Minions: The Rise of Gru

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Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 9 (animated violence, themes, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Minions: The Rise of Gru
  • a review of Minions: The Rise of Gru completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 June 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 6–9 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 9 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Minions: The Rise of Gru
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and animated violence
Length: 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Young Gru (voice of Steve Carell) dreams of becoming a super villain. When his favourite criminal gang have an opening, he applies to be their 6th villain but is laughed at and ridiculed right out of the room. On his way out, he steals a legendary necklace they stole as part of their evil plan to wreak havoc on the world. In a high speed chase, the necklace winds up in the hands of a minion (voice of Pierre Coffin) who, despite his promises of looking after the stone, quickly trades it for another rock. With his plans of getting into the super villain gang now completely dashed, Gru fires his minions and sets off alone to try to recover the necklace. Gru barely makes it down the street before he is kidnapped by henchmen working for Wild Knuckles (voice of Alan Arkin), the original leader of the super villain gang. When the ransom phone call comes, the minions step up to save the day, setting off to find the necklace and rescue Gru. Meanwhile, Gru saves Wild Knuckles’ life and soon the pair are hatching plots and conducting criminal activities together, with Gru learning from the master himself. When the super villain gang finally catches up to him they are soon to discover that powerful things come in small packages and that you should never underestimate a boy and his minions.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Bullying; Crime; Violence as a means to solve conflict.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A villain slams characters’ fingers in a car door.
  • Multiple cars crash during a high speed chase.
  • A character is nearly impaled on a bed of spikes.
  • A bunch of deadly chopskis (heavily armed, metallic looking creatures) attack Wild Knuckles while he tries to steal a legendary necklace. He attacks back, dismantling and crushing many of them. An army arrives, chasing him with arrows, and he just manages to escape.
  • A bunch of villains chop a rope sending White Knuckles plummeting to his (supposed) death. He later shows up alive.
  • Gru bangs multiple minions on the head during an arcade game.
  • Gru shoots numerous customers with a cheese gun.
  • An invitation Gru receives explodes in a car.
  • One minion hits another with a hammer. A different minion blow torches another minion’s head. The head is later shown to still be on fire.
  • Men blast through a window and overturn cars as they scan the street looking for Gru.
  • There is a high speed case and a character throws a bus and a van at Gru. Another character throws nunchucks as Gru speeds away.
  • A menacing man dangles Gru over a balcony.
  • Gru is strapped to a large record player and told that he will either die from the music or from a saw blade that will slice him when the record stops playing.
  • A few villainous characters practice sword fighting, they then chase minions with a knife.
  • The same characters kick, punch and bash the minions. One is being bent at an odd angle while the villain tries to break his back.
  • A lady punches, kicks and flips a couple of villains, eventually driving them away.
  • The villains smash up a living room.
  • Two minions smash their heads into wood, trying to break it. The third uses one of the other minions and repeatedly smashes his head into the wood instead of using his own head.
  • The villains use demolition machinery to smash into Wild Knuckles house, leaving it completely destroyed.
  • Gru and Wild Knuckles are nearly eaten by crocodiles.
  • A character kicks a minion in the face and sends him blasting through the trunks of five trees.
  • First aid responders electrocute White Knuckles.
  • Minions are attacked by villains that have transformed into monstrous animals.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Each of the evil villains transforms into a menacing animal from the Chinese zodiac, such as a fire breathing dragon, a violent gorilla, a rampaging tiger and an evil snake. They are huge and set out to attack the minions who are trying to save Gru from being ripped apart. Three minions are also transformed into animals but they are small and cute and far less frightening.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Gru is kidnapped while walking near his home. He is dragged into a van, placed in a sack and taken to a villain’s hideout. He is very excited when he sees who he has been kidnapped by but is terrified when he is taken by a henchman and held over the balcony by his feet and told that he will be held for ransom. Shortly thereafter he is tied to a record player and told he will be sliced by the blades when the music stops. He is eventually untied before the saw can cut him.
  • Gru is strapped to a clock with one arm tied to the hour hand and the other to the minute hand. As time ticks by Gru is slowly stretched apart. The villains are waiting for his limbs to be ripped from his body and Gru is clearly in distress as his clothes begin to rip at the seams.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • A character has a Tupperware party and the brand is clearly displayed.
  • There is one reference to Twinkies.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • One of the minions asks a martial arts expert is she will teach them her skills in exchange for: “smoochy, smoochy”. He makes kissing motions as he asks her.
  • A background song is played, including the lyrics: “make a little love...”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A minion is shown naked, watching a film with his would-be privates blocked by a container of popcorn.
  • Gru is naked after getting out of the shower. His bare backside is shown while he dances around the room.
  • A minion is airsick and vomiting when they hit turbulence. He is then sucked into the toilet and his clothes pulled off his body. His bare buttocks are shown before he is completely sucked inside the bowl.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

No coarse language was noted in this movie, however, there is some name calling, including:

  • Loser
  • Stupid Twinkies
  • Idiots
  • Tubby little punk.

In a nutshell

Minions: The Rise of Gru is a Pixar animated adventure with a fast paced, albeit predictable, plot. The charming antics of the loveable minions will not disappoint and, though not suitable for very young viewers, the film will appeal to kids over five, (with parental guidance to nine) along with the young at heart.

The main messages from this movie are to follow your dreams and to remember that even the smallest of us are capable of great things.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Helpfulness
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Persistence
  • Love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Going off alone without telling people where you are headed.
  • Taking what doesn’t belong to you.
  • Choosing a life of crime as opposed to making the world a better place.
  • The harmful effects of bullying.
  • Using violence as a means to solve conflict.