Why Now Is the Perfect Time for Minions: The Rise of Gru
Dust off your overalls and practice your funny gibberish because the Minions are back! MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU will reunite us with our favorite Tic Tac-shaped henchmen, for a tale that dives even deeper into the mysterious (and somewhat baffling) origin of the yellow characters.
Now feels like exactly the right time to revisit the world of the Minions, Gru, and the rest of the super-villainous gang. We can use something light and bright and fun right now!
Everyone Loves This Franchise
The DESPICABLE ME franchise is a genuine juggernaut. The original film debuted way back in 2010 and immediately became a surprise smash. Since then, the series has been truly unstoppable. We've seen two more proper sequels, DESPICABLE ME 2 and DESPICABLE ME 3, and one spin-off, MINIONS. And that’s to say nothing of the Universal Studios theme park attractions, which stand in both Hollywood and Orlando; both have been entertaining thousands of guests since 2012.
Felonious Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, might be a supervillain, but there's something incredibly charming about his attempts to — if not go straight, per se — then at least discover new aspects of his humanity. Gru isn't an aspirational figure, exactly; we hope no one out there shares his villainous dreams. But fundamentally he is surprisingly relatable. We don't know a lot of supervillains, but we do know a lot of people kind of like Gru.
An Untold Chapter in Minion History
At the end of MINIONS, our little friends had just had a disastrous run being the accomplices of Sandra Bullock's character, Scarlet Overkill. At the very end of the movie, in an admittedly clever little surprise, we glimpsed a young Gru (Steve Carell). It was clear that the Minions had found their master (of crime). But what comes next is anybody’s guess.
We know that this Minions sequel follows the helpers as they latch onto Gru during his attempt to join — and then fight off — a baddie collective called the Vicious 6. When the group fires their leader, Wild Knuckles (voiced by the amazing Alan Arkin!) Gru thinks he's got what it takes to step into his shoes. And if he doesn't, he'll steal it. All of which is exactly the sort of go-getter attitude we love to see from Gru. Since the villain-in-training inspires an even more fervent level of fanatical devotion in the Minions, we expect nothing less than total positivity, even in a story about villains.
It’s Been a While
Since the release of the first DESPICABLE ME, Illumination Entertainment has been reliably releasing animated films every year. But it’s been a little while since we’ve had a new entry in the franchise.
Illumination has made a lot of great movies, including SING and the two SECRET LIFE OF PETS films, but the DESPICABLE ME series is clearly the animation studio's crown jewel. DESPICABLE ME and Illumination are so interwoven that the Minions appear on the Illumination logo and even shout the company's name in familiar Minion-speak. It’s hard not to love these rascals and their candy-colored world.
The last film was 2017’s DESPICABLE ME 3 and the last MINIONS film was way back in 2015. It's been a long wait for the next chapter in a story we knew had more to offer. But that's a good thing; there's no need to rush, and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU looks like it has been made with the same attention to detail that turned Illumination's other movies into family favorites.
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All images courtesy of Universal Pictures.