Minions

Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda (2015)

Bask in the giggly yellow glow of the golden-hearted helpers of Despicable Me (2010) as they take centre-stage in this animated prequel.

Supremely silly from singing start to riotous finish, this fabulous fanfare of fun is your kids new favourite film.

Following their film-stealing role in Despicable Me 2 (2013) this is the third outing for the employees of wannabe super-villain Gru (Steve Carell).

Prior to working for Gru the minions have happily toiled for the most despicable figures of history; the Pharaohs, Napoleon and err, a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

But now in 1968 the minions are miserable without someone telling them what to do.

So Kevin, Stuart and Bob (all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin) leave their brethren and set off to find a new master to serve.

A feast of frivolity follows as the innocents abroad search for a father-figure.

Kevin the tall one is the leader of the trio. Bob the youngest carries a teddy bear, Stuart plays guitar.

In Orlando the trio are employed by the world’s first female super-villain, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock).

She’s zooms about in nuclear-powered armoured dresses, lives in a castle and acts as if she’s the evil doppelganger of Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds.

Her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm), equips the yellow trio with a stretch suit, a hypnotising helmet and a lava lamp laser gun.

Scarlet instructs them to steal the crown of Queen Elizabeth II. The toothy monarch has nerves and fists of steel and enjoys a royal night out.

She’s voiced by Jennifer Saunders in easily her funniest comic performance.

Steve Coogan played Silas Ramsbottom in DM2, here he appears as a nutty Professor and a Tower Guard. Geoffrey Rush narrates.

Michael Keaton and Allison Janney have brief roles as Walter and Madge Nelson. Along with their baby-faced son they pick up our hitch-hiking heroes.

Elderly beefeaters, tea-drinking bobbies and fake moon-landing conspiracies bump against Arthurian legend as the jokes play fast and loose with history and geography.

Swinging London town is painted yellow to a soundtrack of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and suitably Donovan’s Mellow Yellow.

The familiar songs kick in to give oomph to the weaker action sequences suggesting a lack of confidence in certain scenes.

Although the tie-dye colours of the ’60’s make for a colourful spectacle, there’s no benefit gained from being set in 1968. Plus it makes Gru more a grandfather than a father to his adopted children.

That said the year feels like an idea abandoned halfway through production. It has no bearing on the plot and isn’t explored in depth – which is something of a relief.

Madcap chases and choreographed song and dance numbers are joyously created by the top class animation.

A hall of mirrors, the Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square and especially the feathering on Scarlet’s hair are all beautifully rendered.

My good-natured giggles regularly erupted into huge guffaws and if you don’t enjoy this movie, I’ll set my minions on you.

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