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Minions: The Rise Of Gru (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The pandemic held them off, but those pesky Minions were back in Summer 2022 with another despicable adventure. Minions: The Rise Of Gru soared, as expected, as one of the season’s top earners at the box office. These things seriously cannot be stopped. The film arrived on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on September 6th. Not only boasting a Dolby Atmos track, the film comes in tow with a nice slew of extras both informative and kid friendly. You can order yourself a copy of this film for you or a little one you know (Or say its for a little one you know, but its really for yourself. You know who you are) by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review at the bottom of this page.

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Film

In the 1970s, young Gru tries to join a group of supervillains called the Vicious 6 after they oust their leader — the legendary fighter Wild Knuckles. When the interview turns disastrous, Gru and his Minions go on the run with the Vicious 6 hot on their tails. Luckily, he finds an unlikely source for guidance — Wild Knuckles himself — and soon discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

Five films in now and the Minions cannot be stopped. Between this prequel series now being its own thing and then the Despicable Me proper line, they are finding ways to extend and explore all sorts of life for these mumbly, bumbly little yellow guys. With the character of Gru a prominent fixture in here as himself, I don’t know how this isn’t under the Despicable Me banner as “the early years”, but I don’t make those decisions. Whether it is Despicable Me or this Minions banner, you or the children are going for the Minions above all else. That’s really all that matters.

This time they have chosen to play under the pop culture era of the 1970s. Through fashion, music and movies, the film is informed by that time period. The characters are fun and funky with the touches of disco, kung fu and exploitation easily apparent. It adds some extra fun to the regular shenanigans in these movie. A previous film featuring the minions had already done the 1980s, so another louder decade was obviously gonna be put on notice. Everyone from the animators to the sound designers to the actors are having a blast living it up in this time period.

There’s no denying the popularity of the Minions for a generation and continued children who discover them every single day. They are here to stay and there’s no sign of letting up. This latest trip is no different than the others. Its mainly aimed younger, though there may be a time or two where you snicker. This one particularly was a bit more visually interesting in this reviewer’s opinion, but you’ve either already on board for these by this fifth one or you are like “oh boy, here we go again”.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are publicity stills from Universal Studios, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail Minions: The Rise Of Gru arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray and it looks marvelous as to be assumed. Its a nice step up from its Blu-ray counterpart with more refined colors, better texture and just overall more detail rampant all round. The picture is crisp and full of good depth with a bold image.

Depth: As always with these CG cartoons, they are easily lending to good three dimensional depth and look very spacey and well rounded. Movements are smooth and natural with no issues of distorted motion from rapid cameras or characters.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural really loving shadowing, outlining and giving good contrast to make the image as pronounced as can be. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors really radiate and burst of the screen with ease. Its a gorgeous palette that is well saturated and feels a nice HDR glow in many areas.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Minions: The Rise of Gru really has a pretty active, engaging and fun Atmos track. Its really well thought out and playful. This mix is balanced out very well with great layering and depth. This is a really involved and entertaining track that’ll add to your viewing pleasure with ease.

Height: There’s a lot of fun from the top. There’s especially a great scene where some saws come in and cut open the ceiling and then reveal a flying helicopter that then has characters jump out of it and your top channels are loud and track it quite well.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer has a good punch to it from explosions, to blasters, punches, crashing, engines humming or just bass and drum on the score and music.

Surround Sound Presentation: If my center channel description didn’t tell enough, the rest of the room is lively, always knowing whats going on and adding much fun and unique sounds from behind and the sides. The sound travel is rolling with terrific power to really feel the motion of the on screen activity.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Minions: The Rise Of Gru comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. While all the featurettes are encoded in 4K, it looks like they are upconverted.

Post Modern Minions (4K, 3:49) – A little Minions short.

Minions And Monsters (4K, 4:20) – Another short

Extended Scene (4K, 1:25)

Outtakes (4K, 3:02)

Character Profiles (4K, 15:47) – Gru, Wild Knuckles, Belle Bottom, Master Chow, The Vicious 6, Biker

GRU-VY Animation (4K, 6:27) – This featurette takes a look at the concept art and its artist.

The ’70s: Fashion, Food & Funk (4K, 4:48) – “There was a lot of flair to everything”, Kyle Balda and crew talks about what they love about setting it in the 70s and watching lots of Brady Bunch, Laugh-In and Bruce Lee films in preparation for the design.

Minion Martial Arts (4K, 4:12) – A piece that talks about the challenge of animating kung fu in the movie. They go over their inspiration and how to translate it to the Minions characters. Goes of the process and the reference material.

How To Draw (& Animate) With Brad Ableson (4K, 11:11) – Minion, Young Gru, Kung Fu Stuart

Lair Flair: Make Your Own Minion Hideout (4K, 10:22) – The Lair, Disc Bubbles, Jet Pack

Super Style Shop (4K, 6:50) – Bell Bottoms and Bandana, Fringe Vest and Chunky Necklace

Summary

Minions: The Rise Of Gru is another jaunt through this silly world of Despicable Me, once again picking a past decade as a sandbox to play in.  Universal’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release of it comes with top of the line picture and audio quality. Extras aren’t too shabby and there’s plenty of them both information and interactive. Pick this one up at the right price point for yourself if you love the Minions.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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