5 Reasons Why Kids Love The Minions…
We recently took a group of kids on an accompanied viewing trip to the cinema to watch the Minions movie. This movie is a spin off from the highly successful Despicable Me movies, and focuses just on the highly amusing Minions characters.
We wanted to better understand just what it is that kids see in the Minions. Here’s some rough thoughts on what we found:
1. Slapstick humour – usually an appealing thing to kids, this kind of people walking into walls or falling flat on their faces nearly always gets a good laugh if it’s well set up and well thought out. While adults may see this kind of thing as corny, children aren’t so analytical, and tend to find such basic humour hilarious!
2. Gross humour – the Minions movie had real ‘laugh out loud’ impact at several points due to the kind of (again) basic humour that kids love. There’s a fart gag where one of the Minions picks up a rock and in doing so farts (!) and a back view of a Minions bottom in a g string – this is the kind of thing that kids often get told off for, but still find very funny.
3. Ensemble cast – one of the factors we most often find in successful kids movies/TV content is a well constructed character matrix, or in non jargon terms characters who go well together and where different characters appeal to different demographics/personalities. So for instance in Minions we have Bob, who is like a little brother who carries around a small teddy bear, Kevin is almost like the older brother (a bit more responsible, but also quite cutting towards the failings of some of the other Minions) and Stuart who is a bit more rebellious. Not only do these three characters work well together in that kids appear to be intrigued by their interactions with each other (almost as if it were the workings of their own families), they also play well with the other non Minion characters.
4. Goodies & Baddies – although Minions is unusual in that the Minions are generally badly behaved by human standards, there is no doubt that they are the ‘Goodies’ and have to save their friends/the world from the ‘Baddie’ Scarlet Overkill. The thing is kids tend to see the world in more simplistic terms than adults, and this perennial theme works well in Minions.
5. Minions As Kids – the Minions have a simplicity of outlook that is quite similar to the way children see the world. The Minions often find themselves in trouble in circumstances where they haven’t necessarily meant to do anything wrong, but are just following their natural curiosity. Whereas kids are often told off for this kind of thing i.e. breaking things & causing mess etc., the Minions tend to get away with it, which is an appealing thought to kids.
Audience Testing Research
We have conducted formal research studies for dozens of TV and movie properties. We test TV content with kids on a regular basis, recent studies included a TV series spin off from a hit movie property, a leading toyetic movie franchise, a completely new animation series trailer etc. The reality is that if you are going to spend £millions on creating content it seems ridiculous not to run it past some kids first, and for a comparably negligible costs having a professional, experienced & specialised team of researchers test your content seems like a prudent thing to do. Many times we are called upon to test why something didn’t work after someone spent £millions on content kids just didn’t get, we’d much rather do it in advance from a trailer or pilot episode so we can help you increase the chance of success. We also have additional expertise and proven success at helping content companies maximise the potential for toys and other merchandise – again it’s much easier to positively influence this is if we can input nearer the start of the development process than the end! To find out more, please drop us a line…