Minions: The Rise of Gru 4K review

Sep 06, 2022- Permalink

The Despicable Me and Minions franchise has been attracting audiences and dollars since the release of Despicable Me in 2010. In this latest instalment, Minions: The Rise of Gru, we get to see everyone’s favourite villain and his pint-sized henchman in a story that takes us back to the 1970s, when Gru (Steve Carell) was just an 11-year-old with dreams of world domination. Universal has just released a 4K version and I had a chance to check it out.

Gru’s always been precocious — I mean most villains wait until their twenties — but this preteen has the possibility of joining the Vicious 6, a group of the most notorious villains in the world. When they make fun of him for his age, Gru manages to steal a precious stone from the group and finds himself the prey in a massive hunt to get it back. Gru is in need of some help and it’s up to the Minions to save their leader. Though the setting is new, many of the hijinks are very familiar, which depending on your point of view is either a nice, comforting diversion or a franchise rehashing what works. The voice cast includes the talents of Alan Arkin, Julie Andrews, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Taraji P. Henson, Russell Brand, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Lawless and Danny Trejo.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265 encoded upscaled 4K digital transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is presented in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. It’s a crystal clear video presentation that captures the details in the computer animation very well. It’s really detailed animation, so I can actually discuss how much detail there is in elements like hair and textiles. The HDR colour grading also boosts the brightness and colour depth of the dazzling 1970s colour palette. Deep black levels and no evidence of compression issues or digital noise. It just looks great.

On the audio side of things, your ears will be dazzled by the Minions on an English Dolby Atmos soundtrack that folds back to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 as well as a Latin American Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 track and European and Canadian French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available for English SDH, Spanish and French. The Atmos is used very well with some of the action taking place above us in the height tracks, while the surrounds immerse you in the world of Gru’s childhood. The score is bright and dynamic, while the low end gives extra heft to both the effects and the bass of the score. Dialogue is clear, centred and well prioritized.

The Minions: The Rise of Gru set comes with a 4K disc, a Blu-ray disc and a digital code. There’s roughly sixty minutes of bonus material including two mini-movies, an extended scene, outtakes from the recording sessions, a look at the movie’s key characters, a piece on the animation process, a look at 1970s food, fashion and funk, a piece on the Minion’s martial arts, a craft lesson on building your own lair, a drawing lesson, and how to dress your plush Minions in retro clothes.

The Minions: The Rise of Gru 4K has great video and audio and a fun selection of franchises. If you’re in love with these characters, this one is recommended.