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Despicable Me director explains how the minions got their voice

Photo: Ferdaus Shamim/Zuma Press/PA Images

One of the masterminds behind the Despicable Me franchise has explained how the iconic 'minions' got their voice.

Co-director Pierre Coffin also provides the voices of the much loved characters.

He is holding a Masterclass at Bristol's Arnolfini as part of the annual Encounters Short Film & Animation festival.

A minion balloon featured at Bristol Balloon Fiesta last month. Credit: ITV West Country

Speaking to ITV West Country, Mr Coffin said the team had some initial problems creating a voice for the minions.

We knew that these little creatures needed to speak at some point and we sent a clip in rough form to a sound engineer in the states. When it came back it felt synthetic and mechanic.

– Pierre Coffin

The French director says after trying unsuccessfully to alter the sound, he offered to provide a voice himself.

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Mr Coffin says the noises that form the minions' unique language include Spanish, French, Italian and Indonesian words.

We needed to have little words here and there that people can understand and that made the whole thing funny.

I think I spend more time writing what needs to be said by them, so that it can be understood by the broad audience.

– Pierre Coffin

The director has been speaking at the Encounters Short Film & Animation festival.

The event presents a selection of film screenings, special guests and Q&As along with a series of masterclasses and workshops.

Encounters continues over the next three days before drawing to a close on Sunday.