Making Minions

What makes the yellow critters 100 percent irresistible

22% Surly French Workman
‘When we first designed the Minions for Despicable Me, they were big muscular guys, like Orcs. But we didn’t have enough money to create an army of those. So our designers riffed on the idea that they needed to be workmen: guys like you and me, only way shorter, with overalls and cigarettes and little hats… then they just looked like French workers! But that didn’t work either, so we moved onto a kind of mole man, with goggles. We gave them a simple, Japanese-inspired design, and we had our Minions.’

7% Banana
‘At first they were green, then the yellow just came along. They crave bananas, so maybe they’ve eaten too many!’

10% Shaun the Sheep
‘We love Aardman. Shaun the Sheep is genius! The tendency in American comedy is to push, to make everything faster, which I can’t stand. We try to do more than just jump from gag to gag.’

18% Human
‘In this movie, our main Minions are sort of one human being split into three. Kevin is the leader: he can be a bit boring and bossy. Stuart is the one I relate to – I’m usually bored and cynical. And I like to get attention for doing ridiculous stuff. Bob is the eager little kid, he’s innocent: let’s do this, let’s do that! Together they make one functioning person.’

19% Gobbledygook
‘To create their voices I started by just making up words. Sometimes they’d rhyme with English words, so “toy” became “papoy”. But for this movie they needed to express themselves more, and be a bit more understandable, so I moved on to foreign words that have a particular melodic quality. Indian words work really well for some reason: “tikka masala” is perfect! It sounds like it has meaning, beyond just being a food. The Minions are talking a little Chinese, a little Japanese and, of course, a lot of French!’

11% Marketing savvy
‘In Despicable Me, the Minions were not the main characters, not even close. But the producers were asking: how do we sell this movie about a weird bald guy? The Minions became the selling point and, from that moment on, they got more and more important.’

13% Charlie Chaplin
‘For animators, Charlie Chaplin is always a big reference. With the Minions, you don’t understand a word they say, but you have to understand what emotional state they’re in. All the silent movies had that.’

Need to know…

Minions is out in cinemas across Dubai from Thursday July 16.

The Japanese brunch will take place from Friday September 28

The Big Bad Wolf book sale will arrive at Dubai Studio City in October

Win top prizes at Time Out Dubai’s latest Brunch Club event

The ultimate guide to the city’s brunch options every Friday

Sponsored: From the arrival to the eating, every element is an experience – and one you need to have

Sponsored: 13 award-winning eateries will be offering special menus at a brilliant price

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