Animation Blu-ray Review

'Minions' Blu-ray Review: From zeroes to heroes, Gru's sidekicks take center stage in this delightful prequel

December 8, 2015Ben MK

What's yellow all over and wears goggles and blue denim overalls? The answer is, of course, the Minions, those adorable little henchmen who all but stole the show from Stevel Carell's Gru in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Now everyone's favorite sidekicks are back for a brand-new animated adventure; but this time, they're not just the lowly co-stars — they're the main attraction.

In Minions, Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda direct an all-star cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney and Geoffrey Rush, to tell a story that's all about the history of the Minions. Beginning with their very earliest beginnings during the Cretaceous period and moving all the way through time until 1968, the film focuses on three Minions in particular — Kevin, Stuart and Bob (all voiced by Coffin) — who leave the relative safety of their tribe's icy, antarctic home and embark on a zany quest to find a suitably despicable villain to call their very own "big boss."

After a grueling oceanic voyage and a brief stopover in New York City, the trio's quest lands them in sunny Orlando, Florida, where an annual bad guy convention called "Villain-Con" has every wannabe evildoer in the country vying to be the new accomplices of the world's first female supervillain, Scarlet Overkill (Bullock). Of course, it's a job that Kevin, Stuart and Bob land without a hitch, and from there the Minions are off jetting to jolly old London, England, where Scarlet and her inventor husband Herb (Hamm) send them on a mission to steal the British Monarchy's prized crown jewels.

Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned. And before you can say "Banana!" the Minions find themselves embroiled in another comic misadventure — one that has Bob inadvertently inheriting the royal crown and, as a result, incurring the wrath of Scarlet, who then makes it her mission to destroy them all. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable film that has something for the whole family. Whether you're 2 or 102, it's virtually impossible not to fall in love with these cute, gibberish-spewing cartoon characters. The only thing you'll need to ask yourself is: Can you stand the wait until the inevitable Minions 2?

Bright, colorful and crisp. That pretty much sums up the visual appeal of Minions on Blu-ray, which features a fantastic-looking 1080p transfer that's a certified treat for the eyes. The dominant color in the film's palette is, of course, yellow, but rest assured, other primaries like blue, green and red (the color of Scarlet's dress) also get their chance to shine. Otherwise, the film's charming computer animated characters are rendered razor-sharp and crystal clear, and there no flaws or imperfections in the image to speak of. As for the film's audio, the disc features a boisterous and well-balanced Dolby Atmos soundtrack, all the better for delivering the various lines of Minionese, not to mention surrounding viewers with all the other inventive sound effects, such as the roar of a T-Rex or explosions of TNT.

Universal has made Minions available as both a three-disc 3D Blu-ray combo pack and a two-disc 2D Blu-ray combo pack, both of which include an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scene - Me, Myself and Stuart (0:29)
  • Around the World Interactive Map - An interactive map that allows viewers to click through all the various places and time periods the Minions have found themselves in and view more information about those locales and eras, including scene progressions, filmmaker interviews, character featurettes and bios, fun facts, photo galleries, concept art, storyboards and more.
  • Behind the Goggles - The Illumination Story of the Minions (35:06) - An eleven-part look at the making of Minions, which covers the writing, the origins of the studio behind Minions, Illumination Entertainment, the film's visual design, its score, the voice acting, the animation, the layout and the lighting, the directors, the producers, the editing and, finally, the role of a storyboard artist.
  • Jingle Bells Minion Style (1:52) - The Minions sing Jingle Bells as only they can, followed by a sing-along version.
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2:33) - A trailer for Illumination Entertainment's upcoming film.
  • Mini-Movies (12:46) - Three mini-movies: "Cro Minion," "Competition" and "Binky Nelson Unpacified."

Minions is available from Universal Studios Home Entertainment as of December 8th, 2015. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 31 Mins.

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