Why are minions so popular?

Cartoon Brew, in association with its exclusive online event partner INBTWN Animation, interviewed Chris Renaud, director of "Despicable Me 4," which Universal Pictures is releasing in the US today.

This will be Renaud's third time directing a Despicable Me film, having been involved with the franchise since its inception. At this point, there is little question as to whether audiences will support Despicable Me 4. The character and the franchise have become a modern icon loved around the world.

A large part of the franchise's success is its supporting characters in the form of the yellow pill known as the Minions. As Renaud explains, "In the original conception, the way we saw it, the way to make Gru attractive was the inept kids who loved him." "In our minds, I think we were hoping they would be the breakout comedy characters. ...... but the amount that people embraced them is not something you can predict in 2010"


The conversation then moved on to how Renaud and crew approached the fourth film differently than the previous films in the series, the use of contrast to build comedy, the different avenues they explored for the story, and why they chose to pursue a particular plot.

Renaud also explained the filmmakers' decision to reduce the role of the newly introduced superheroes, the Mega Minions, in the final story. He said, "When we used their superpowers, it still felt like a half-baked version of a Marvel movie." Renaud added that he wanted to give the film's heroics to Gru and his new baby. [For more insight into the making of Despicable Me 4, watch the entire video above.