In 2010, Illumination Entertainment turned Steve Carell into the genius supervillain named Felonious Gru, gave him an evil lair of countless yellow Minions, dropped three kids into his life, and turned it into a phenomenon. Despicable Me was a box office hit and grossed more than $543 million dollars, launching three sequels, two prequels, and more Minion merchandise you could shake a banana at.
What helped the franchise get going were eye-catching posters, which hinted at details in the movie as well as artists who put their love of the movies right back into fan-made posters. Looking through a decade of Gru and company, it’s easy to see why the series was such a big hit.
10 The Official Original
By March of 2010, folks had a trailer and this poster to drool over. It shows off Gru and his kids, Vector on the left with Dr. Nefario balanced on the right, the countless Minions, all with the moon centered. Even in the void of Minions, you can already see personalities starting to show. The moon, being Gru’s target in the movie, is almost overwhelming in the sky but not as overwhelmed as Gru seems to be trying to corral the children in.
What is better than one minion on a poster? A Where’s Waldo‘s worth of Minions! Here’s an attempt to shoehorn even more Minion personalities per square inch of a poster. One and two-eyed variants, staring off into different directions, smiling, and grinning. One is even crowd surfing, and the more you stare at the poster, it feels like you’re witnessing a mosh pit. The one in the lower left has seen some stuff in his days and on the other side, one was caught mid sneeze.
8 Minions! Minions!! Minions!!!
This Despicable Me 2 poster has no text, even though someone left room for it, but the squares with Minions give a very Bradey Bunch feel to it. Each of the yellow fellows’ quirks shines and begs to be made into never-ending merchandise possibilities.
The child trio at the bottom looks a little bored with the whole situation and Gru appears to be seconds away from bashing El Macho over the head, but the Minions above are in their own little world. Or is it their own big movie?
7 Drama Is Life With The Dull Bits Cut Out
The only minimalistic posters on this list, and what it doesn’t have in pazazz it makes up in style. With only three muted colors, worn textures, and a silhouette that envokes Alfred Hitchcock, this poster by Deviant Artist miserym would be an excellent addition on any wall. While the minimalism approach leaves out other characters, Gru and his nose are obvious. But it’s the chosen color scheme that hints toward the Minions without having a single goggle-covered eye. A collection of these with all the characters, in different color profiles, would be a great gift for any fan.
6 Somewhere A Pixar Lawyer Just Perked Up
One could conceive a Toy Story and Despicable Me crossover as the amount of green three-eyed Minions or yellow single-eyed alien toys would be unheard of. A world where Woody becomes a favorite toy of Margo with Agnes flying Buzz around? It writes itself and while it’ll probably never happen, Wolf Chung took a stab at what a simple poster would look like. The shadow makes it obvious that it’s Gru (who else could pull of that nose?) whose hand is pulling a prison-themed Minion from the alien-filled claw machine, it’s a Toy Story homage if there’s ever been one.
One of the reasons this isn’t farther up the list is the perspective and positioning of the Minion being pulled. It makes it look off as if it’s too long or at the wrong angle but it’s a minor issue to such a great piece.
5 One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other
This Japanese poster for Despicable Me 2 is basic except for the addition of the purple-haired Minion, which turns out to be Kevin turned evil by El Macho. Somehow on this poster, it’s this evil anti-Minion and El Macho who stand out among the havoc of the Minions around them. There’s so much color in this poster, but it’s not distracting and nothing is hidden or gets lost. Still, it’s the non-humorous bored-to-death look of Evil-Kevin that makes this poster a stand out.
4 I’ll Be Banana
Minionator: Banana Day is the crossover nobody expected to want but Saan Irfan made it happen. The first one was about a Minion who is sent back in time to kill Gru’s mother only to fail. In Miniontor: Banana Day, that same Minion is back, but this time it’s out to save Gru from another, more powerful, Minion sent back to kill Gru before he’s old enough to become an evil genius. The rest of the Minionator franchise kind of dies down after that, reusing the “more Minions from the future” troupe but Banana Day has a soft spot as a favorite in all of our yellow cyborg hearts.
3 Join Today! Become A Minion!
Based on World War I and World War II propaganda posters of Germany and Russia, Reddit user IronRectangle used a small color palette and sharp lines to create this Pro-Gru poster. Gru’s silhouette blocks out the moon, an obvious reference to the moon, but the color makes you think about the Japanese flag. The other brilliance of this poster is that it’s also an anti-Illustrator poster – let that sink in for a moment.
2 Bello Like The Banana
This official ’80s inspired Minions poster looks like it belongs in the music video for Weezer’s “Take On Me” cover, hanging on a young Rivers Cuomo’s wall. The neon colors, the dark background, lines coming from somewhere, lines going around the Minion, lines coming out of the Minion’s head to match its spiked hair, and neon-like lines creating the word “Bello.” Why a triangle? Maybe to represent the three main movies or maybe it’s just another totally rad ’80s symbol that looks totally tubular.
1 One Poster Stands Above The Rest
At first glance, one may pass this Despicable Me 3 poster off as propaganda or minimalist, but it goes deeper than that. Artist Russ Gray worked for Universal and creative director Ty Mattson to create a style guide and artwork for Despicable Me 3 marketing including playing cards for McDonald’s Happy Meals. This piece, however, has an ’80s spy movie vibe more than a war propaganda poster. The profiles of our hero and heroine, the black and white-suited brothers very reminiscent of Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs Spy” comic, and antagonist Bratt pointing at the Dumont Diamond. It sets up the movie without giving anything away, but it tells its story, and Gru nose a good story.
Despicable Me is one of the most popular animated film franchises in history. The posters, some made by fans, are pretty fantastic.