OK, it’s not completely fair to complain that a movie could have been better, because that’s true of almost anything.  Certainly every film.  But that said, “Minions” just doesn’t have the magic of other animation films (like “Inside Out”). 

            It’s not exactly a winsome plot:  a bunch of yellow, jelly-bean shaped little creatures, who’ve apparently been around since the dinosaurs, decide they want to attach themselves to the biggest villain they can find.  (And apparently they’re as invincible as cockroaches, and look about as charming.) They march quickly through history, from the T.Rex to Napoleon, each time on the side of the baddest bad guy around, but somehow they get caught in a kind of ice cave and just get bored when there’s no mischief to entertain them.

So three of them decide to break out and find a new mentor, and wind up trying to attach themselves to the self-appointed villainess, Scarlett Overkill (the voice of Sandra Bullock).  She’s convinced that if she can only steal the crown of the Queen of England, she’ll become the Queen of England (or Great Britain, or whatever the official title would be).  But her effort is thwarted by one of the Minions, who manages to pull the sword from the stone (yes, we’re mixing up our legends a bit here, that’s in the King Arthur lore), and everybody hails the new King.

But Scarlett Overkill is not going to give up that easily, and what follows is your basic struggle for control and dominance, without the confines of “real” chase sequences, because this is just computer graphic imaging on the big screen.

For this reviewer, animation works best when the characters are so charming and human-like that they’re completely engrossing, which is certainly not the case here.  The Minions chatter to each other in some kind of garble that might contain snippets of other languages, like Spanish, but is basically unintelligible.  So we have to rely completely on the slapstick antics to keep us entertained.  My eight-year-old grandson liked it.  As for the adults, well, there’s always Beatles music, and maybe some inside-joke-type cultural references, but “Minions” is just too far from winsome to make it entertaining.

Questions For Discussion:

1)                   Who’s the greatest villain in history?

2)                  Who’s the greatest villain in works of fiction, including film?

3)                  What really happened to the dinosaurs?


Dr. Ronald P. Salfen is the Supply Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Kaufman, Texas