I have some thoughts about the movie “Minions”. Be afraid. Be Very Afraid.
I recently re-watched the film “Minions“. And as much as I enjoyed it – some things bug me about it. In fact, it contradicts the earlier films, and not just in a small way, but in a few big ways. And that’s not the only things they get wrong:
So how do we reconcile this with the fact that the Minions movie exists?
First of all, that’s not the only thing they got wrong:
- We already had a Minions origin story.
- The money
In 1968, Britain didn’t have pounds and pence like America had dollars and cents. While there’s always been cents ever since the dollar was created, until 1970 Britain had twenty shillings to the pound and twelve pence to the shilling. Meaning that the price to enter to see the Crown Jewels should have been two or three shillings. It could have been two and a half shillings, which would have been written either 2s6d or, more likely, 2
/6. (You can see loads of vintage ads with prices like this at a page called realclassic.co.uk, if you’re interested: https://www.realclassic.co.uk/opinionfiles/opinion07053100.html.)
- The trains
I’ve been to the London Transport museum, and I’ve read the wonderful books about abandoned London underground stations as well as abandonedstations.org.uk and I know what tube trains look like these days. And those look modern, not 60s ones.
- The fire hydrants
I’ve never seen a red fire hydrant in the UK. Ever. I’ve seen plenty elsewhere, but never in England, and I lived in a lot of places in the UK during the 42 years I lived there.
- King Bob enters the House of Commons
Nope, that’s not allowed. Nor can the monarch change the law by decree.
- The moon landing was faked
At one point, the Minions run across a set where they’re faking the moon landings. Well, possibly – it could also be the set of, say, 2001, I suppose, but if we assume it’s the moon landings, that means that the moon landings in the first film didn’t happen, and that leads to another point –
- Gru ages backwards
The moon landings were shown across the world in 1969. We know that Gru, in the first film, was very young at this time – four, maybe five years old. In the Minions movie, he’s maybe eight or nine – yet, this is supposed to be a year before the original Despicable Me…
The Minions film has Minions living in the dawn of time, dealing with dinosaurs, mammoths and cavemen. But in one of the short films that accompanied the original Despicable Me on DVD, it was revealed that the Minions are all genetic clones, presumably created by Dr Nefario.
So why are these things wrong? They’re all easy to research – some of them just by watching the previous movies – and this is animation don’t forget; for example, it’s just as easy to animate a vintage tube train as a new one.
The answer, I think, is that these are there deliberately.
The most obvious clue to this is found at the end of “Despicable Me 2, where they start auditions for the Minions movie. This suggests that the Minions movie exists inside the Gruniverse, and it’s not meant to be taken as part of the Minions actual history, but as a fiction-within-a-fiction, a play-within-a-play, if you like.
The other big clue to this at the end of the Minions movie – the “singalong” to the Beatles’ Revolution, where nearly all the cast reappears at some point. This is a common ending to the great British tradition of pantomime. Pantomimes, of course, usually occur at Christmas, and that might explain the presence on the DVD of “Jingle Bells – Minion Style”.
To me, then, this all adds up to one conclusion: the Minions film exists, inside the Gruniverse, as a comedy the Minions wrote themselves. This isn’t a movie that details a back story for the Minions – it’s the Minions’ Christmas pantomime.
And to me, that makes perfect sense…
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