Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Minions: The Rise of Gru

Go To
The original bad boy.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is an animated action-comedy film from Illumination Entertainment. It is the sequel to their 2015 film Minions and the fifth installment of their flagship Despicable Me franchise. It was released on July 1, 2022.

Following the conclusion of the previous film, the plot follows the Minions in The '70s as they begin their careers working under Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell), future moon thief and current 12-year-oldnote  rookie villain. When Gru’s attempts to join the Vicious 6, a feared gang of supervillains, goes wrong, resulting in the boy being kidnapped by the criminals’ former leader, the Minions must rescue their beloved “mini-boss”. Also returning for the film are Russell Brand and Julie Andrews with Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michelle Yeoh, Danny Trejo, Alan Arkin, Lucy Lawless and Dolph Lundgren voice new characters.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.


  • '60s Hair: Some of the adults (and to a lesser extent some of the children) still dress and do their hair like it's the late 1960s with Marlena in her Beehive Hairdo, Master Chow in her bouffant that is so close to heaven, the biker in his afro and Easy Rider look, and Dr. Nefario still dressing like a mod hippie.
  • The '70s: All the trappings of the decade can be seen in the movie — afros, tie-dye, lava lamps and more.
  • '70s Hair: The men have facial hair, long muttonchops (like Ramsbottom), long hair, or the dry look while the women wear Farrah Fawcett style wings and waves, wear their hair long, short with thick bangs, blown out wings, Belle Bottom's afro, the blunt bobs.
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • Kevin and Stuart manage to fly an airliner to San Francisco with no flying knowledge and no casualties.
    • Otto manages to beat Evel Knievel in a chasm stunt...on a tricycle.
  • Affectionate Parody: The subplot of the Minion trio after Gru is kidnapped is a parody of 70s kung fu films, especially as it features 70s kung fu movie star Michelle Yeoh voicing Master Chow.
  • Ambiguously Related: The woman at the airport's front desk looks suspiciously like Scarlet Overkill, to the point of being a Reused Character Design.
  • Animorphism: The Zodiac Stone allows its user to transform people into animals based on the Chinese Zodiac.
  • Anachronism Stew: The film takes place in early 1976 during the Chinese New Year, but "Funkytown" was one of the last disco hits in 1980 and "Fly Like an Eagle" wasn't released until later in 1976. Also, some of the dialogue contains anachronistic slang that reflects the 21st century and not the 20th. A more minor example is the fact that, at the beginning of the movie, Gru goes to watch Jaws at the cinema; Jaws was released in June 1975, roughly a year before the events of the movie.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Wild Knuckles' men kidnap Gru this way. He later uses the bag to try and hide from him.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Happens twice:
    • After Kevin ends up knocking himself out trying to break the board, It's Stuart's turn. He sucks in his guts, spreads out his arms, raises his head...then grabs Kevin and attempts to use his head as a hammer.
    • After finishing their Training from Hell along with Master Chow telling them that they're "ready", the Minion brothers rejoice in their accomplishment and run off to save their mini-boss. They didn't let her finish as they were only ready at completing the "Junior" level and had more training to do.
  • Big "NO!": The transformed Belle Bottom does this in the final battle just a second before she was turned into a rat when Gru uses the Zodiac Stone against her and her fellow Vicious 6 members.
  • Blow You Away: This happens twice in the film.
    • The first happens when Master Chow protects the Minion Trio and fends off Wild Knuckles’ henchmen, using a powerful gust of wind from her hands as a finisher to defeat one of them.
    • The second time happens in the climax and takes it to an even more epic extent. Right when the transformed Vicious 6 were about to kill Gru after Belle Bottom roasts Wild Knuckles, the transformed Minion Trio, defending Gru from certain doom, altogether uses the same wind attack that Master Chow used to protect the trio earlier, which forces the Vicious 6 away and allows Gru to use the Zodiac Stone that fell off of Belle to transform the villains into rats.
  • Bottomless Pit: The Vicious 6's headquarters is situated over one, which is separated from the reception area by a thin bridge presumably made of ice.
  • Bound and Gagged: While not gagged, Marlena and Gru both end up on the bound aspect of this trope, Gru being tied up to a giant record player by Wild Knuckles, and Marlena being tied up in general by the Vicious 6.
  • Brick Break: Kevin, Stuart, and Bob attempt to split wooden boards during a training montage. Kevin's failed attempts cause him to collapse from exhaustion, leading to Stuart making an attempt... with Kevin's face. Later, Bob sneezes and breaks the board.
