Actors: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Steve Carell
Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Format: Animated, 3D, Widescreen, Digital_copy
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016
Despicable Me was a clever concept in its decision to make a villain the protagonist, and it got away with this by making the narrative about his inevitable redemption. Minions, the off-shoot prequel about the oddball lackeys that do Gru’s bidding, succeeds in having their villainous tendencies (or admiration for those who have them) because of their utter incompetence. In an opening sequence which the rest of the film has a hard time following, we are given the origin story of the Minions throughout all of history. While simultaneously showing their propensity to follow the most despicable creature around, this introduction allows for a series of amusing gags in their clumsy inability to keep them alive.
Gags are what the Minions do best, which is why they are particularly well suited for short films (three of which are included in the special features of this release). At the same time, this poses some difficulties for a feature film, especially when the title creatures speak an incomprehensible collection of real languages and complete gibberish. This is why the quick pace of the opening sequence works so well; the gags can move much faster when the setting changes every few minutes, but drags a bit more once we slow down into the film’s main plot.
Conveniently leaving the Minions in
Antarctica during any
modern conflicts, three of them set out on a mission in the 1960s to find a new
evil leader to follow. Kevin, Stuart, and Bob believe they have found their
future master when they discover Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) at
a villain expo. When it turns out they are wrong, she doubles as a villain for
them. Somehow this transitions them into the role of heroes, though it is
proved only temporary when the final scene alludes to their future
collaboration with Gru.
Minions works best when it is moving fast and taking little seriously, which is a majority of the film. This may wear on the parents over time, but is perfectly suited to keep the attention of rambunctious younger viewers. And if the main feature isn’t enough, there are also three more Minion mini movies (just a couple minutes each) capitalizing on the wealth of material their origin story set them up with. These are exclusive to the Blu-ray combo pack, along with an interactive map around the world and a featurette about the origin of the Minions. The Blu-ray also includes a deleted scene and the Minions singing Jingle Bells in their own unique way. The combo pack also comes with four ways to watch the movie: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10
Historical Significance: 7/10