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Stars: Voices: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Geoffrey Rush, Jennifer Saunders, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

After stealing the show in Despicable Me (and in the inevitable sequel) the bright yellow pillar-box-shaped mini-creatures get to star in their own movie and justify the (I assume) money-making objectives of this engaging – if plot-light- kidflick.

Effective 3D filming and bright animation compensate pretty well for the thin plot which, after charting the evolution of the little yellow barrels through the ages, sees Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob venture in to 1968 New York and employed by first female supervillain Scarlett Overkill - who needs their help to steal Britain's Crown Jewels…

The storyline confected by Brian Lynch works well enough as a line on which to hang a series of splendidly screwball gags rather than create a gripping story.

The opening sequences showing the evolution of the Minions make for amusing self-contained mini-comedies featuring the overlord-seeking Minions. They raise laughs among cavemen and wreck a T Rex, crash a pyramid in Ancient Egypt and, amazingly without benefit of Peter Cushing, destroy their despicable monstrous Middle Ages master Dracula.

Then, after, seeing Scarlett Overkill on the Hidden Villain TV Network and adopting their trademark clothes and becoming “Knights in Shining Denim” the trio set off for Villaincon, hitching a lift with bank robbers and being chased by the police, before finally heading for England and the royal jewels and cheerfully taking the mickey out of Her Majesty and the British …

There are enough silly scenes to keep youngsters laughing and not drive accompanying adults back into the lobby, vocal casting is fine and, hopefully, the Minions will return soon with a stronger storyline.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Jun 2015