After a brief stint direct to digital, Illumination Entertainment‘s latest Minions film is now on home video. And if their proliferation is any sign, they are everywhere! With the Rise of Gru on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K, the stage is set to hint at next year’s return to the Despicable franchise, where Gru has to contend with his nasty twin brother, Dru. When watching this movie again, I get the feeling Wild Knuckles will play some kind of role in this upcoming film.
Where this tale concerning the pill-shaped compatriots’ relationship with the Gru guy takes place is years after Marlena and Felonius have settled down. It seems to ignore a few details from the last Minions movie concerning how they found their new leader and when he accepted them.
My review back in July goes into greater detail, and what I’ll look at here is the bonus material offered in this home video release.
The highlights are two mini-movies. “Post Modern Minions” is a hilarious look at pop art, which came to prominence in the 70s. The entire movie is a love letter to the era, and to have different featurettes cover different aspects makes watching the various pieces nostalgic. As for the story, the satire is very evident. When one of these critters unintentionally creates a new art form, to which a critic calls it the greatest thing must be taken with a caveat. Fame is fleeting, and what we see is an attempt to stay current.
This piece blazes through other movements at a crazy breakneck speed. Although I didn’t hear much concerning the birth of punk or the influence of disco in the film, we get everything else mentioned on some level with this home video release.
With “Minions and Monsters,” another tyke discovers Dungeons and Dragons! To be a Game Master isn’t easy. And what he learns is the value of teamwork. As a result, he learns a valuable lesson and also saves the day.
To add to the discovery, three featurettes explain everything fans are curious about in the production of Minions: The Rise of Gru. We look at the animation process with “Gru-vy Animation” and although it doesn’t offer too much new when compared to other pieces about CGI, it’s always nice to see how ideas get realised from storyboard to digital product. Here, the sketches have to show everything that a frame or scene needs to convey, instead of a director telling a team what he wants. He still has to approve the roughs before it heads to rendering.
There’s only one extended scene in this offering. It mostly concerns Gru at the Fabulous Five’s (was Six) lair, waiting in reception. It neither really adds to the narrative by my reckoning. Instead, the Outtakes are better, since we see the sessions where the talents flub their lines or do something silly to show just how deep they get into their role. Jean-Claude Van Damme deserves a banana award when considering how much he got into his character.
The piece to really watch is “The 70s–FASHION, FOOD & FUNK,” because it covers everything that today’s children aren’t aware of. However, there’s more to the era. The mini-movies round off everything that this era is famous for.
Although not every song from the Billboard charts made it to this movie, some fans may want to imagine Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” or Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting” in place of what’s used. With the latter, we learn about Bruce Lee in Minion Martial Arts.
I feel these two song staples would have truly defined the film and made it a solid hit.
Other pieces in Minions Rise of Gru include:
- How to Draw and Animate with Brad Ableson – Co-director Brad Ableson shows us his techniques in how to sketch up a Minion, Young Gru, and Kung Fu Stuart.
- Lair Flair: Make Your Own Hideout – No Minion home video release is complete without some activity to create at home. Here, children and parents can take cardboard and other household items to convert into a play set with their approved merchandise (available on Amazon USA), and homemade attire with the last segment, Super Style Shop.