Up step Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (all voiced by co-director Pierre Coffin) who strike out into the world to find their tribe a new nefarious master. Their search takes them on all manner of escapades - while the rest of tribe at home provide further comic relief reminiscent of the Scrat cutaways in the Ice Age films - from robbing banks, to attending the delightfully referential Villain-con and then on to 1960s London. This last stop on their tour allows the creators to revel in their European heritage from the minions' own pan-European patois, to a whole host of gags about England. One story beat sees Queen Elizabeth deposed after someone pulls the legendary sword from the stone, and she finds herself downing pints in a typical London boozer.
The crown she loses is primarily coveted by the world's first female super villain Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock who is clearly having a whale of a time with the role, even if it lacks much meat on its animated bones. That CGI is fairly strong, however, with some of the landscapes and action set pieces brilliantly rendered. Better still is that attention to detail reserved for Kevin, Stuart and Bob. Development might be overstating it somewhat, but each of the trio of lead minions is given the opportunity to exhibit their own unique personality and they'll win the hearts of most audiences. And that is ultimately where Minions will claim its victory. It may not be pushing any boundaries and certainly lacks the emotional depth of the Despicable Me films, but as far as screwball animated farce for all the family goes, Minions is a winner. Kumbaya!
Ben Nicholson | @BRNicholson