Apr 10, 2014

    Be transformed into Minions on ride


    RIDING high on the global success of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, the films' makers have teamed up with theme-park engineers to produce a tourist ride designed to immerse visitors in Minion Mayhem.

    The Minions - cute little yellow characters who speak amusing gibberish - have emerged as stars in their own right from the two movies, which have earned US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion) worldwide.

    To prove it, Paris studio Illumination Entertainment is giving them their own film, The Minions, due out in July next year, before a third Despicable Me instalment in 2017.

    Since 2012, the Minions - who have inspired a huge range of related products - have had a ride dedicated to them at Universal's theme park in Orlando, Florida.

    And this coming weekend, they will get the Tinseltown treatment in Hollywood, with a special "yellow carpet" presentation for a ride twice as big as the Florida one and equipped with the latest technology.

    Nearly 20 minutes of new animated footage were created for the attraction, in which visitors are transformed into Minions by the magic of 3D video simulation.

    The Hollywood version of the ride takes 192 people at a time and, while the Orlando version has only super-villain Gru's house, the West Coast one recreates his whole neighbourhood.

    The ride's video technology enables visitors to be "minionised" in a car that moves in sync with a film on a giant 3D screen. The projectors use the same custom lenses as those designed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's space telescope.

    And, Minion Mayhem aside, visitors can make a splash in Super Silly Fun Land, a water-play area - the park's first dedicated to those under eight - inspired by the funfair in the first Despicable Me film.