Young Gru (voice of Steve Carell) dreams of becoming a super-villain. When his favourite super-villain gang, the Vicious 6, has an opening, he applies to be their sixth villain but he’s ridiculed and laughed out of the room. On his way out, Gru takes a legendary necklace the gang has stolen as part of its evil plan to wreak havoc on the world.
During a high-speed chase, the necklace winds up in the hands of a minion (voice of Pierre Coffin). The minion promises to look after the necklace but quickly trades it for another rock. This destroys Gru’s plans of getting into the super-villain gang. He fires his minions and sets off alone to recover the necklace.
Gru barely makes it down the street before he’s kidnapped by henchmen working for Wild Knuckles (voice of Alan Arkin), the original leader of the super-villain gang. When the ransom phone call comes, the minions step up to save the day, setting off to find the necklace and rescue Gru.
Meanwhile, Gru saves Wild Knuckles’ life. Soon they’re hatching plots and conducting criminal activities together, with Gru learning from the master himself. When the super-villain gang finally catches up with Gru, they discover that powerful things come in small packages and that you should never underestimate a boy and his minions.
Bullying; crime; violence as a way to solve conflict
Minions: The Rise of Gru has some violence. For example:
- A villain slams characters’ fingers in a car door.
- Several cars crash during a high-speed chase.
- A character is nearly impaled on a bed of spikes.
- A bunch of deadly chopskis (heavily armed, metallic creatures) attack Wild Knuckles while he tries to steal a legendary necklace. He attacks back, dismantling and crushing many of them. An army arrives, chasing him with arrows. He just manages to escape.
- Villains cut a rope, sending White Knuckles plummeting to his apparent death. He later shows up alive.
- Gru bangs several minions on the head during an arcade game.
- Gru shoots several customers with a cheese gun.
- Gru receives an invitation, which explodes in a car.
- One minion hits another with a hammer. A different minion blowtorches another minion’s head. Later on, the minion’s head is still on fire.
- Men blast through a window and overturn cars as they scan the street looking for Gru.
- During a high-speed case, a character throws a bus and a van at Gru. Another character throws nunchucks as Gru speeds away.
- A menacing man dangles Gru over a balcony.
- Gru is strapped to a large record player. He’s told that he’ll die either from the music or from a saw that will slice him when the record stops playing.
- Villainous characters practise sword-fighting. They chase minions while carrying knives.
- The villainous characters kick, punch and bash the minions. A minion is bent at an odd angle while the villain tries to break his back.
- A woman punches, kicks and flips some villains, eventually driving them away.
- The villains smash up a living room.
- Two minions smash their heads into wood, trying to break it. A third uses one of the other minions and repeatedly smashes his head into the wood.
- The villains use demolition machinery to smash into Wild Knuckles’s house, completely destroying it.
- Crocodiles nearly eat Gru and Wild Knuckles.
- A character kicks a minion in the face and sends him blasting through tree trunks.
- First aid responders electrocute White Knuckles.
- Villains that have transformed into monstrous animals attack minions.
Minions: The Rise of Gru has some sexual references. For example:
- A minion asks a martial arts expert whether she’ll teach them her skills in exchange for ‘smoochy, smoochy’. He makes kissing motions as he asks her.
- A background song is played, which includes the lyrics ‘make a little love’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Minions: The Rise of Gru.
Nudity and sexual activity
Minions: The Rise of Gru has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A minion is shown naked and watching a movie. His genitals are hidden by a container of popcorn.
- Gru is naked after getting out of the shower. His bare backside is shown while he dances around the room.
- A minion is airsick and vomits during turbulence. He’s sucked into the toilet, and his clothes are pulled off his body. His bare buttocks are shown before he’s completely sucked inside the bowl.
The following products are displayed or used in Minions: The Rise of Gru:
- A character has a Tupperware party, and the brand is clearly displayed.
- There’s one reference to Twinkies.
Minions: The Rise of Gru has some name-calling, including ‘loser’, ‘stupid Twinkies’, ‘idiots’ and ‘tubby little punk’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Minions: The Rise of Gru is a Pixar animated adventure with a fast-paced but predictable plot. The charming antics of the loveable minions won’t disappoint.
Although Minions: The Rise of Gru isn’t suitable for very young viewers, it will appeal to children aged over 6 years (with parental guidance to 9 years), along with the young at heart.
The main messages from Minions: The Rise of Gru are to follow your dreams and to remember that even the smallest of us are capable of great things.
Values in Minions: The Rise of Gru that you could reinforce with your children include helpfulness, teamwork, creativity, persistence and love.
Minions: The Rise of Gru could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- going off alone without telling people where you’re going
- taking what doesn’t belong to you
- choosing a life of crime rather than trying to make the world a better place
- bullying others
- using violence to solve conflict.