In the third chapter of the Despicable Me saga, the infamous Gru switches over to the good guys. Now he uses his resources to capture villains of all shapes and sizes. He also discovers his long lost brother Dru!
There have been several computer animated productions over the years, yet three studios hold the reigns to the most recognized films. They include: Pixar, Dreamworks and Illumination. All have made memorable and instant classic tales of talking toys, friendly monsters, and all sorts of creative beings. Characteristics are familiar, yet exaggerated in many of the animated characters. Nevertheless, these productions do a great job establishing emotional connections with the viewers. Perhaps this is due to the stellar casting of the iconic roles. Famous actors such as Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton and countless more have contributed to the success of these films. Their iconic voices make them a joy to watch as well. The quality of the computer animation has continued to progress over the years too. Anyone who’s watched these films since the original Toy Story can attest to this. The complexity, brilliance, and scale of these films continue to impress in each new production.
Of the iconic characters from the studios mentioned above, the ones from Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise are easily some of the best. The infamous villain known as Gru and his countless Minions have captured the hearts of kids and adults alike. Steve Carell created a unique voice for the character that’s instantly familiar. The bubbly yellow Minions also have their own language and unique appearances. They may be speaking a made up language, but after multiple viewings, you can start to make out what they’re saying. I learned this from my daughter’s 30th or 40th viewing of the Minions stand-alone film. Even if you can’t understand them, their actions and body language are enough to make you rollover with laughter. With the great success that has been the Despicable Me and Minions franchise, multiple films have come out. We’ve seen Gru grow from a terrible villain, to a kind-hearted father, to a husband, and now even a good guy! By the third film, we learn he also has a long lost brother!
In Despicable Me 3, Gru’s given up the World’s Greatest Villain persona in favor of the other side. While it would seem he’s turned a new leaf, those closest to him know it’s not the best fit. The minions are saddened by the change, and are constantly trying to remind him how much fun villainy is. Nevertheless, Gru, Lucy and the gang live the typical family life. That’s until Gru gets fired from the Anti-Villain League (AVL). Turns out he doesn’t have what it takes to stop the world’s newest super-villain, Balthazar Bratt! Once a child-television star, Bratt turned to mayhem and destruction when everyone forgot who he was. While several decades have passed since they canceled his kids show, Bratt immortalizes his glorious 1980’s through music, dance, and toys from the era. He’s also really good at being bad! While Balthazar Bratt continues his path of destruction, Gru discovers he has a long-lost brother, Dru. The two hit it off, but learn they’re quite different from one another. Dru is the favored son by their beloved mother. He’s rich, successful, has a full head of hair, and a charming personality. He’s basically everything Gru isn’t. This does create a divide between the brothers, but they also learn they have a grand desire for villainy! Dru really wants to learn all he can about the glory days of Gru. When Dru discovers Gru can reclaim his wicked ways by defeating the elusive Balthazar Bratt, he’s eager to assist. This is when the shenanigans really get turned up.
Think the dynamic duo will have what it takes to outsmart the wicked Balthazar Bratt? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…Let’s take a look at what this 4K Blu-ray has to offer!
The menu design consists of several looping clips from the film. The menu options are listed along the top-left, and include: Play, Chapters, Audio, Subtitle, Mini-Movie (4K Disc), and Extras. The ‘Chapters’ option displays four chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. The ‘Audio’ options include: English dts X, English dts X Headphone, Spanish 7.1 dts-HD High Res Audio, and French 5.1 dts Digital Surround. The ‘Subtitle’ consist of the same languages as the audio tracks. Now let’s take a look at the Extras included with this release.
– The Secret Life of Kyle (4:14 HD): This is a really cute tale about Gru’s dog, Kyle. As ferocious as he may seem, Kyle is a romantic at heart. In this mini-movie, viewers get to see the softer side of Kyle. He has a crush on the pretty poodle next door, and tries his best to impress her with gifts. It’s a fun clip fans will have to watch for sure.
– Deleted Scene with Intro by Dana Gaier (0:40 HD): This brief clip is a deleted scene that’s about a prank pulled off by Edith. It’s pretty silly.
– Minion Moments (1:18 HD): This is a funny collection of some minions goofing around They’re short, but fun to watch.
– Character Profiles
– Steve Carell: Gru & Dru (2:12 HD): Steve provides a great description of the two brothers and their differences in the film.
– Kristen Wiig: Lucy (1:48 HD): Kristen describes her character, Lucy, who’s Gru’s significant other in the film. She has the complex role of being a good step-mom to the kids, while also keeping up with Gru’s antics.
– Miranda Cosgrove: Margo (1:57 HD): Miranda describes her role as Margo and how she’s grown with the character over the years. It’s neat to learn about the character from her perspective.
