HomeMulticultural-Multiracial'Despicable Me 4': French Indonesian voices Minions for laughs

‘Despicable Me 4’: French Indonesian voices Minions for laughs

By Jana Monji

While the featured animated faces and the accompanying voices may not seem very diverse, the creation of the Despicable Me franchise was partially due to its current main voice actor for the Minions: French film director, voice actor and animator Pierre-Louis Padang Coffin. He is the son of Indonesian novelist Nh. Dini and French diplomat Yves Coffin. Coffin has lived in Cambodia and Japan as well as France, growing up in Paris.

Steve Carrell voices the former supervillain Gru and Kristen Wiig voices his Anti-Villain League agent wife. They’ve adopted three kids: Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Madison Polan). In this installment, Gru and Lucy and their three girls along with their own bio baby Gru Jr. are forced into hiding when a supervillain, Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell), with a special grudge against Gru escapes from prison with the help of his girlfriend Valentina (Sofia Vergara). Maxime has become part cockroach to give himself incredible strength and more arms than any human needs.

Maxime and Gru were classmates and rivals at the Lycée Pas Bon, a school for villains located in a remote castle. Blackmailed by his precocious new neighbor, Poppy Prescott (Joey King), Gru will be forced to return to that castle grounds and commit a crime that will eventually lead Maxime to Gru and family’s witness protection hiding place.

But where are the yellow, adorably incompetent Minions? Some will be in hiding with the family and one will be involved in a running gag with a vending machine. Most of them will end up working at the Anti-Villain League headquarters and five of those will be chosen for an experiment to augment their abilities. If you know the Minions, that experiment won’t go well.

Coffin, who was born in France, has been involved with the franchise from the very beginning. He co-directed the first two films in this franchise (Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, 2013) with Chris Renaud. Coffin was also one of the directors for Despicable Me 3 (2017).

In the first film, Coffin voiced all of the Minions except Dave (Renauld) and Jerry (Jermaine Clement). Ken Jeong also voiced a talk-show host. In the second Coffin and Renauld voiced the Minions. For the third film, Coffin was Mel and the other Minions. For this fourth installment of the franchise, Coffin is the voice behind the Minions, all the Minions. And there are a lot of opportunities for silly, adorable fun as this film parodies superheroes like the Fantastic Four and chaos in the workplace.

The film is family-friendly although you might be triggered by the animation of cockroaches as critters and the inspiration behind mechanical devices like flying/crawling vehicles. But as the man behind the Minions, Coffin represents the films’ diversity and is intrinsically attached to the comedic legacy of these yellow henchmen.

Despicable Me 4 premiered at the Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC on 4 June 2024. The film was released in Australia on 20 June 2024 and was released on 3 July 2024 in the US.

For my full review, visit AgeOfTheGeek.org.

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