is violence whether it is film, CGI, or cartoon. Our culture has reached a new low. This glorification of violence is now infecting our children at the youngest ages. If, as an adult, you sat through this movie and were not thoroughly disgusted by its violence and glorification of immoral behavior says a lot about you. You are numb to this “violence for entertainment culture”. You are part of the problem.

God forgives the innocent—not those who expose insidious and evil content to children disguised “entertainment.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Paul, age 56 (USA)
Negative—There is nothing holy about this movie. It teaches children to glorify the pursuit of evil. The movie starts out describing a long quest through history were the Minions seek to find an evil leader. That was their goal, and they stuck to it to the very end of the movie. The whole entire Minion society wanted an evil leader to guide them. When the Minion’s finally reach 1968 they attend a large evil conference hoping to find the most evil leader of all. The attendees of the conference supported and cheered the evil guest speaker, a woman. The Minion’s loved her. One Minion even briefly fantasied about her. In one scene you see a Minion revealing his rear end in a thong, and in another scene you see guards hypnotized into dancing, where they are told to remove their clothes and dance in their underwear.

The lead Minion characters agree to steal in exchange for the promise of becoming a henchman (ie a subordinate) to the evil ruler Scarlet. Scarlet of course turns on them and locks them in a torture chamber where Scarlet’s husband attempts to torture them. The animation was mesmerizing, but the content, in my opinion, is to desensitize children into believing it’s normal and admirable to seek out and glorify evil.

The movie also teaches that it’s okay doing whatever you want, with no consequences or remorse for engaging in theft, violence, bank robbery, and shooting at the police.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Josie Demarco, age 52 (USA)
Negative—First, let me say. I loved the “Despicable Me” movies. I was expecting something similar in this movie, but was very disappointed. The “Despicable Me” movies have a sweetness within the villainy. This movie does not. It is all about the minions getting what they want and slapstick comedy. There is nothing redeeming.

I thought the previous comments about this movie glorifying crime had to be over the top—they aren’t. I left the movie with an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

Also, what’s with the Minions speaking Spanish? That’s just weird. If they are going to speak actual words, shouldn’t they be English? Worst of all, the movie just isn’t funny. If you’ve seen the previews, you have seen the best parts. Don’t waste your time and money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—C. Nelson, age 55 (USA)
Negative—They’re funny and cute, but we had to leave; morally it wasn’t for us or our 2 year old granddaughter. Next time, we’ll look at the reviews…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dolores, age 45 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with my 16 year old nephew. He came away thinking it was funny and an okay movie, but I found it rather offensive. I realize that minions are supposed to be off the wall, which is what makes them humourous, so I take that into consideration when writing this review. I did, however, find the movie offensive in several places and didn’t find it to have any redeeming qualities, so I have submitted a negative review.

The film was a big disappointment because I quite liked the “Despicable Me” movie and its sequel! The whole premise of the story is that the minions will do anything to follow the most evil master they can find, which, of course, is not really what we want to be teaching kids. Children need demonstration to understand things, and this film presents a negative view of honesty and doing the right thing. Instead, wrong choices are presented as funny or are subtly praised. Once they find an evil master, they are given the task of stealing Queen Elizabeth’s crown. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Kathy Pj, age 55 (Canada)
Negative—After seeing the cute yellow figures in the commercials for “Despicable Me,” when it came out, I had to see it for myself. I was satisfied with the first movie and very pleased with the second. I don’t think anyone denies that the minions are adorable. Since the review assignment for “Minions” was taken when it came out, I decided to wait for the DVD release of this film. And, boy, am I glad I did! If this was a live-action film aimed at older audiences, I don’t think any Christians would approve of it. And yet, it’s aimed at the MOST impressionable audience—the children!

Don’t let the cuteness fool you. I honestly believe the producers of the film fooled themselves. All they wanted to do was make a cute film; I don’t think they wanted to glamorize things that even the secular world frowns on (e.g., throwing grenades at cops). But that doesn’t change the fact: this film DOES glamorize crime. That’s what it’s all about. And it doesn’t change, either; no one learns any lessons. In fact, it happens the opposite way—crime is not only made to look fun, but it pays in this film. (Also, after seeing John’s comment, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the torture scene was, ahem, despicable.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Gabriel Mohler, age 26 (USA)
Negative—Wow, glorifying evil, robbing banks, getting away from the cops, where is the GOOD message in this film for kids YET, SERIOUSLY??? And I read one Catholic review where they said it was okay because the minions were less evil than their masters. REALLY??? Why is this OK to send the message that evil wins? No redeeming value, depression, guns shooting at cops, evil conventions, what a crock of CRAP… There is enough of this evil in the world, why would it be okay to GLORIFY it with cute little minions, and let our young impressionable minds VIEW this… A huge shame that this movie even came out, no redeeming value, bad role models, bad message, NOT even appropriate for adults. Missed the mark on so many levels… Disappointed, was expecting so much more… unbelievably made in poor taste, judgment and content…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jim, age 60 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—This movie is so insensitive!!! I have lost my boyfriend, who hung himself. How can you people joke about it and laugh??? So stupid. People have no idea how hurtful and triggering that is!!!… Very dissapointed in people’s humour these days!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alana, age 19 (New Zealand)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—From a moral perspective, I ruled out The Minions for my kids after just watching the trailer and finding several sexual connotations in there. They are portrayed as “humorous,” however I do not expose my family to such things as nudity, laughing at incidents that involve certain body parts, or promiscuity as being taken lightly. However, unfortunately, I found all these things in the trailer. I now avoid all Minion toys and tell my kids they are rude, ill-mannered cartoons. Just thought this view might be shared between us.
—Nada [a Muslim], age 31 (Australia)
Negative—I have mixed feelings about the minions. I mean they are cute, but at the same time they seem rather annoying. I love animated movies, but this one just isn’t appealing to me. I read the other reviews, and, I agree, it’s not actually a kid’s movie. I noticed in the previews they showed one minion (from behind) wearing a thong, then he gets in a tub with other minions, like they’re taking a bath with one another. I don’t know what’s up with that. I also read in the reviews that a family robs a bank, along with men taking their pants off and dancing in a thrusting motion. In all honesty this movie sounds disturbing. I have no idea why they market adult content towards children, it’s sad.
—T., age 22 (USA)
Negative—I haven’t watched the movie, but my husband and kids did. I know that we can’t judge a book by its cover, but after reading the front cover of the movie and the reviews in this site, it gave me a bad feeling. Jesus was tempted by the devil to worship him in exchange for the world. This movie reads in its dusk jacket “Serving Evil since the Dawn of Time” I didn’t like that. Then, when I turn the clam shell over to read the summary, it got worse. It reads “… without an evil leader, the minions fall into depression” really? talking to little kids about depression? That is horrible.

I asked my kids and husband about it, and I couldn’t believe all the junk in the movie.
—Tania, age 45 (USA)

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO