The ‘Despicable Me’ Franchise Bent Over Backwards to Show That the Minions Didn’t Assist Hitler

The Minions have yet to be charged with a single war crime
The ‘Despicable Me’ Franchise Bent Over Backwards to Show That the Minions Didn’t Assist Hitler

To the joy of children/unstable young adults in formal wear everywhere, Hollywood keeps churning out movies featuring the Minions, the cartoon evil henchmen best described as a cross between a Twinkie and a sleep paralysis demon. 

The latest cinematic offering to feature the bug-eyed yellow blobs is Despicable Me 4, which sees the return of Steve Carrell’s Gru, the supervillain-turned family man, and also there’s — ah, who cares, it’s colorful nonsense that distracts children for an hour and thirty-five minutes.

But there is some weird stuff going on in the Minions-verse. The first solo Minions spin-off, simply titled Minions, fleshes out the backstory of the titular creatures, all the way back to the dinosaur age where we learn that they evolved purely “to serve the most despicable master they could find.”

When humans came along, the Minions found themselves regularly aiding some of the most immoral figures in history. As the narrator explains, “They bounced from one evil boss to another,” including a slave-driving Egyptian pharaoh, a vampire from the Dark Ages, and eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, this movie reveals that the Minions fought in the Napoleonic Wars.

Obviously, there’s a big problem with continuing this trend into the first half of the 20th century. The Minions serve the evilest masters they can find? So were they anywhere near Germany in the 1930s perhaps? 

The movie makes it a point to show us that, shortly after working for Napoleon, the Minions created their own colony in a frozen cave. When they finally decide to re-emerge into the human world, it’s 1968. Thus, the movie conveniently side-steps a major chunk of world history, presumably to reassure audiences that the Minions in no way assisted Adolf Hitler. 

Got that everybody?

The makers of Minions may have been extra-sensitive about this particular issue since there was a widespread conspiracy theory alleging that the design of the characters was inspired by an old photo of children being “subjected to Nazi gas experiments” while wearing “specialized helmets.” One ScreenRant video noted that the Nazi masks do “bear a striking similarity to the general design of the Minions.” 

The problem is, this is total bullshit. For one thing, the Minions were created because an artist wanted to design a character that “looks like a pill with a goggle on it.” And as Snopes pointed out, that photo, supposedly of minors being gassed by the Nazis, was actually taken “around 1908,” which was “well before the advent of the Nazi Party.” Plus, the people in the photo aren’t kids in gas masks, they’re adults wearing emergency suits for old-timey submarines. 

The only thing that’s at all creepy about the Minions is the fact that they probably murdered a man off-screen during the last movie.

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