Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Minions Movie Poster Image
Prequel is fun, with less peril than previous films.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 98 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 122 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Depicts dinosaurs and a few leaders throughout time -- like Napoleon and a young Queen Elizabeth II.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

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.


Infrequent insults: "idiot," "screwed it up," "loser."


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.)

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byngeorgianow July 10, 2015

Minions pack a big punch

There are several images of a scary nature from the very beginning. The mad scientist minion is scary. Then, the minions hitch hike and meet a family of crimina... Continue reading
Parent of a 1, 1, 3, 6, and 7-year-old Written bythetworks July 13, 2015

totally inappropriate

i was so disappointed with this movie! my husband and i kept gasping at each other throughout - we could not believe how inappropriate this movie is for young... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHunter.O July 27, 2015

I don't understand the bad reviews!

I watched this movie today and really really enjoyed it! My mom and I decided to read some of the reviews, just to see what other people thought of it. We were... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 11, 2015


My nanny is obsessed with minions, so we went to go see the movie.
The movie was really funny and cute. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good laugh... Continue reading

What's the story?

MINIONS is a prequel to the wildly popular Despicable Me movies, chronicling how the little yellow creatures have always been drawn to follow the biggest villains surrounding them, from a T-rex to a caveman to a tyrant. For a long time, the Minions -- distraught that their masters keep dying --stay hidden in an ice cave, with no one to follow and nothing to do. Then, bored and depressed, Kevin leads Bob and Stuart on a mission to find a new supervillain ruler and ends up in 1968 New York City. From there, the trio discovers that renowned international villain Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) is the one they want. They win her trust and accompany her to England, where they must prove their loyalty by stealing the queen's crown jewels with the help of Scarlett's weapons-specialist husband, Herb (Jon Hamm).

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Minions centers on "sidekicks" rather than the typical heroes. How do the Minions emerge as heroes of their own story rather than just as supporting characters in others' tales?

  • How does the cartoon action in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does this kind of violence have more or less impact than what's in live-action movies? Why?

  • Many central characters in the Despicable Me movies are villains -- and yet they're still the ones we root for. Is it OK to have a sympathetic "bad guy"? How does that impact the characters' status as role models?

  • What makes the Minions such popular characters? Why do you think they're so beloved? Does the fact that their language is unintelligible make them more or less appealing?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation

Themes & Topics

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