Van Halen’s music has made numerous cameos in films over the years. The band just added a new credit to that list courtesy of the animated film The Minions, which opened this past weekend.
The comedy about yellow creatures looking for a master to serve features a scene in which the character Stuart is handed a red double-cutaway guitar—or “a super mega ukulele,” as the Minions call it. After strumming a few notes, Stuart is suddenly seized by some greater force and begins shredding his way around the stage, much to the shock and delight of an assembled crowd.
In the course of things, he pulls off several bars from “Eruption,” which remains the standard bearer for shred fests. Stuart also plays the guitar with his tongue, à la Hendrix, and concludes the performance by smashing it to pieces like Pete Townshend.
The Minions brings to mind another instance of Van Halen’s music meeting animation: the 1985 John Cusack movie Better Off Dead.
In that film, a claymation hamburger is brought to life in Frankenstein fashion and begins to perform the band’s 1980 hit “Everybody Wants Some!!” on a tiny red striped guitar.
We’ve included videos from both films below. Have a laugh.