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Unless you’ve somehow managed to avoid all of the billboards, bus ads, TV commercials and bazillion brand tie-ins, you probably know that everyone’s favourite pint-sized henchmen, the minions, have their own movie coming out this weekend.

And while Minions is set to tell the pre-Despicable Me origin story of Gru’s mischievous, fun-loving, goggled little helpers, we thought we would expose all of the secrets behind their creation.

Here are 15 facts that you most likely never knew about Kevin, Bob, Stuart and the rest of their banana loving, overall-wearing crew.

minions

1. There’s really only one minion

Believe it or not, Despicable Me and Minions co-director Pierre Coffin voices all of the minions himself. For the new film, Coffin voiced 899 of the little yellow henchmen.

minions

2. Yes, you’ve seen them somewhere before

The minions’ design was inspired by the Jawas from Star Wars and the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. At first there were talks of the minions being tall and orc-like. Thankfully that didn’t happen!

minions

3. Technically, they’re multilingual

The minions’ cute jumbled language “Minionese” is actually a mix of Spanish, English, French and Italian with additional elements of Russian and Korean. And they seem to understand English pretty well, too. They’re worldly little guys.

minions

4. They’re older than they look

Coffin explained that the minions developed their eclectic language based on the fact that they’re an ancient and prehistoric race that have served various masters from around the world for centuries.

minions

5. It’s kind of a boys’ club

All of the minions are male and have been given standard English-style names. Dave, Carl, Kevin, Steve, Phil, Jerry, Tim, Bob, Lance, Stuart and Norbert are just a handful of the ones that have been mentioned by name.

minions

6. There’s more of the Despicable Me movies in Minions than you realize 

Stuart, Kevin and Bob, the three main minions featured in the new film, were designed to resemble the traits of Gru’s daughters, Edith, Margot and Agnes, from the Despicable Me movies.

minions

7. Purple equals bad, yellow equals good

Evil Minions are purple because purple and yellow are opposite to each other on the colour spectrum. Yep, good and evil minions are literally exact opposites.

minions

8. Being a minion is a little bit like living in North Korea

The minions were designed to have only five different hairstyle options, one of which is completely bald.

minions

9. The tall minions share a barber

Every tall Minion has the same sprouty hairdo. Why can’t the tall guys diversify?

minions

10. Their real origin story has nothing to do with Minions

The Despicable Me directors originally created minions to help make Gru more likeable for audiences. They wanted to surround him with childishness and incompetence.

minions

11. No one knows how minions reproduce

Because some things are better left a mystery.

minions

12. You’ll never guess who the inspiration for the evil minions was

Evil minions were inspired by old Looney Toons cartoons where Tweety Bird would drink a potion and turn into a monster.

minions

13. Minions: They’re not just like us

Minions only have three fingers packed into those little black gloves.

minions

14. Beware minion clones

Despite several hundred minions existing, there are only about 48 possible design combinations of height, build, hair, and eyes.

minions

15. Everyone loves them

Unlike most “evil” masterminds that demean their henchmen Gru seems to genuinely like them, shows appreciation for their work and somehow knows each and every one of them by name. The minions crave his praise and affection in a fatherly way. That’s a good boss-staff relationship.

Minions hits theatres July 10.