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MINIONS
3D Blu-ray Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Voices: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders, Geoffrey Rush
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Universal
Features: See Review
Length: 91 Minutes
Release Date: December 8, 2015

Work for me, and all this will be yours: respect, power...”

BA-NA-NA!”

Film ***

When Despicable Me surfaced back in 2010, little did we know that an animated villainous character played by Steve Carell would be overshadowed by the little twinkie-shaped army of minions that work for him. In just five years time since the release of that movie, these tiny guys have seeped their way into pop culture. Now, following Despicable Me 2 in 2013, they’ve gotten their very own origin tale in the form of Minions.

And I couldn’t have had a stranger reaction to a movie than the one I had here. By the first 15 minutes, I was convinced that I was wasting my time with what I assumed was a movie that existed only to cash in on the success of the first two movies in addition to being another excuse for marketing tie-ins (which there were plenty of for this movie). Added to that, what joy could possibly received from a movie where the central characters constantly blather in an indecipherable language that is never once subtitled? I mean, not even Chewbacca has gotten his own spin off movie yet.

However, as the movie progressed, I found myself laughing very frequently at the high level of absurd madcap lunacy that these three minion characters, named Kevin, Stuart and Bob, get themselves involved in. It’s not exactly a defensible movie and, on the animated front, it certainly doesn’t compare to the likes of Inside Out, but for an hour and a half of pure goofball zaniness, which I’m very much a sucker for, this one gets the job done terrifically.

Set in the late 60s, the story follows the three aforementioned minions on a quest to find the perfect evil villain to serve under. Minions, in general, are suited for this very type of duty, having served under everyone from Napoleon to Dracula...and accidentally killing them in the process. But having landed at Villain-Con, a convention for evil enthusiasts, the minion trio think they’ve found the perfect boss in the form of a much renowned evil lady by the name of Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock).

She is quickly won over by the three upon first glance, as she sees the perfect slaves to pull off her most daring feat yet; stealing the crown from the Queen Elizabeth II. The plot starts to go to plan, until the minions end up, much to their surprise, adored by the Queen in the process. This doesn’t please Scarlett too much, as she did promise them a harsh death if they failed her to begin with.

As was the case with the previous Despicable Me movies, the stories aren’t very deep or rich with character. All that matters is the sheer lunacy that Kevin, Stuart and Bob get involved with...and the endless hilarity that ensues. And as added value, the movie does recreate the 60s time period in convincing form, with an awesome soundtrack of classic songs from the era to boot. As for the animation itself, it’s as lively and colorful as can be.

Video ****

This eye-catching animated release gets an outstanding presentation courtesy of this 3D Blu-ray release from Universal. The colors pop right off the screen, and the 3D presentation itself is absolutely splendid, with endless amounts of gorgeous detail to spare. As far as 3D animated movies go, this might just be the best looking release of the year!

Audio ****

The 7.1 DolbyTrueHD mix serves this wacky animated enterprise tremendously well. From the opening twist on the Universal logo music, sung by the Minions themselves, to the endless bouts of chases and action, all done for comedic value, this is one stunning piece of lossless audio. The 60s rock classics on the soundtrack sound fantastic, in addition.

Features ***

Included are three new Minion mini movies; “CroMinion”, “Competition” and “Binky Nelson Unpacified”. Also included is a Deleted Scene, an Around the World Interactive Map and a performance of Jingle Bells by the minions. There’s also a ten part behind the scenes featurette titled “Behind the Goggles: The Illumination Story of the Minions”, which glosses over in nice detail the animation studio that spawned the title characters.

Summary:

I got much more out of Minions that I was expecting, but I can’t lie when I say this movie did make me laugh insanely on more than one occasion. Let’s hope the zaniness can sustain future minion movies, which we are certainly going to get based on this one’s worldwide box office success.

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