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Bananas about the Minions

Published : Aug 28, 2016, 10:16 pm IST
Updated : Aug 28, 2016, 10:16 pm IST

Kyle Balda, co-director of the Despicable Me movies and Minions, discusses how the lovable henchmen were born during talks over Indian food

A still from the movie Minions
 A still from the movie Minions

Kyle Balda, co-director of the Despicable Me movies and Minions, discusses how the lovable henchmen were born during talks over Indian food

Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, the co-directors of massive successes Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, are definitely the animated comedy dream team. They even gave us the adorable little critters, Minions, that have been a huge hit with kids and adults alike, all over the world. The Minions craze has also swept India, with people cosplaying as Gru’s henchmen and even having birthday parties themed around them. Anyone on social media, will have also seen people lipsyncing to their dialogues and somehow we still can’t get enough of them.

Right before Minions, the movie, premieres on Indian television screens, Kyle tells us what went into the creating them and what it was like working with Sandra Bullock.

The Minions got recognition and love, not only because of their adorable antics but also for the gibberish they spout. There’s nothing more adorable than them singing about their love for bananas or just screaming in their cutesy foreign tongue. Surprisingly, Indian food had a lot to do with the conception of this unique lingo. “Pierre and I would often go out for lunch in search of Indian food, because we love it. During that time, we started coming up with words for the Minions to say. We have a lot of words from various languages like Italian, French and German too. And of course, Pierre does an incredible job at doing their voices,” starts Kyle. He adds, “We wanted Gru to have an army and initially, they were big and muscular and we thought the appeal of comedy was low with them. Then, they started transforming into little yellow guys who wear goggles and overalls like subterranean molemen.” He also reveals that the origin of our favourites isn’t quite what we expected. “They’ve split like a single cell organism and have been present since the beginning of evolution!”

Did he ever think the minions would become such a huge hit “We never thought it would turn out this way. It’s interesting to see that they appeal to both kids and adults. They’re over-talkative and end up commiting some disastrous mistakes, and maybe that’s what appeals to all ages and can be related to.”

In the latest adventure of the Minions, they go in search of a super-villain to assist and find Scarlet Overkill , a female baddie trying to break into the industry. Of course, this also leads to a n incredible amount of disasters too. Sandra Bullock, who voices Scarlet, had a lot to do with the development of her character. “Scarlet is very mean but also has a sweet side to her. She’s also really crazy and over-the-top. Sandra is extremely explosive with her acting, so we wanted her to be a part of the movie. She definitely had a lot of influence on how the character came out on the screens,” says Kyle.

“I, unfortunately, haven’t had as much exposure to Indian fans and films as I’d like. Of course, I’ve seen clips of Indian movies and I really like the choreography in Bollywood. Needless to say, I’d love to see more,” Kyle says.

When asked if the team would consider flying to India for promotions in the recent future, considering that some of the Minions’ biggest fans are Indians, he responds, “I’d love to visit India for promotions someday, but the production team handles that aspect. Besides that, I’d really like to make a trip to India and see the country,”

He concludes by telling us he cannot divulge any details about their next outing, Despicable Me 3. Guess we’ll just have to wait like the rest of the fans! (The movie will premiere today at 1 pm and 9 pm on Sony Pix)