Surely many Indians walked out of Despicable Me movies with a smile on their faces, and it wasn’t just because of the cute storytelling. The gibberish language of the minions includes many Indian words like Paneer Tikka Masala and Papadam. The weird Indian words paired with a minion’s squeaky pitch and giggle afterwards, is nothing but endearing.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, the director revealed how these words were incorporated into the vocabulary of minions. “I love Indian food and [I] go, maybe three times a week, to an Indian restaurant. It’s this place where I literally stole their menu and took all the names of their dishes and actually placed them in every one of my movies. Like ‘Punjabi’ or ‘Chicken Korma’… I just put that in. So people don’t really know that it’s in there just because it feels like a nonsensical word, but in a country like India, people would recognise these words,” Pierre Coffin told the daily.
He said apart from learning new words from his Indian friends, he also made use of his half-Indonesian heritage, Spanish (since it’s spoken by 3/4th of the world’s population) and bits of Italian – to stitch together a language as bizarre as that of the minions.
The characters initially designed to be servants for main character Gru, became so famous by the time the second film came out, that they even got a standalone film in 2015. Any human who doesn’t get cheered up by a minion’s squeaky voice, isn’t human at all.