《小小兵》(Minions)是今年暑假的動畫大片,此片因2010、2013 年的電影《神偷奶爸》(Despicable Me)系列票房亮眼所推出的「外傳」。

英文片名Minions 取得很妙,minions讓人立刻聯想到與「小」有關的字根“mini",例如迷你裙miniskirt、最小值minimum。不過事實上,minion的原義與「小」無關,其字根也非mini,它是指只遵守主人命令的僕卒,讀作[ˋmɪnjən],可見取英文片名的作者刻意以minions的前四個字母讓人聯想到「小」。另有一說,minions是mignon(小巧玲瓏)一字的俏皮雙關語,而中文片名《小小兵》更是妙譯!

進電影院觀賞之前,先來看一下storyline(故事情節):

Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a supervillain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

翻譯:Stuart、Kevin 還有Bob 這三個小小兵,被超級大壞蛋史嘉蕾(Scarlet Overkill)所招募;而史嘉蕾與她的發明家老公赫伯(Herb)策劃要控制這個世界。

光是這句簡短的storyline就可以讓我們學到好多英文。首先recruit是多益測驗的核心字彙,有動詞「招募」與名詞「雇員」之意。a supervillain who中,a supervillain是Scarlet的同位語,指的就是史嘉蕾,後面接著who是關係代名詞,修飾a supervillain。

hatch在此是「策劃」,但是它更常用在「孵、孵出」,例如有名的諺語Don't count your chickens before they hatch,意思是「小雞未孵出之前,先別數有幾隻小雞」,也就是「別太早下定論」。

《小小兵》的全球首映會選在倫敦舉行,相當生動活潑,動畫中的人物以卡通造型出現,配上替本片配音的大明星珊卓‧ 布拉克登場,「首映會」的英文字彙是premiere,讀作[prɪˋmjɛr],常在外國媒體的電影相關報導中出現,值得一學。記者如此報導當天的首映會:

Minions love their supervillain Sandra Bullock almost as much as they love bananas. The actress and her loyal henchmen hit the yellow carpet at the Minions ' film premiere in London on Thursday. Bullock, 50, lends her voice to the movie as the evil Scarlett Overkill, who recruits a crew of mischievous minions to help her take over the world. The 50-year-old actress looked stunning at the premiere, wearing a silver dress that showed off her arms and legs.