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The Rise of Minion Culture

Banana. Papoy. Bello. Who doesn’t love these adorable yellow, banana-crazed Minions?! With the recent Minions: Rise of Gru success in theaters, grossing a total of $900 million at the international box office, the Minions have won the hearts of Gen Z and achieved world domination. It was recently released on Peacock and will, no doubt, help the streaming app garner additional subscribers.

Let’s examine how the Despicable Me franchise has revolutionized over the years to become the trendy beloved icon it is today.


On July 9, 2010, the original Despicable Me film was released in theaters and fans were introduced to the minions. The blockbuster was then nominated for the “Best animated feature.” the upcoming year.


In 2012, two years after the first Despicable Me movie premiered in theaters, it became a fun 3D ride called ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’ at Universal Studios Florida. Minion Mayhem officially launched at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 12, 2014.


In July of 2013, The sequel Despicable Me 2 released in theaters along with the single “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, as an official track for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. Retail companies and fast food chain companies collaborated with the company that owns Despicable Me, Illumination to manufacture toys, ice cream and merchandise. One of the toys, The Fart Blaster, became the hottest toy of the year. In addition, the mobile game app, “Minion Rush” was released, exceeding a total of one billion downloads after its launch. It used to be my favorite game.


I don’t know if y’all had Facebook or used your mom’s Facebook, but there used to be these popular cringey corny minion memes that boomers loved so much that saturated the web. Because of this, people started hating minions.


In 2015, the spin-off movie Minions was released, bringing in $1.159 billion worldwide and stands as Illumination’s global success to date. Moreover, the hate for these yellow twinkie-like creatures skyrocketed. People called them “annoying,” and “cringe,” and young adults were fed up with them being overrated. One Youtube video, in particular, titled “I HATE MINIONS SO MUCH” has garnered a total of 15.8 million views and became an internet sensation for expressing minion hate. I have that same Kevin plushie though, lol.


As one of the most widely used social media sites today, Tiktok users revived songs from the Despicable Me movies, like "Hug Me" and "Just a cloud away," through memes and dances, which suddenly made the Minions popular. Then when the release for the 2nd minions movie, Minions: The Rise of Gru was announced, it hyped up Gen Z audiences to go “bananas” over minions, sparking a trend on Tiktok called #GentleMinions. I’m pretty sure y’all know what the trend was about. Yeah, where teenagers all decked out in formal attire to see the premiere in theaters. It was pretty crazy. Some movie theaters even posted signs that due to the disturbances, movie goers associated with that trend would be refused entry.

You're, undoubtedly, shocked at how quickly people changed their opinions on the minions from hatred to love. That only serves to demonstrate how, since the franchise's release in 2010, Gen Z in particular has been experiencing nostalgia of their childhood. It’s amazing how social media can bring up things from the blast of the past. For example, recently TikTok resurrected scene subculture that emerged during the early 2000s and suddenly it trending today with the fashion and music.

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