We all loved the yellow, pill-shaped minions populating last summer’s Despicable Me, but what would it be like to be one?
That’s the premise of Universal Studios Orlando’s new ride based on the animated hit, which the theme park announced this morning. Due in 2012, the 3-D experience, which will replace the Jimmy Neutron ride, will plop riders into the world of professed arch villain Gru and his horde of Minions in a story that takes place after the events of the film. “First you’ll be taken into Gru’s house,” says Thierry Coup, the head of Universal Creative Studio, the team developing the ride. “And then you’ll get to see his lab, and then it will get deeper and deeper into some of the areas in that world that are just fantastic.”
“I just thought it was awesome,” says Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri. “You are creating an immersive, visceral experience. When we make a film, yes we want our films to be immersive, but when you’re in the world of the ride… your audience is going to be in your story.”
Both Coup and Meledandri say it’s too early to confirm whether any of the film’s voice cast — Steve Carell as Gru, Miranda Cosgrove as one of his adopted daughters Margo, Russell Brand as his elderly gadget guru Dr. Nefario — will participate in the ride itself, but Meledandri does note one of the film’s directors, Pierre Coffin, has been “taking a point position” in developing the story and the ride itself.
Meanwhile, one of Universal Orlando’s most popular rides, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, is getting a big-time makeover due to debut in 2012: All the CG animation is being redone and updated to cutting-edge 4K high definition. “It’s going to feel like an entirely new experience,” says Coup, “[even] if you’ve been to this attraction 100 times before.” The story itself will remain separate from any of the Sony Pictures Spidey feature films, or the infamous Broadway musical. Aw. So no singing, then? “Who knows!” chuckles Coup. We’re pretty sure he’s kidding.