Amid a sea of yellow at the "Despicable Me 2" premiere Saturday, voices of children could be heard yelling "Bee-do, bee-do, bee-do."
A notable line from the nonsense-speaking little yellow creatures that dominate the film, "Bee-do" was not the only minion influence at the event. From the yellow carpet lining City Walk at Universal Studios, to the life-sized minion characters in attendance, to the "Despicablimp" floating above, to the yellow 3-D glasses viewers put on at the Universal Studios Amphitheater, the little lemony rascals were everywhere.
Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, who wrote both the 2010 film and its sequel, said the new movie came largely in response to the massive appeal of the minion characters in the original.
"We never knew the minions were going to be so popular; it just became a force of nature," Paul said. "So they're back, but we didn't want to throw in minions just for the sake of having minions."
The minions have a key role in "Despicable Me 2," and some even become evil (and purple) after being injected with a serum. At the center of the plot, though, is Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) dealing with his daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) growing up. Margo, the eldest, is looking for love.
Gru finds one of his greatest nemeses to be the young man courting his daughter.
Paul and Daurio, each of whom has two daughters, said writing the script became very personal. Paul said one of his daughters had a suitor who would stand on their lawn every day, hoping to charm her. Paul was less than thrilled.
"I so wish I had a freeze ray back then," he said, referring to a weapon in the film that instantly converts its target to ice. "For us it's about the protectiveness and not wanting any boy to come near her."
Cosgrove said she has run into some similar situations with her father, who is not always pleased with the attention she gets from boys.
"My dad is really overprotective," Cosgrove said. "I think Gru is the ultimate overprotective dad, but my dad is going to like the movie because they have a lot in common."
Carell said he hoped to be a more understanding father when his daughter starts dating.
"She'd only be worried if I could get hold of a freeze ray," Carell said. "Because at that point I could take out all the prospective suitors in her life."
Audiences giggled with the minions throughout the screening, many children imitating their comic lines, while parents "ooo-ed" and "ahhh-ed" at Gru's life moments with his daughters.
As the credits rolled, the minions popped on screen and continued entertaining the audience, especially the little ones, until the end. The little guys and girls left the theater at their parents' sides just as they'd entered, chanting "Bee-do, bee-do, bee-do."