There is only one Pixar. No one does animated movies like Pixar. That doesn’t mean no one else is making good animated movies. Two of the most enjoyable animated films of the last five years were DESPICABLE ME and it’s sequel. Gru’s little yellow henchmen, the Minions became wildly popular (rides, games, etc.). So it was natural that Universal would want a movie called MINIONS. Despite it’s over-marketing and the Minions overexposure, this isn’t a bad movie. It’s a Minion origin story, describing where they came from. Spoiler alert, they’ve always been around. This time, after failing to help Napoleon they run to the arctic where they live in exile, without purpose. One Minion, Kevin, is inspired to go find their next boss. So he sets out with Stuart and Bob in search of a purpose in life. The humor here is not sophisticated at all. It’s pretty slapstick and physical. Sandra Bullock voices the villain Scarlet Overkill, but the character lacks any kind of depth. She’s all about being bad. In Despicable Me, Gru was bad but he had heart and layers. No character here possesses that kind of arc. MINIONS falls flat when it tries too hard to get all touchy-feely. But the humor is there. The bits are funny, the Minions are lovable. You get to see how they met Gru. It’s a fun movie and one you can take the kids to. There’s nothing of questionable taste or that you’ll have to worry about having uncomfortable talks with your children. Just enjoy the ride. Oh and stick around until the very end. There is an exceptionally funny post-credits scene that is worth the wait. It ain’t Pixar, but it ain’t bad. — Alan Yudman

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