  • Call-Forward:
    • During the Minions' cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia", there are two minions trying to hit a bolt with a hammer. Two other minions would do this later in Despicable Me.
    • Gru is seen trying to awkwardly talk to other villains in the Vicious 6 waiting room, much as Vector would try to do with him in the first film.
    • A recreation of the coffee shop scene from the first film can be seen early on, but with a cheese ray in place of a freeze ray.
    • Later on, Wild Knuckles and Gru rob the Bank of Evil from the first film.
    • At the end of the film, when Knuckles picks up Gru and the Minions after his fake funeral, he encourages them to "shoot for the moon". What was Gru's big plan in the first film again?
  • The Cameo:
    • Frankie Fishlips (the sea monster villain from Minions) can be seen waiting in line at the Bank of Evil.
    • Mr. Perkins, the future president of the Bank of Evil, appears as a teller. He also has a picture of his son Victor, future villain Vector.
    • Silas Ramsbottom leads the Anti-Villain League in helping out in the Final Battle.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Where the Zodiac Stone is hidden. It's revealed by activating two dragon statues that breathe fire onto the waterfall, briefly opening a passage to the entrance.
  • Character in the Logo: Gru continues the Despicable Me tradition of having his silhouette in the film's logo in the first trailer; specifically, he's the "I" in Rise.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Belle Bottom tries to invoke this during the final fight by turning the Minion trio into the weakest animals of the Zodiac (goat, chicken and rabbit). But thanks to Master Chow’s encouragement, this doesn't stop them at all- they tap into their "inner beast" and use their seemingly "useless" forms to their advantage.
  • Companion Cube: The Pet Rock, an infamous Real Life example, figures prominently in the plot. Otto trades the Zodiac Stone for one given to a little boy as a birthday present, and carries it wherever he goes.
  • Company Cross References: Universal handled production of both this and Jaws, the latter of which is seen in this film when Gru makes a stink bomb and throws it into a theater auditorium just to have the whole thing for himself and his minions.
  • Continuity Nod: Despite his experience with Scarlet Overkill not working out so well, Stuart is shown to have a Scarlet Overkill lunchbox when he takes a break to eat lunch during one of the training montages with Master Chow.
  • Deadly Dodging: Used during the chase scene when Gru skids under Nun-Chuck's nunchucks and a bus thrown by Stronghold; Stronghold gets hit in the head with the nunchucks and Nun-Chuck gets hit by the bus. Both get up.
  • Death Trap: Gru goes through two of these.
    • The first is where he's tied to a giant record player that spins him for hours while a buzzsaw gets closer to him as the day goes by.
    • The second is in the last act where Belle Bottom ties his arms to the hands of a clock tower with the minute hand stretching him after each passing minute.
  • Determinator: Despite being The Friend Nobody Likes, as listed below, Otto sets after the biker who has the Zodiac Stone around his neck, on a child's trike, and actually manages to keep up.
  • Distressed Dude: Gru ends up the distressed dude, starting with getting kidnapped by Wild Knuckles's henchmen and ending with getting his hands tied to the hands of a giant clock by the Vicious 6.
  • The Door Slams You: Svengeance gets beaten during the Chase Scene when Gru, passing a restaurant back door, yells out "Knock-knock! Delivery!"; the owner comes out and Svengeance gets hit with the door.
  • Evil Plan: The objective of the Vicious 6 is to use the Zodiac talisman to turn themselves into powerful beasts that can obliterate the Anti-Villain League.
  • Faking the Dead: It appears that Wild Knuckles died from his injuries near the end of the film, but it becomes an invoked He's Just Hiding.
  • Forced Transformation: During the climax, Belle Bottom transforms Kevin, Bob and Stuart into a rabbit, goat and rooster, respectively. At the end, Gru takes the Zodiac Stone and uses it to turn the Vicious 6 into rats.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Otto appears to be this for the Minions as a whole, as his overly chatty and easily distracted nature and tendency to go off on long-winded stories annoys everyone around him quite easily. The fact that he trades away an all-powerful magic stone that Gru needed to become a big-time supervillain and trusted him with for, of all things, a pet rock, making Gru so mad that he fires the minions, certainly doesn't help his reputation.
  • Gag Haircut: While fighting the kid Otto gave the Zodiac Stone to, the Minions accidentally send him up to the ceiling fan, which cuts the top off his afro down to the scalp.
  • Get Out!: Gru says he expects the Minions to be gone by the time he gets back from getting the Zodiac Stone on his own.
