Thanks to the Despicable Me franchise, the word “minion” conjures up images of wacky little yellow guys who speak gibberish. And while the minions of Alice Through the Looking Glass likely won’t inspire their own spinoff (stranger things have happened…), new photos from the upcoming fantasy sequel tease sidekicks who may be just as memorable — at the very least, they boast some lovely design work.

Entertainment Weekly debuted the new images from Alice Through the Looking Glass, director James Bobin’s sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The photos introduce us to Seconds, who serve as helpers to Time, a villainous new character played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Animation supervisor Troy Saliba says they specifically wanted to avoid comparisons to those aforementioned famous yellow creatures, but they took inspiration from a similar place:

‘Minions’ is a word that we generally try to avoid, but we were leaning on body-language comedians like Mr. Bean and Buster Keaton.

Prominently featured in the images below is Wilkins, the mustachioed leader of the Seconds voiced by Toby Jones and described by Bobin as a “curious puppy who always wants to help out.” The “little oil can with legs” design of Wilkins is strangely — and perhaps fittingly — reminiscent of the alien design in Burton’s Mars Attacks. As suggested in the final image, the Seconds can join together to form a larger structure known as a Minute, and when further combined they transform into an imposing figure known as the Hour:

Disney / EW
Disney / EW
Disney / EW

The sequel features the return of Mia Wasikowska as the titular hero, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and the late Alan Rickman as Absolem the Caterpillar, with Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s father, Zanik Hightopp. Alice Through the Looking Glass arrives on May 27.