This cute little film entertains youngsters and adults alike with its funny tale and slap-stick comedy. A spin-off from Despicable Me, the animated film Minions opens in theaters for a continuation of summer family fun. Much like The Penguins of Madagascar that had a nice run in 2008, the pill shaped Minions will make multi-millions.
The story takes us back to prehistoric time with the Minions looking for a dastardly beast to follow and do its bidding. After hundreds of years and many failures that have ended in disaster, Minion’s Kevin (voiced by Pierre Coffin) Stuart (voiced by Pierre Coffin) and Bob (yes, voiced by Pierre Coffin) strike out from the snow covered cave guaranteeing to his 1000 strong minion clan that they will find a reprehensible villain to follow. Whew, that was a long sentence.
Anyway, after a whole lot of fun gags, the three find themselves in New York City, lost among the crowds. But, only until they hitch a ride to Villain-Con in Orlando, Florida with the creepy Nelson family, Madge (voiced by Allison Janney), Walter Jr. (voiced by Michael Beattie), Binky, Walter (voiced by Michael Keaton) and Tina (voiced by Katy Mixon). All this delirious silliness is packed into the first 15 minutes of the film. Yet, this hilarious short period sets up the movie for a kid adventure that’s wacky and madcap.
Starting with Villain-Con the real story begins. So sit back and enjoy the rest of the hour and fifteen minutes of comedic madness as Kevin, Stuart and Bob get recruited by Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), the most famous female villain in history. When Scarlet sends them on the most dastardly mission ever, the boys are up for a challenge.
Directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin keep the film directly pointed at their target market, families with the heavy emphasis on children 5 to 11. It’s a smart move because with Inside Out winding down it will not leave a lot of children hanging for the summer. Camps, child centers and kids clubs will be well entertained with this family friendly winner. Smartly written, the script doesn’t get out of control with bizarre jokes or a lot of innuendos, if there’s any off color it’s just typical minion body humor.
Balda and Coffin smartly add a good sound track that will keep the kids and parents toe tapping in their seats. Songs and music like “Happy Together” by The Turtles, “I’m a Man” performed by The Spencer Davis Group, “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks, “The Letter” performed by The Box Tops, “My Generation” by The Who, and a short playing of Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix are a few examples. The musical soundtrack fits nicely in the scenes and saves the day for adults. Even The Beatles are represented with “Got to Get into My Life”, “Love Me Do” and “Revolution”.
ADULTS: While we adults will get a little antsy as the outlandish gags get very childish after a while, keep remembering it’s just for kids. And, your children will LOVE it. I must confess I could not wait to see the film for the kid in me, but an hour would have been enough. Just bring something soft to sit on, feed the kids a lot of popcorn and drinks and you may even get to take them on a potty break. When you get back you and the little one won’t have missed a thing. Just get ready for the rest of the show. Oh, and there’s more of the silly stuff during the credits.
Minions has been rated PG for action and rude humor. However, the film does have some slapping as that’s what the Minions are noted for when any of them do goofy things. There’s also a robbery scene where the villains get away with it, so you may have to explain that to your child. The 3D in this film is very good and there’s a lot of stuff coming at you.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good spin-off of a top shelf franchise. (Children A, Adults B)
Additional Film Information:
Voice Cast: Sandra Bullock, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Saunders, Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Katy Mixon
Directed by: Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin
Genre: Families, Comedy, Animation, Spin-off
MPAA Rating: PG for action and rude humor
Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Formats: 2D and 3D (IMAX 3D in foreign markets only)