Review: Despicable Me Blu-ray

Despicable Me Blu-ray/DVD boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud | CAST: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Kristen Wiig
RELEASE DATE: 12/14/2010 | PRICE: single DVD $29.98, Minion Madness Double DVD Pack $34.98, three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo $39.98, four-disc Blu-ray 3D / DVD combo $49.98
BONUSES: featurettes, picture-in-picture, games, commentary, mini movies
SPECS: PG | 95 min. | Animated family | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Despicable Me movie sceneUniversal‘s Despicable Me is right up there with today’s biggest animated hit movies, including The Incredibles and the Toy Story series. The family film’s great, fun story is told with a smart script with lots of laughs, and voiced with enthusiasm by the likes of Steve Carell (Dinner for Schmucks), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) and Julie Andrews (Shrek Forever After).

In the movie, criminal mastermind Gru (Carell) tries to pull off the biggest theft yet but is thwarted at ever turn by new villain Vector (Segel). So Gru adopts three orphan girls to use their cookie-delivery job to stop Vector. But when the girls touch his heart, Gru must decide what’s more important: his crime or love.

As with all digitally animated movies, Despicable Me looks and sounds wonderful on high-definition Blu-ray. The voice of young actress Elsie Fisher as the youngest orphan, Agnes, is all the more darling as she exclaims: “It’s so FLUFFY!”

And with the clear high-def picture, it’s fun to see all the details the animators included, such as satellite dishes on the roofs of houses and the antics of Gru’s many yellow minions.

Universal has carried the excitement through to the special features, which include Gru and the minions everywhere.

First, you can watch the movie in Gru mode, which periodically shrinks the film to show the minions watching and cheering their boss, as well as picture-in-picture clips of the filmmakers and voice actors talking about the making of the movie. Carell says here and in other special features that, out of all the characters he has played, Gru is probably the closest to him, because he’s really a very despicable person.

Minions also pop up in the commentary track with directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, arguing over who gets the only spare chair, and minions appear in three cute new short films: “Home Makeover,” “Orientation Day” and “Banana.”

Youngsters will love the many games included on the Blu-ray disc, but adults will get a kick out of them too. They’re simple, but better than most. For example, viewers can knock over tin cans to win a variety of prizes, including the unicorn stuffed toy and Gru’s car.

Similarly to DreamWorks/Paramount’s Shrek Forever After Blu-ray disc, Despicable Me also includes recipes, but this time, they’re the secret recipes for the cookies the orphans sell. They made us want to run to the kitchen, and kids will enjoy making them with mom and dad.

The Blu-ray also has the usual making-of featurettes, including interviews with the filmmakers, voice actors and more, rounding out a special features package that’s as good as the film itself.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.