Now, a few years back, I couldn’t stand Minions. In fact, I thought they were the aliens from the grabber machine in Toy Story. Much like, for most of my adult life, I thought Mother Theresa was actually Babushka in the nativity story. Yes, I just admitted that.
Then, the big child got heavily into Despicable Me and I realised it’s surprisingly palatable as a film. Some strong messages about feminism and heroics, as well as heavy emphasis on the importance of the humble banana.
When we flew to America over Christmas when she was two, and I was seven months pregnant with her sister, the Minions and co basically carried us through 9 hours of airbased cabin fever. My husband is an appalling flyer, and I was busy necking water and subsequently weeing, so we loaded up the in-flight TV with Despicable Me before moving on to the bargain basement 2015 annual (being December, it was dirt cheap) and various sticker books. She was a dream on that flight, and I partly thank the dudes in dungarees.
For her third birthday, I made this:
I know, right! I’ve got better since then, available for weddings and bar mitzvahs..
Anyway, when a lovely PR company got in touch and asked if the girls would like to receive a summer bundle of minions goodies to celebrate the launch of the latest Despicable Me 3 film, I obviously said yes. I don’t really know quite what I was expecting to get, but when my husband hauled in an enormous cardboard box, I sensed it would be more than a water pistol. Man alive, they sent me some amazing bits!
Sadly, the box arrived just as we were returning from our beach holiday to Cornwall, where all of this would have been EPIC entertainment. No matter, and not to be thwarted by this delightful British summer, we snatched some time in the garden to chuck the frisbee around and play bat and ball.
Then, in a delightfully unanticipated turn of events, both girls got chicken pox a week apart. So I had nigh on three weeks of nursery refusal, working from home, making up hours in the evenings, not leaving the house, stockpiling calpol, yada yada. That all got tiring veeeery quickly, I tell thee.
On one notable “Day of Hell”, whereby I had to juggle 120 emails, a meeting via video conference, and a 4 year old spotty child glued to the TV, I unleashed the box of joy on her. “There you go. All minions. Wall to wall minions in that box, go wild. Shall we blow up the paddling pool and put your cuddlies in it? Shall we set up the scooter for your sister? Shall we lay on the towel and put your £10-per-tube Virasoothe gel on your spots?”
“I’m a bit hot, mummy…” came the reply. “Can I just play with this nice fan, that lights up, and also happens to have sweets in?”
Meh, go on then. As you’re ill.
The new Despicable Me 3 film is still showing now in cinemas across the UK, and makes for a joyous 1hr36 of technicolour silliness. I do kind of want that unicorn, though.
-SJW August 2017
Disclaimer: I was sent some gorgeous Minions goodies, many of which are available to buy in various shops as part of the film promotion. For more detail about my work with brands, please refer to my full Disclosure Statement.