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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Minions

December 7th, 2015

Minions - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack
Video on Demand

Minions

Minions is one of the four, probably soon-to-be five films that earned more than $1 billion worldwide this year. Impressive. When I first heard they were making a spin-off of the Despicable Me films, I was not shocked in the least. Those two films were monster hits and were loved by critics. However, I was worried this movie wouldn't live up to its predecessors, because a little Minions goes a long way. Could they handle a movie to themselves? Or do they work better providing comic relief for the main characters?

The Movie

It's the latter, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We begin to learn about the origins of the minions right from the opening credits. They evolved from a single-celled species and the primary trait is the desire to serve an evil master. There have always been evil masters to follow, but the Minions are idiots, so they end up killing their masters. It gets so bad that they are chased away and end up running to Antarctica. At first, they love their new home. However, their desire to serve isn't being fulfilled, so they fall into a deep depression. Fortunately, one of the smarter Minions, Kevin, has a plan. He and two volunteers will travel away from their home to look for a new master. The only volunteers he gets are Stuart, who thinks he is being chosen for his musical talents, and Bob, who is just happy to be noticed.

It is an arduous journey, but eventually they make it to New York City in 1968. Thanks to a lucky break, they learn about Villain-Con, a convention for super villains taking place in Orlando, Florida. One road trip later and they get there. After bumbling around, they meet the number one villain, Scarlet Overkill. She offers to take on anyone as her henchmen, as long as they can take a ruby from her. At first the Minions are excited, but they quickly realize they are outmatched. However, Bob loses his stuffed bear in the melee and while trying to retrieve it, accidentally swallows the ruby. Thus, the Minions become Scarlet Overkill's.

Kevin calls the rest of the Minions who head to London and the home base of Scarlet Overkill, where they learn of her master plan. She will steal the Royal Crown!!!

Minions

This is a kids movie, rather than a movie both adults and kids will enjoy. There's very little plot here and the characters are too flat to have any real growth. What's left is a series of gags, some of which are funny and they are often high energy, so the film isn't bad. However, Minions doesn't have anything approaching Gru's transformation in Despicable Me. You could probably pick a scene at random between Gru and Margo, Edith, and Elsie Fisher and it would have more heart than this entire movie has.

On the other hand, Minions is colorful, energetic, and goofy. In other words, it should really entertain its target demographic. It's just as an adult fan of animation, I was hoping for more than that.

The Extras

The extras on the DVD are terrible. There's a Minions version of "Jingle Bells"... Nooooo! There are a few Blu-ray exclusive extras, starting with a single deleted scene, as well as an interactive world map filled with lots of short video clips. Behind the Googles is another interactive feature, but the video clips are long and more substantial. Finally, there are three shorts.

  1. Cro Minion: Takes place in prehistoric times with the Minions trying to babysit for a Cro-Magnon infant while their father is off on a hunt.
  2. Competition: Two bored Minions get competitive while working in a secret bomb lab. It starts with just trying shots into a garbage pail, but quickly escalates.
  3. Binky Nelson Unpacified: This short focuses on the baby of the Nelson family, the villain-obsessed family the three Minions run into on their way to Orlando. In this short, Binky tries to get his pacifier back after losing it in a heist.
That's not a lot of extras, even including the Blu-ray exclusives.

Also, the 3D elements are a mixed bag. A few times, it felt like the parts that popped out of the screen were not part of the whole picture, but instead were cutouts dangling in front of a background. This isn't the case all of the time, but it was distracting when it did happen.

The 3D Combo Pact cost $28, compared to $19 for the Blu-ray Combo Pack and $15 for the DVD. This is more or less standard.

The Verdict

Minions will appeal to kids that loved the Despicable Me movies and parents won't find it a chore to sit through the movie. However, adult aficionados of animation will have to look elsewhere. The DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack are not loaded with extras, but there's enough here to be worth picking up. I would suggest the Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Filed under: Video Review, Minions, Despicable Me, Sandra Bullock, Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, Pierre Coffin