In 2010, Illumination Entertainment and producer Chris Meledandri published a genius idea that would go on to create havoc amongst children, couples and families alike. They released Despicable Me, but that wasn’t the idea; it was the invention of Gru’s Minions. You know them tiny, yellow, beefy robot things that squeak in chipmunk pace, wear goggles and have different hairstyles? Yeah, them. The first major publication of the Minion was in the following trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsiayV5LuD0. Three years on, the Minions have built up a legacy similar to that of the Toy Story franchise. Under construction is a new ride titled ‘Minion Mayhem’ at Universal Studios Florida and there are countless amounts of Twitter pages in dedication (@MinionFM, DM_Minions).
The simple yet genius move was the decision to turn the Minions into not just an image, but a brand. We have t-shirts, inflatables, soft toys, battery toys, apps, phone covers, the Minion song and so much more. Miranda Cosgrove – who by the way is the weakest point of the movie – recently threw this picture on Instagram when she was here for the premiere of the sequel: http://instagram.com/p/au356cPsxH/. Can you imagine any other animated figure of recent times that has this sort of power? The hype for Despicable Me 2 is even greater than Monsters University from what I can see, and this has to be due to the clever emphasis on Minion promotion. I can’t describe my happiness at the fact that the same makers are going to release a Minions spin-off movie later this year but for now, I can’t wait to go and watch them cause mayhem in Despicable Me 2. Now imagine, how much [more] success would the Madagascar franchise have if they did the same thing with King Julian?