It's hard to think of a fictional creature in animation that took the world as much by storm as Illumination Entertainment's Minions, the tiny yellow creatures that assist Gru in his evil master plans — first in Despicable Me, then in the movie's sequels and their own spin-off, Minions. From the 600 million banana stickers that were issued by Chiquita to promote the movie to endless minion-themed products, the movie marketing world had truly rarely seen a character with such a size to profit ratio.
While we should definitely compile a list of the best Minions products out there (check out our DIY Minions ideas), we're starting with the best bits of trivia you'll want to know about the cutest villainy sidekicks in animation. Below you'll find everything you need to know about the Minions.
1. They're Short For Budget Reasons
Originally, the Minions were supposed to be grumpy humans, but Illumination Entertainment was no Disney at the time of making Despicable Me — and the budget dictated that they should animate smaller forms.
2. They Are Voiced By The Despicable Me Director
The Minions blabber has now become iconic — but did you know it was the same man voicing them all? Despicable Me and Minions director Pierre Coffin initially recorded what was supposed to be only a test for the Minions' voices, but the founder of Illumination, Chris Meledandri, liked it so much that he decided to keep it. In Minions, he's voiced no less than 899 different characters.
3. They Were Created To Make Gru More Likable
The first movie the Minions appear in, Despicable Me, centers around the somber character of Gru (though we all eventually learn he's a sweetheart). But to make sure he didn't start out completely negative, the directors of the movie wanted to surround him with absurd, idiotic sidekicks, making him look less stupid himself.
4. They Were Inspired By The Jawas And The Oompa-Loompas
It's not surprising to hear that the Minions were inspired by Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But would you have thought of the Jawas, the little hooded creatures from Star Wars, also provided inspiration?
5. The Heroes Of Minions Were Designed To Resemble The Girls In Despicable Me
While most of the Minions are pretty much indistinguishable in Despicable Me, Minions the movie focuses on Stuart, Kevin and Bob. Their traits were inspired by Edith, Margot and Agnes, the three little girls that Gru adopts in the first movie.
6. They Speak A Mix Of Actual Languages
It might sound like gibberish, but Minionese is made up of actual words that each correspond to a word in a real-life language. The trick is that they draw from a bunch of them: Minionese is essentially mispronounced Spanish, English, French, Italian, Russian and Korean.
7. They Even Took Some Vocabulary From The Director's Indonesian Mother
The mother of Pierre Coffin, who voices the Minions, is Indonesian, so he included a little nod to the language by adding a few Indonesian terms. For "thank you," Minions say "terima kasih."
8. They Only Have Five Hairstyles
One of the reason they all look the same is that there's a limited number of hairstyles available in Minion world: There are only five variations, including bald!
9. They Have Three Fingers
Proportionally to their tiny size, Minions only have three fingers (which are carefully concealed in little black gloves).
10. There Are 48 Possible Minion Iterations
We knew that there were one-eyed and two-eyed Minions, and that their hair can only look one of five ways. But factoring in their height and weight, there are only 48 potential combinations to create a Minion — which means a lot of them look exactly the same.
11. There Are No Female Minions For A Very Good Reason
The best part about Minions, though? When asked about the apparent absence of female Minions, Coffin said:
"Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls."
No hard feelings, boys.
Are you a fan of Minions, or do you secretly pray that they disappear?