"I should be given an award for keeping my mouth shut when there is so much that needs to be said."
You can hardly go anywhere these days or do anything without some reference to Minions. It might have something to do with a movie that has taken off in popularity and the stars are graphic creations. That’s fair. Credit where credit is due. These creatures, however, have invaded advertisements and pretty much anywhere even adults hang out. I admit to not having seeing the movie. Gone are the days when I could hide my guilty pleasure of going to see a movie that looks like fun by taking my youngsters and a car load of their friends on an outing to see a movie.
I remember and invite to a grand opening for a mega theatre in Calgary. Part of the celebration were free treats, ice cream, junk food, goodie bags and coupons for car washes even, proving that professionals do like to kick back and have a little fun, escaping back to childhood giddiness, and not just a golf course. The cherry on the top was a free screening of Antz in 1998. The brainchild of Pixel studios that followed the success of the first Toy Story in 1995.
When I started to write this, I wasn't quite sure if it was Walt Disney who started it all by recognizing that kids are taken to movies by their adult parents and the idea born to insert adult humor to make it an enjoyable adventure for everyone of all ages and not only as a chaperoned outing. In my mind, as I reflect, Toy Story was the brainchild that most of us recognize as an animated escapade that adults embraced. Some of the scenes took us back to our childhood, we could relate to many of the characters as ourselves or situations from childhood while several lines zipped over the kids’ heads to land firmly on belly laughs from the adults who relished the humor. Interestingly, PIXAR's profile proclaims:
Animators and writers at Pixar have often cited that the movies they make are for adults, just as much as they are for kids. As such, a certain amount of adult humor slips into their projects that kids won't get.
It has been going on for years. The success of a movie in our commercial world is identified by how many residual their are: toys, advertisements, copyrights linked to a movie specifically surrounding a character. Think Terminator. Figurines, dodads, figurines, trucks and gadgets high on the must have lists to be given as birthday gifts or Christmas presents. Meanwhile the money didn't just roll in for the studios, the creators, producers .... smart actors recognized the financial gain from inking in the royalties for the actors who were central to the characters. A ca-ching caught on when the movie and/or characters became a hit, music to their ears of cash registers ringing a money tune.Check out the McDonald’s commercial where Minions took over the fast food giant’s restaurant to the gafaw of the patrons who discovered the order board was swapped out for bananas. They seem like harmless, fun-loving creatures so why not?
I decided put on my curiosity cap and set out on a Minions crusade to find out more about them. Not surprisingly, they are everywhere on social media: even Pinterest boards dedicated to Minions. Fascinating.
I started out with my handy dandy source I use to launch research -- Wikipedia -- to figure out what all the mayhem was about. Amazingly, instead of my search uncovering a WIKIpedia explanation, behold my animated adventurers, there is actually a page dedicated to the cute mischief makers: Dispicable Me Minions Wiki page. It is a jackpot of anything one would ever want to know about Minions. It answered my own question: Who are minions?
The Minions are small, yellow, cylindrical, creatures who have one or two eyes. They are impulsive creatures with little self-control, but with a wide-eyed wonder and odd innocence that endears them to viewers and makes them relatable. They can be pesky when they are doing weird interactions with other people, animals, or objects. Minions have standard English names.
WOWzers! I went looking for a McDonald’s Minions commercial on YouTube and was bombarded with tons of commercials dedicated to these mischievious marvels. You know it is big when McDonald's Happy Meals include such a toy. Not surprising, (even though it initially was to me) many brands have jumped on the miniwagon with ads of their own like this one for smartphones:
I like to think I have a sixth sense about what is the latest craze as it relates to business, sales and social media. Talk about being asleep at the wheel. They are certainly everywhere. The lesson to this? If you want to be hip, with it, in touch with the world, include a Minion image, quote, song or video and you will be sure to have a retweet #RT or share or four. It will certainly communicate that you have a fun side, it is not always serious business. Completely broadcasting to your followers and potentially attracting more fun loving adults, you are hip, you’re with it, and you have a sense of humour!
Take my word for it: put on your fun cap and get in on the mayhem -- an image with a Minion quote is definitely going to endear you to many or promise others a fun ride! You don't have to look far to find websites dedicated to Minion quotes. Start now! Show a personable side while you poke fun at yourself. I can promise you connection and engagement.
After a lot of background research on the origin of adult humor injected into animation. I discovered the miracle Animator Ralph Bakshi.
|Bakshi interpretation of Lord of the Rings|
RALPH BAKSHI BIO
Ralph Bakshi is an American director of ani-mated and live-action films. In the 1970s, he established an alternative to main-stream animation through independent and adult-oriented productions. Between 1972 and 1992, he directed nine theatrically released feature films, five of which he wrote. He has been involved in
projects as director,
projects as director,
writer, producer and animator.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing"
~ George Bernard Shaw
Now spin it by combining it with a fun image to Tweet, share, post, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+ Facebook -- to discover some new connections who share the same humor.
Note: they most likely perform better when using Minion-ese speak, songs or sayings. Just test the theory I am sharing and see if you have some luck and notice an increase in #RT or even better if you hashtag #Minions to see if it may start trending on Twitter so all their devotees are assembled together to sing their praises.