Minions try to derail Tokyo Olympics hopefuls in adorable NBC promos
It'll take more than Minions to keep the world's best athletes from going for the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
In new commercials for NBC's Olympics coverage, the Minions are appearing to wreak havoc on athletes who are deep into training for the U.S. Olympic Team trials this month. While the Today show previewed snippets during Thursday's broadcast, EW has your first look at the full adorable commercials.
In one spot, gymnast Simone Biles — who just won her seventh national women's all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, the most wins by any American woman ever — instantly makes a fan out of one minion.
The second promo features swimmer Caeleb Dressel, who won a record eight medals at the 2019 World Championships, where he also broke Michael Phelps' world record in the 100-meter butterfly. In the spot, Dressel gets the last laugh on a pesky minion.
Jenny Storms, chief marketing officer for entertainment and sports at NBCUniversal says in a statement to EW that its partnership with Universal Film Group aims to create "exciting cultural moments."
"It was a natural idea to bring together the best of U.S. and these global animated icons for surprise-and-delight moments with Simone Biles and Caeleb Dressel," she says. "These memorable, fun, family-friendly pieces will drive anticipation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as well as for Illumination's upcoming film, Minions: The Rise of Gru."
After appearing in the Despicable Me movie franchise, the adorable characters who strive to serve the most evil villains they can find starred in their own movie, 2015's Minions. The spin-off sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru, is scheduled to release on July 1, 2022.
David O'Connor, Universal Pictures EVP and head of global franchise management explains how the concept for the commercials came together.
"For each of us, the Olympic Games tap into our collective sense of wonder, awe and national pride," he says. "The Olympics make super fans out of all of us. So, when we were given the opportunity to work with world-class Olympic athletes Simone Biles and Caeleb Dressel, we decided to tap into that idea — and have a little fun, too — by letting Illumination's iconic Minions represent the fan in each of us. We hope audiences get as much joy from watching them as we did from making them."
Watch the commercials above.
To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch Biles, Dressel, and other athletes compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials beginning Saturday, and the Tokyo Olympics starting July 23 on NBC.
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