Minions (Despicable Me)
(From left to right) Stuart, Kevin, and Bob, the principal Minions seen in the film Minions
|Despicable Me race|
Various prehistorical marine beings (formerly; deceased)|
A Tyrannosaurus rex (formerly; deceased)
A Neanderthal (formerly; deceased)
An Egyptian Pharaoh (formerly; deceased)
Count Dracula (formerly; deceased)
Napoleon Bonaparte (formerly; deceased)
Scarlet Overkill (formerly)
El Macho (formerly)
|Base of operations||Gru's base|
|First appearance||Despicable Me (2010)|
Pierre Coffin (2010–present)|
Chris Renaud (2010–2015)
Jemaine Clement (2010)
James Arnold Taylor (2010 video game)
Minions // are the many fictional yellow creatures that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, which started with Despicable Me (2010), and are characterized by their unique language and childlike behavior. They are also the official mascots of Illumination, a division of Universal Studios. Following Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, they have even been described as being a corporate icon for Universal and Illumination's parent company, Comcast, on par with Disney's Mickey Mouse.
The Minions are small, yellow henchmen shaped like pill capsules. They are depicted as being roughly one-third to one-half the height of normal humans. They have one or two eyes, and their eyes are almost always brown (except for Bob, who has one green and one brown eye). They have no discernable noses but seem capable of smelling, as they are shown smelling fruit or being affected by the Fart Gun. They are also shown without ears but can hear and respond to sounds. Most minions appear either bald or with a few wispy strands of black hair on their heads. Their clothing consists of blue overalls emblazoned with Gru's logo, black rubber gloves and boots, and goggles. They mostly speak incomprehensible gibberish, which is partly derived from other languages, including Bahasa Indonesia, French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Hindi. Although seemingly nonsensical, the English-sounding dialogue is dubbed differently for every country, in order to make the sounds somewhat recognizable. They have the most ordinary of names, with Kevin, Stuart and Bob being the names of the lead trio in Minions, and Mel being the leader of the Minions in Despicable Me 3.
Minions, the 2015 animated feature film, shows that they have existed since the beginning of life on Earth. It's unknown if they are immortal or just age very slowly, but the minions depicted in the film are explicitly stated to be thousands of years old. Despite their extended lifespans, minions actively fear being injured or killed and are prone to panicking in serious danger. Minions are biologically wired to seek out and serve the most terrible of villains, when they have no "boss" to serve they become depressed and listless.  In the 2010 short film "Banana", the Minions are revealed to have an almost uncontrollable craving for fruit, especially bananas.
Mentioned in the films and other media in the Despicable Me franchise are Stuart, Kevin, Bob, Mel, Dave, Jerry, Carl, Bryce Wong, Tom, Phil, Tim, Jorge, Paul, Donnie, Mark, Lance, Ken, Mike, John, Steve, Norbert, Tony, Chris, Eric, Henry, Larry, Josh, Darwin, Bryan, Charlie, Barry, Mandi, Eli, Izzy, Mel (for Despicable Me 3), and Peter.
Since the release of the Despicable Me films, the Minions' popularity has been rising. The Minions have been regularly featured in cross-promotions for other Comcast/NBCUniversal properties, including Universal theme parks, NBC primetime TV series, and even an Xfinity remote control.
In 2015, the village of Minions, Cornwall in the UK built a road sign, paid for by Universal Studios, featuring Minions. In October of that year, they removed it due to safety concerns that resulted from people stopping their cars to take photos, although villagers have campaigned to get the sign put back up in another location.
On April Fool's Day 2016, Google created a button on its Gmail service that sent a "mic drop" along with a GIF image of a Minion. However, the feature immediately received a backlash. Many people complained about accidentally sending the image during job searches, which resulted in some people being dropped from job consideration or even being fired. Google removed the feature not long after, citing those reasons and a bug that caused the image to be sent after hitting the regular send button.
The Minions appeared in an advertisement for the Cinemark theater chain, in which several Minions try to change a lamp while another Minion mocks them. The mocking Minion drops the replacement lamp during one of his laughing fits, so the others stick him in the socket so that his eye can serve as the lamp. The ad promoted the chain's claim that they had the brightest 3D projection system of any theater chain. At first, the clip played exclusively before showings of Despicable Me 2, but now[when?] Cinemark uses the ad freely before any 3D movie.
- Steel, Emily (November 6, 2016). "How Comcast and NBCUniversal Used Minions to Fuse an Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
The Minions have also done their part for the company. They have bounced in to promote Comcast’s voice-controlled TV remote, NBC’s hit fall drama 'This Is Us,' and the theatrical release of the Universal Pictures animated musical comedy 'Sing.' Visitors to Universal theme parks can even become a Minion on a 3-D ride. For Comcast, the Minions have become the company's Mickey Mouse.
- "Despicable Me 2 : Production Notes" (PDF). Visualhollywood.com. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- "'Despicable Me 2' Minions: 5 Things to Know". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Racoma, Bernadine. "The Minions' language is a combination of French, Spanish, English… and food references". Day Translations. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Debruge, Peter (June 11, 2015). "Chris Meledandri on How the 'Minions' Came to Life". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- Ebiri, Bilge (July 10, 2015). "Minions Review: Hurminemina Nomnururmin Mmmumorima (Translation: 'It's Pretty Good for What It Is')". Vulture. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
A trio of Minions — Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (the Minions all have hilariously ordinary names,...)
- Snetiker, Marc (May 19, 2017). "Despicable Me 3: Meet the mutinous new Minion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "Exclusive: The Synopsis for Minions". ComingSoon.net. June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- "Desicable Me 2". Happy Meal Toys Collection. June 19, 2013. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Standal, Jeanne (June 28, 2013). "Meet The Minions: DESPICABLE ME 2 Character Posters With Phil, Carl, Tim, Kevin & Stuart". FilmoFilia. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Despicable Me Minion Jorge Plush". Universal Orlando. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Cornwall village Minions sign removed - BBC News". Bbc.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Road sign for Cornish village called Minions that was put up by Universal Studios to promote children's film is taken down in case it distracts drivers". Thesun.co.uk. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Campaign to reinstate Minions road sign taken down over safety fears". Plymouth Herald. April 13, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Steinbuch, Yaron (April 1, 2016). "Google's April Fools' Minions prank was so not funny | New York Post". Nypost.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Natt Garun. "Gmail's Mic Drop tool is the April Fools joke we wish was real". The Next Web.
- Jon Russell. "Google reverses Gmail April 1 prank after users mistakently put GIFs into important emails". TechCrunch.
- Victor-bogdan Anchidin. "Introducing Gmail Mic Drop". Gmail Blog.
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