    • Later, an airport ticket seller tells this to Kevin, Stuart & Bob after they attempt to purchase a San Francisco plane ticket... with pocket items such as candy, buttons, lint, etc.
    Ticket Seller: Oh, great! You know, if you have any hairballs, we could upgrade you to first class! (goes back to reading her magazine) Get out.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Since Jean Clawed is half crab, he rides in a multi-legged vehicle that's made to look like a crab, with giant pincers to destroy and grab things.
  • Hard Head: Bob is revealed to have gained one during the training montage with Master Chow, as she drops several heavy objects on him, including an Illogical Safe, while he remains completely unperturbed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Wild Knuckles initially kidnaps Gru because he thought the boy had the talisman, not knowing that Otto had traded it for pet rock. After all of his henchmen desert due to not being paid, he decides to spare Gru and use him for manual labor. Gru's decision to save Wild Knuckles from his pet alligators even though he could have easily ran for it causes the latter to take Gru under his wing, in part because he misses having a team.
  • Heroic BSoD: A rare villainous example. Wild Knuckles, who has become Gru's Evil Mentor at that point, gets one when he sees his house completely destroyed by his traitorous teammates. He falls into a depressive state, accepting that he's become a has-been with nothing worthwhile in his life.
  • I Have Your Wife: Wild Knuckles makes Gru call home so he can inform his mother that he's ransoming him. Gru warns him that she might pay Knuckles to keep him. Kevin answers the phone and leads Bob and Stuart to save him. Ironically, the Minions inadvertedly free Gru when their first rescue attempt fails, as the chain of events that follows leads Wild Knuckles to become Gru's Evil Mentor after the latter saves him from his pet crocodiles.
  • Impact Silhouette: Master Chow kicks Stuart through several trees, causing many impact silhouettes.
  • Infernal Background: Flames appear behind Master Chow when she unleashes her "inner beast". As do the Minion Trio when they unleash theirs in the final battle.
  • Jaded Professional: Gru's teacher asks the class what they want they want to be when they grow up. A kid in the class responds "a teacher." The teacher replies "No, you don't."
  • Just a Kid: Little Gru was dismissed during his audition under the grounds of him being a child who hasn't done anything villainous or worthwhile. This would lead to him stealing the Zodiac talisman to prove his worth.
  • MacGuffin: The Zodiac Stone.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • One of the trailers has Gru calling out "Minions assemble!" in order to motivate the Minion trio to fight back against the Vicious 6. In reality, Kevin and his brothers recall the advice given to them by Master Chow about unleashing their inner beasts.
    • Additionally, one commercial has Gru make a telephone call to his Minions informing them that he's been captured. In the movie, Wild Knuckles is the one who makes the call and informs the Minions about his hostage deal.
  • No-Sell:
    • Master Chow drops several objects of increasing size onto Bob's head, but all either break or bend around him.
    • This also applies to the Vicious 6 after they're transformed into invincible beasts as they easily defeat the Anti-Villain League agents and are unfazed by their laser weapons.
  • Origins Episode: Where the last movie served as one for the Minions, this one tells how Gru came to be the villain we know and love.
    • Dr. Nefario is running a record store when Gru first meets him on the way to his interview with the Vicious 6, and gives him his first gadget (which he immediately uses to steal the Zodiac Stone). At the end of the film, Gru asks Nefario to join him, and after a moment of Puppy-Dog Eyes from Gru and all of the minions, he agrees, then takes them to the skies with what will become Gru's signature airship.
    • The Bank of Evil is introduced, with Wild Knuckles taking Gru there for his first heist. It's subtly implied that Mr. Perkins develops his hatred of Gru on that day when Gru and Wild Knuckles manage to steal the Mona Lisa out from under his nose.
    • Gru is implied to have inherited Wild Knuckles' house, as prior to the rest of the Vicious 6 destroying it, the building has a layout almost exactly like Gru's house, and appears to be in the same location.
  • Parental Neglect: It's made clear that Marlena horribly neglects Gru, and only talks to him to complain about how the Minions are freeloading in her house.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The Minions do this in the film fairly regularly, with Gru joining them at the end to help persuade Dr. Nefario to sign on with them.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Wild Knuckles was backstabbed and left for dead by the Vicious 6 in the opening of the movie. But he's revealed to be alive and seeks revenge against his former crew. And at the end of the movie, he somehow fakes his death to avoid going to prison.
