Universal’s banana-craving, gibberish-spouting critters have quietly staked a claim as the world’s powerhouse animation brand. After their debut in support of 2010’s “Despicable Me,” the studio straightened their crooked teeth (all the more suitable for stars) in time for 2013’s “Despicable Me 2.” The 2015 “Minions” went through the B.O. roof. Their comic personas are unique: Nominally they serve evil, but they’re mischievous and playful and really wouldn’t hurt a fly. With multiple shorts, videogames and “Minion Mayhem” theme park rides under their belts, the yellow cuties have only just begun their master plan to rule the universe.
Introduced: 2010 in “Despicable Me”
Animation history: Four features (including a small appearance in “The Lorax” as a toy) and nine shorts, mainly featured on DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Latest Appearance: 2015, “Minions”
Notable Number: The “Minions” movie made more than $1 billion worldwide; it is the highest-grossing animated film after Disney’s “Frozen.” The “Despicable Me” franchise has made over $2 billion worldwide.