In Which Things Get Overthought: Minions Edition

So, Clan Mondo was on the road for a few days, visiting family in Lost-In-the-Woods County. The local theater was screening the new animated film Minions, and because I was really bored, I read about it. Fine.

But then last night, the Spawn came downstairs to point something out. Apparently, since their original evolution in the primordial soup, the titular characters (who look rather like tater tots) exist by following/sucking up to whatever the biggest, baddest, most evil thing is on the scene. This makes sense — they’re minions, after all. We see examples during the credit sequence/backstory, as the little critters evolve and follow various predators, from protozoa to Napoleon. Indeed, a foulup with the Little Corporal drives the Minions into hiding for about 150 years, until ennui sets in and three of them go on a quest for a new “big boss” for the species. This quest to find a villain they can serve provides the narrative backbone of the film, which is a prequel in the Despicable Me franchise: how the Minions wound up serving mad scientist/supervillain Gru.

So, fine — they’re minions, it’s what they do, their raison d’etre, got it. But as the Spawn reported (and I believe she ran across the idea online as well), what are the real ramifications of this? If:

P1: Minions serve (or wish to serve) terrifying villains, AND

P2: Terrifying villains include malign individuals and would-be conquerers (e.g., Napoleon), THEN

C: Minions may well have been — indeed almost certainly were — present at various of the greatest atrocities in the history of their fictive universe (which does seem to bear strong similarities to our own.) Not only that, they were on the side of the evildoers.

Minions would have ridden with the Mongol hordes. Minions would have assisted Aztec chieftains — and then the conquistadors in turn. Would minions have assisted at the Crucifixion?

Because they were in exile/hiding from ca. 1815 to 1968, they get a pass on the genocides of the 20th century, I guess. Still, the remorseless little bastards would seem to owe considerable karmic debt.

History's greatest monsters?

History’s greatest monsters?

On the flip side, they seem to be colossally incompetent, and therefore may be seen as ultimately serving the cause of good by screwing up the work of evildoers. All the same, I think we need to be leery of things that appear charming but actually intend us no good.

Have we learned nothing from the political scene?

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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