Cartoon Servitude

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November 5, 2014 by JImbo

For those people who just can’t get enough of the cute little yellow guys!

As usual, I’m torn here between loving their humorous hijinks… and deploring the message contained inside a seemingly meaningless film.

Yes, I have to “go there.”

Yes, I have to destroy just a “cute kids film.”

Sorry.

I can’t help it.

It’s just what I do.

It’s my superpower to crap all over peoples’ fun and dreams.

You’re free to stop reading this and you’ll be able to enjoy the movie anyway later.

For the sadistic few who keep reading, ask yourself just one question… what do the Minions get out of servitude?

The whole point of the movie is that they are happy in their servitude to their “Master.”

I’m not gonna say it’s slavery. They seem to CHOOSE to be servants. However, it’s still pretty sad.

There is a long history of the “happy servant” in movies and literature. Who can forget the joyfully singing Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?

So what if a few drown in the chocolate lake or float into the atmosphere to suffocate? Plenty more where they came from!

Or the Doozers from Fraggle Rock? Sure, a few get eaten by the dog now and then or are killed in non-OSHA approved construction accidents. There’s lots more!

There’s a long history of disposable little people that have a joyful, single mindedness about working on potentially fatal projects for our lazy benefit and amusement. While the main characters on the shows must be respected and treated well, the “under class” are okay to insult, injure, maim and even kill at whim.

They’re entirely disposable. Rarely they get names. Usually they’re cloned or interchangeable.

What’s worse is that they seem to ENJOY and EXPECT being seen as less than human. They often get away with behavior that “real people” would be criticized for.

They can be dumb, lazy, greedy, even homicidal if it’s funny or suits a purpose. They are excused from the constraints of being human.

Where am I going with this? I dunno. It just seems kinda racist. Don’t we do this same thing to some extent with many folks of different races or cultures?

How many times are we told that “Well that’s how those people are over there?”

or

“They LIKE living like that. They’re USED to it.”

or

“You just don’t understand their culture. It’s okay in their religion for them to chop off peoples’ heads.”

(and crucify cats apparently)

How is that much different? Willy Wonka assures us “The Oompa Loompas love it here. They have everything they need.”

Everything but dignity and humanity that is.

At a time when there are people seriously trying to get “human” legal protections for Dolphins and Chimpanzees, we are still producing movies and cartoons where having a race of sub-humans seems to be encouraged for laughs.

I’m still gonna see it.

It looks funny as hell.

I just know I’m going to hell for laughing at it.

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