Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me series has become one of the more successful animation franchises in recent years, but the popularity of the Minions – the adorable little yellow creatures that serve under Gru – has arguably transcended the popularity of the two films themselves. As the characters are a hit with moviegoers of all ages, it’s no surprise that the studio has decided to put the little guys front and center for a spinoff project, aptly titled Minions.
The first trailer for the film set up the overall concept by illustrating how the Minions have operated over the course of history, working for the most despicable beings the world has to offer, before finding themselves out of a job due to constant hilarious shenanigans that cost them master after master. Three Minions – Kevin, Bob, and Stuart – set out to find their kind someone new they can assist in evildoing – and their quest is the subject of a new preview for the movie, which you can watch above.
In it, the Minions hitchhike their way to Orlando, which is the site of “Villain Con 1968,” a convention where the world’s most notorious people come to bask in the love of their biggest fans, and attendees can apply to be henchmen by displaying their evil talents to employee placement specialists. It’s here where the Minions meet Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who is the biggest star at the party, and end up becoming her minions, giving them all a purpose in life.
Much like the initial teaser, this trailer is operating mainly as a foundation for the film’s basic premise, and very few plot details are revealed as a result of that strategy. All we know is that the Minions will be working for Scarlet and that there will be comical hijinks, which makes this a smart marketing campaign. Illumination knows that the Minions are well-loved and they’ll be able to attract a crowd, so leaving a few surprises for viewers when they sit down to watch the film is a great idea when compared to the alternative.
In addition to seeing the crazy Minions back in action, it looks like the film will showcase at least some meta-commentary on the state of the film industry. It’s very easy to draw parallels between Villain Con and Comic-Con (and the obsession with superheroes), with people cosplaying as Scarlet Overkill and cheering enthusiastically at her on-stage appearances. Providing some good-natured satire of geek culture should give Minions an extra dose of laughs and help audiences relate in some way to the main characters.
As for how the final product will fare, that’s admittedly difficult to say at this point. Since so little is known about the core narrative, this can either be an entertaining addition to the franchise or a retread of the earlier installments. We’re guessing that the main storyline has to do with Overkill’s plot to take over the world; and since this is a prequel, we know that the Minions end up with Gru eventually, so perhaps the arc is going to be Kevin, Stuart, and Bob realizing that there’s a line when it comes to villainy? (Hence the name “Overkill.”)
Regardless, Minions looks like it’s going to be a rollicking good time for families when it hits theaters this summer. Illumination struck gold when they introduced the little creatures to the world in 2010, so hopefully the Minion love-fest will be able to continue and we won’t all be suffering from Minion overkill by the time the credits roll. Fingers crossed it’ll be able to have the same amount of heart and humor as the Despicable Me films.
Minions hits theaters July 10, 2015.