– Dana Gaier: Edith (2:20 HD): Edith is the middle sister in the film. Dana does a great job describing Edith, and the challenges of starting the roll when she was 11. By the second film, she was 15, and her voice had changed a lot. In this clip, Dana describes the challenges and rewards during the making of the films.
– Nev Scharrel: Agnes (2:06 HD): Agnes is one of the most beloved characters in the film. Nev describes the character and her experience working in the film. She’s just as adorable as the Agnes in real life. This clip is a joy to watch.
– The Making of Despicable Me 3 (6:50 HD): This clip sums up the making of the film in under seven minutes! It’s like the cliff notes of the production and the ideas behind the story. There are several cast and crew members who chime in about the production, providing a lot of various perspectives. Fans of the film will want to check this one out.
– Developing Dru (4:13 HD): Dru is the polar opposite of Gru. He’s a funny, charming, and everything Gru isn’t. This make a great dynamic for the two in the story, and proves plenty of conflict. They share a lot in common, even though it’s not obvious at first. By the end, we really like both of them equally.
– The AVL Files: This is an interactive database of the various characters in the film. The character selection includes: Gru, Lucy, Dru, Balthazar Bratt, El Macho, and Vector. It’s a funny collection of clips fans will get a kick out of.
– Freedonia Visitors Guide: This is another interactive feature that allows viewers to cruise a map of Freedonia. Areas that can be accessed include: The Crooked Forest (1:08 HD), The Tipsy Unikorn (1:00 HD), The Cheez Feztival (1:04 HD), The Riviera (1:17 HD), and Free Range Pigs (1:09)! Viewers learn about the various locations they can go while visiting the region.
– Despicable Me TV: This is a collection of commercials for the Bratt action figure (0:54), Bratt fitness video (0:56), and Anges’ Super Cute Incredibly Amazing Toy Sale (1:18). It’s a funny group of commercials that fans will enjoy.
– “Doowit” Sing-along (1:36 HD): As the title implies, this video is a sing-along of the song,”Doowit”.
– “Yellow Light” Music Video (3:43 HD): Pharrell Williams brings us a new song for Despicable Me 3, and this is the music video. It consists of Pharrell walking around the streets, as well as, several Minions running around. The computer-generated characters appear in their traditional ways, but also turn into classic-looking animated versions. It’s a fun video to watch.
– Minion Mug Shots: We all know the Minions get put into ‘the big house’ in Despicable Me 3, and these are the mug shots to prove it. It’s another interactive feature that allows users to scroll through the various snaps of your favorite yellow friends. Some already have tattoos!
– Wanted Posters: Like the interactive feature above, this one consists of various ‘Wanted’ posters of the mischievous minions. The posters include their image and description of why they’re wanted criminals.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this 4K UltraHD Blu-ray.
The 2160p Ultra HD image comes with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, so there are black bars along the top and bottom of your 4K display. No need to worry though as the quality of this 4K image will blow your socks off! Much like any computer animated film in High Definition, Despicable Me 3 looks fantastic. The amount of colors, contrast, and complexity makes this a really great film to watch in UltraHD. Viewers will likely see something new every time they watch the film. This is especially true during the city scenes. As you can imagine, the vivid yellows of the minions look astonishing in 4K. The inclusion of High Dynamic Range (HDR) provides additional realism and brightness to the overall picture. The yellows, blues, reds, pinks, and greens all come to life in this transfer. Oddly enough, the scene when Dru shows Gru the old armory in his mansion was full of color and detail. What made this surprising is its colder-color palate. The gold, copper, and gun metal shades were full of detail and clarity. It’s a short scene too, but looked very impressive. There’s a lot to look at in this film, and it’s stunning in Ultra HD!
The DTS-X audio track does a great job accompanying the visuals. This film has an epic 80’s soundtrack too, so get ready for some of those classic jams to come across your home theater speakers. The nostalgia alone will put a smile on the faces of many parents watching the film. There are sound-effects galore to enjoy as well. Between the silly antics of the minions, the wacky metallic machines, and the gooey effects of the weapons, there’s plenty of effects to be heard will watching this film. The dialog is always crystal clear, and the soundtrack is perfectly timed. There are a lot of big moments during the story, so be prepared to get surrounded at any time. All of the surrounding channels are utilized with this epic audio track.
Overall, Despicable Me 3 is a fun film kids and adults will enjoy. The third installment of the franchise does a great job adding to the evolution of the characters. Gru has grown over the three films, and is much more likable than ever before. Seeing his polar opposite brother Dru adds to story as well. The beloved minions continue to bring in the laughs with their witty humor and fluctuating emotions too. It’ll be interesting to see what Illumination has up their sleeve for the next film.
If you’re a fan of the Despicable Me and/or Minion films, you’ll definitely want to add this to your personal collection. Pick it up on 4K UltraHD today!