A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Depicts dinosaurs and a few leaders throughout time -- like Napoleon and a young Queen Elizabeth II.
It's all intended to be funny/silly, but villainy is celebrated/frequently rewarded. That said, the Minions do exhibit/encourage loyalty and friendship.
Positive Role Models
Although the Minions are drawn to villains (whose actions don't always have consequences), they're a loyal bunch, and they're good-natured and kind. Scarlett and her husband love each other very much (though they do cook up plots like stealing the crown jewels...).
Violence & Scariness
Explosions, freeze guns, torture devices, scenes of various "villains" dying in mostly humorous ways -- like a T-rex falling in lava, a general being shot at, a yeti that's killed by an ice block, and several perilous/near-death experiences. A family of robbers uses paint guns to ward off the police (and a water tower is destroyed). One character is a weapons specialist.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Glimpses of bare/thonged Minion bottom. Three Tower of London guards are hypnotized to strip down to their boxers and dance/sing to the song "Hair," slapping each other on the behind. Additional innuendo related to Minions cozying up to some fire hydrants, losing a bathing suit (and covering up with sea life), squeezing bottoms, and staring at the chest of a group of Minions disguised to look like a woman.
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Infrequent insults: "idiot," "screwed it up," "loser."
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Products & Purchases
Although no products are featured in the movie, the Minions are hugely represented in tie-in merchandise including toys, apparel, games, food, and much more. (In fact, as of the film's release, it was the biggest promotional push in the studio's history.)
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Minions is the highly anticipated prequel to the Despicable Me franchise, focusing on Gru's beloved yellow sidekicks. Although no children are in peril in this installment of the franchise, the appeal of villains/bad guys is a central theme, and there are several scenes of cartoon violence that are played lightly/for laughs (explosions, freeze guns, torture devices). The actual "body count" is low and mostly involves the Minions' non-human/bad guy (a T-rex, a yeti, etc.) bosses. The Minions speak a made-up language, but there are a couple uses of insults like "idiot" or "screwed up." And there are some glimpses of basically bare Minion bottom, as well as some other mildly suggestive scenes (implied nakedness after losing a swimsuit, bottom squeezing, a couple embracing, hypnotized guards stripping down to their boxers and dancing/slapping each other on the rear, etc.). One male character dresses as a woman, and at one point the Minions pile on top of each other to disguise themselves as a woman (earning a chest ogle in the process). Like the other Despicable Me movies, the story can be seen as a celebration of villainy (though much of it is intended to be silly/funny) -- but the long-term take away is hopefully more about how loyal the Minions are to one another and to their masters. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This prequel is not as substantive as the original story. But Kevin, Stuart, and Bob -- whom Despicable Me fans will remember fondly from the previous films -- are definitely cute and clever, so kids will no doubt want to flock to see it. The Minions are an adorable bunch of sidekicks, so it's difficult not to root for them, even though they're destined to be acolytes to evil masters. With their vaguely familiar-sounding language and their penchant for causing mayhem, the Minions will continue to win viewers' hearts with their googly eyed shenanigans.
As for the new characters, Scarlett and Herb are a hilarious couple, and it's obvious that Bullock and Hamm had a good time channeling their inner wacky villains. And the soundtrack is full of greatest hits like "My Generation," "Happy Together," "You Really Got Me," and "Mellow Yellow" (of course). Still, despite the comedic gags and the familiar soundtrack, there's not a lot of depth to this story, and Scarlett isn't nearly as compelling as Gru. Go for the love of Minions, but don't expect this installment to dethrone the original as the best of the Despicable Me bunch.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.