Tell your aunt to stop posting Despicable Memes on Facebook
By Jack Archambault
Staff Master of Minions
Add the Despicable Me franchise to the list of things that are actually good. Put it right there next to cold pizza, *NSYNC, and Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes (just kidding). This may sound like lunacy, given the sheer level of hatred and vitriol that Despicable Me, and particularly its lovable yellow Minions, has stirred up in folks. In fact, a Facebook group titled “I Hate Minions” has nearly 20,000 members and a YouTube video called “I HATE MINIONS SO MUCH” has over 5 million views. Just imagine, for a moment, if all the people who hate Minions decided to hate something else, like child poverty. Or cancer. We could have those things solved tomorrow. But I digress. The fact is that I love Despicable Me. I love it so much that I bought a t-shirt this summer that says “Despicable Moose”, with a picture of a moose that looks like Gru on it. I spent seven dollars on it, but I would have spent seven thousand. And as such a big fan, I want all of you who read this to love Despicable Me like I do. And if not that much, then just liking it is fine. So, I want to tackle this in two sections, first the Despicable Me movies themselves, and then the Minions. And I know how much you would all love to tackle a Minion.
The Despicable Me movies, while not yet at the level of Zoolander, which to me remains the pinnacle of cinema, could definitely get there with the help of a few more sequels. Yes, you read that right. Despicable Me is one of the few movie franchises that actually gets better with each sequel released. This is not to say that each movie is better than the one before it, but rather that each movie only adds to the treasure trove of hijinks and shenanigans that Gru and the gang get up to. More movies = more jokes = more fun. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, even though Gru and the Minions literally are rocket scientists and have taken that rocket to the moon. So add good role models to the list of reasons to love these movies. Also add to that list a fantastic soundtrack by Pharrell Williams. It really is a dreamfest that takes you to a land of cotton candy and stuffed unicorns. I highly recommend listening to it.
Second, the overarching theme of each movie is family, and how love can melt the heart of even the most ruthless villain. If you have a problem with that, then I really don’t know what to tell you. You might just need to feel the gentle caress of a Minion to melt your frozen heart. And speaking of Minions…
Minions baby, Minions. If I have one problem with the public’s hatred of Minions it is that they detest them for all the wrong reasons. If you are unaware, people essentially hate Minions because they are everywhere, from keychains to backpacks to toilet paper. Apparently, Minion dildos are a thing as well. So yeah. Anyways, this stream of incessant merchandising has irritated many, hence the backlash. But wouldn’t it make more sense to hate Minions because they are evil? The Minions’ purpose is to serve the most villainous person on Earth at any given time. This means that if Minions truly existed, they definitely would have been Nazis. But amazingly that’s not why Minions are so widely reviled. It’s because you see them on a lot of things at the supermarket, and that rubs people the wrong way. But more importantly, Minions only exist in a world in which the worst villains only steal pyramids and jumbotrons, which means that there really is no reason to dislike Minions. A quick pros and cons list for Minions might go like this:
Pros: funny, cute
Cons: too funny, too cute
I rest my case.
I hope that by now I have convinced you to give Despicable Me another chance. At the very least I hope you can keep an open mind (another great lesson from the films). Maybe you’ll actually love it. Maybe you will love it so much that you come up to me and compliment me on my cool Despicable Moose shirt. Maybe you will even ask where you can get one. I’ll tell you it’s not that easy. You see, I bought all the shirts left in stock. I am the sole supplier now. You’ll ask what you can do. I’ll motion for you to lean in, then I’ll whisper, “……..” That’s right, nothing. Because I cannot tell you. Not yet. The answer will be revealed in Despicable Me 22, coming summer 2094. I know my great-grandchildren will be there. Will yours?