Minions never leave

The Minions appeared in 2010 in the animated film despicable me. They were the hilarious and awkward henchmen of Gru, the “super-villain” protagonist, and there they were, made that way, because he feared Gru was too bad. Produced by Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures’ digital animation company, despicable me He had hidden ambitions. In large part thanks to the success of Minions, it was among the top ten highest-grossing films of the year, and above all paved the way for performers Franchise The movie and the global and general spread of these hard-to-identify yellow creatures.

after, after despicable me – A film in which the Minions were present in the trailer, but clearly with the role of the supporting actors – in fact, two of the sequels arrived, in 2013 and 2017, and at the same time the 2015 film is entirely dedicated to disciples. Despite his presence as heroes in yellow characters who speak an incomprehensible language, he made over 1 billion euros and was the fifth most viewed of the year, right behind him Avengers: Omar Ultron and in front of Ghost from the inside out In the end hunger Games. Now – after expanding among other things into books, physical attractions, shorts and various video games – the Minions are back again Minions 2 – How does Gru get so bad, which will arrive in Italy in August and yield excellent returns in the United States. And we already know that they’ll at least be back in another movie: the fourth despicable mescheduled for 2024.

In the first ten years of their lives, the Minions have reached a level of fame and cultural reach comparable to Mickey Mouse, almost all simple and vulgar characters: without a clear identity, without an organized and understandable language, without being the protagonists of a classic narrative arc. And without being part of a coherent world defined by every detail, as happens with Pokémon, for example.

Minions, in fact, are nothing more than insignificant and clumsy servants to the alternate villain, who is usually a puppy. Thanks to a portion of their 2015 movie, they’ve been known to have been around for millions of years and their only goal has always been to follow some kind of supervillain, and they end up relentlessly destroying their plans with their foolishness. The film, wisely, also invents a way to prevent its circulation in the first half of the twentieth century.

In addition to knowing how to make them – all yellow, some with two eyes and some with eyes, some without hair, some with only a couple, always wearing some kind of uniform – in short, viewers know very little about minions, whose name means ‘servant’, ‘subordinate’ ‘ or ‘customer’. Although their hours on the screens are now varied, it can almost be said of the minions that they are able to take on big projects (which, however, always ruin) and that they are greedy for fruits, especially bananas.

As for the rest, they are known to know how to smell even without nostrils, and they can hear even without ears. And they’re most likely immortal, or they’re getting close to it anyway. There are at least ten thousand, but those who are known by their name and by some distinguishing characteristics of the character are just a handful.

This general ambiguity is largely explained by the fact that the Minions were born by chance. Pierre Coffin, director of almost all of the films in the series and voice actor for many Minions, said their invention came “by chance.” Helpers of some sort were planned for Gru, and at first he was seen as an army of fat minions. Just because they were unhappy, and by reacting, they made their leader look like that as well. Then we moved on to human assistants, but with the strangest of features, then to assistive robots, and finally, after some subsequent aesthetic tweaks, to minions as we know them.

(ANSA/Press Office)

Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination Entertainment, came to produce the film series ice AgeAnd the Minions considered something akin to what Scrat was for those movies: just a funny part, the protagonist of small, self-sufficient scenes, without dialogue and capable of making anyone laugh, even a child. During production, knowing how much the designers enjoyed creating and moving each Minion, however, it was decided to increase their number and make them more present in the plot. To make Gru even more in love, it was decided to show in several scenes how he was able to distinguish each Minion from each other, by calling each of them by name.

In hindsight, minions were nothing new anyway. In their little way, something similar was the little green aliens toy story, Those who live in a vending machine adore the mechanical arm that hunts them. Before that, and in a more obvious way, something similar was Umpa Lumpa, Willy Wonka’s indefatigable lieutenants.

However, the Minions have been more successful, and more than a decade after their arrival they have continued to do so. One of the reasons is that it is universal and classic in its own way, and therefore it is able not to go out of fashion. as well as in some staple scenes of typical physical comedy of slapstick In the early twentieth century, Minions could make people laugh quite a bit, with the kind of comedy that could be said to “never go out of fashion.”

However, at the same time, short and necessary gags also seem ideal for becoming very short GIFs, memes, and videos from TikTok, which has made them ubiquitous on Facebook, but still allows them to adapt to fashions or trends of all kinds. Also, as noted BuzzFeed A few years ago, their “obscurity” made minions an “ideal universal product”, undisturbed by language problems. The fact that it is not well defined, in addition to being funny and exhilarating, makes it versatile at the same time, ready to relate and, if necessary, adapt to any context or concept.

All these characteristics, partly by chance and partly the result of logic and quotes, are only part of the reasons for the success of the minions. Another, generally neglected, said in a recent article before ribbed Titled “How Minions Beat Disney in the Copyright Game”. Minions have in fact become a global phenomenon as well because Universal Pictures, which controls the rights, has chosen to grant licenses of any kind, and has also left a certain freedom – unlike Disney’s very strict – regarding the products. Minions Books ribbedIt is practically public domain.

(Janos Bojani/MTI via AP)

In the days following the release Minions 2 – How does Gru get so badAnd the The trend on TikTok has provided further evidence of the prevalence, efficacy, and adaptability of Minions’ new media and formats. It all started when Bill Hurst, a young Australian, posted a video on the social network in which he and a group of friends, dressed in an elegant dark suit like the one worn by the series’ hero. despicable meGru, went to the cinema to watch the movie with the atmosphere of a guest person at a social and official event.

The video, accompanied by a song from the soundtrack especially suited to the TikTok video format, is a classic example of a bit of comedy. Nonsense Popular among young people on TikTok, it quickly spread and, as is often the case on social networks, was emulated thousands upon thousands of times in a matter of days. The result was that Minions 2 – How does Gru get so bad She received a mountain of free promotion on TikTok: videos with the hashtag #minions currently have 8.5 billion views. Universal Pictures themselves thanked the men shooting this type of video, while some UK movie theaters had to ban entry to men in suits, because in some cases the groups that took part in the trend were too loud and annoying. .

However, precisely this kind of transversality has been for years and is still part of the reason why minions are also almost a negative symbol, a slogan against which those who see them as an artifact, fleeting and built into the Internet’s functionality. Criticize. Writer and special effects expert Jason Porath explained this a few years ago, in a post over and over again in which he said he hates Minions “in a violent and personal way”:

They are gentle but aimless characters, their presence is gratuitous, compressed as in the funny skits. These scenes can be scattered anywhere without concern for their coherence or artistry. For me, the stench was a mile away from sarcastic marketing interference. They are more popular than other characters from despicable me (Remember the name Puppy Girls? The villain? Or his wife?), to the point of becoming the center of advertising and promotional campaigns. It was voiced not even by the hired actors but by the film directors themselves. Their success is logical – their humor is very modest, kind of slippery on a banana peel, and can be understood by adults and children in any country – but it is the result of an extremely low level of artistic production.

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