  • Retcon:
    • In the last film, it was revealed Gru met Dr. Nefario at the Villain Con in Florida where he got his Freeze Ray from him. Here it shows him meeting Dr. Nefario at the record store and his first gadget being the Sticky Fingers.
    • It was noted, repeatedly, that Vector was much younger than Gru. In this film he is seen to be about the same age when Mr. Perkins shows his picture.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • With the Zodiac Stone, Nun-Chuck transforms into a snake. Fitting, since a serpent corrupts Eve in the Bible.
    • Belle Bottom is turned into a dragon, the same role she filled for Wild Knuckles before usurping him as leader.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After getting a royal beatdown by Master Chow, Wild Knuckles' henchmen all quit, leaving the man to untie Gru and use him as his new assistant.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Gru enters the Vicious 6’s lair by playing a record backwards, its audio proclaiming "Welcome to the Vicious 6".
  • Sentimental Music Cue: A DJ Minion is asked to play somber music (The Carpenters' "Goodbye to Love") after Gru fires the Minion Clan as a penance for them losing the Zodiac talisman.
  • Series Continuity Error: The first Despicable Me film establishes that Gru was born on September 28, 1960. This film is set during the Chinese New Year of 1976, which started on January 31 and Gru states that he is 11 and three quarters, which would mean he was actually born in April 1964.
  • Shark Pool: Wild Knuckles has Gru clean his pool... forgetting to tell him that's where he keeps his pet crocodiles.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signs of Disrepair: The Logo Joke features a minion destroying the Illumination Entertainment logo with a disco ball and turning it into "Minion"
  • Sticky Fingers: Dr. Nefario gave Gru his new latest invention, which he called Sticky Fingers. Gru used it to steal the Zodiac Stone from Vicious 6 and later in the movie, in The Bank Of Evil, Gru used it to steal Mr Perkins' keys to open his safe and steal the Mona Lisa.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: The tape Gru gets warns that the message will self-destruct. It explodes on him, Kevin, Stuart & Bob before they can get out of Marlena's car.
  • Toilet Humour: Gru throws a fart bomb into a theater playing Jaws, forcing all the occupants to leave.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The later trailers revealed snippets of the final battle, which includes the Vicious 6 in their One-Winged Angel forms, Wild Knuckles fighting them with the Minions, and Gru being kidnapped by them.
  • Villain Opening Scene: After the first Minions movie breaks this tradition that had been established in the Despicable Me movies, this movie brings it back in full force, showing Belle Bottom of the Vicious 6 evading the Anti-Villain League with the map to the Zodiac Stone in tow. Once she makes it back to headquarters, we then see Wild Knuckles breaking into the temple and stealing said stone. Unfortunately for him, this is also where the rest of the Vicious 6 betray him, take the stone for themselves, and leave their leader for dead.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Gru could have easily escaped while Wild Knuckles was being attacked by his own crocodiles, as Knuckles himself notes; but as despicable as Gru claims to be, not even he would let his own idol, even after he's threatened him repeatedly, be killed. Him rescuing Knuckles wins the old villain's trust.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Hand-drawn vignettes of the antics Gru and the minions go through after the events of the movie appear during the closing credits.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Finally Subverted — the film confirms that Gru's house in the modern films is in San Francisco.
  • Would Hurt a Child: After Gru steals the Zodiac Stone from the Vicious 6, they waste no time in hunting him down with lethal intent.
  • You and What Army?: The transformed Belle Bottom says this to Wild Knuckles during the final battle, in which the transformed Kevin, Stuart and Bob all stood alongside him in alliance, as Wild Knuckles proclaims that the three are his “army”.
    Belle Bottom: Oh, so you’re gonna save the kid? (the other transformed Vicious 6 laugh) Yeah, you and what army?
    Wild Knuckles: (to Belle, as he sees the transformed Kevin, Stuart and Bob stand alongside him in battle stances) Okay… This army!
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Gru does this after Belle Bottom burns Wild Knuckles and the Vicious 6 were about to finish him off during the final battle.
    Gru: (to the Vicious 6 when they’re about to kill Wild Knuckles) Get away from him!
  • Zodiac Motifs: At the climax of the film, the main antagonists use the zodiac stone to turn themselves into large animals from the Eastern Zodiac as their One-Winged Angel forms; a dragon, a tiger, a monkey, a snake, and an ox. They turn a few of the minions into Eastern zodiac animals as well, but the far less powerful ones; the rabbit, the goat, and the rooster. When the villains are defeated and arrested, they are turned into rats, another animal from the Eastern zodiac.