Responding to grassroots pressure originating from Tumblr and picked up by the mainstream media, Illumination Entertainment announced that the sequel to their animated hit “Minions” will prominently feature a Minion of Color. This will be the first time a Minion of Color will have ever been represented in film or television.
“We think it’s important for kids everywhere to have role models on the silver screen,” said “Minions” screenwriter Brian Lynch. “That’s where Fumble comes in.”
The latest edition to the Minions family, Fumble is as fun-loving and mischievous as the rest of the four-foot-tall semi-humanoids. According to Lynch, just because she has mottled blue and green skin doesn’t mean she’s any different than her thousands of banana-yellow counterparts. It’s just part of who she is.
“I’m so excited for you guys to meet her,” explained Lynch of the animated character capable of speaking only indecipherable gibberish. “Fumble is kind, full-hearted, and she’s comfortable in her skin and her standard blue overalls. Even if the rest of the Minions aren’t quite sure what to make of her at first, once they get to know her they start to understand that Minions are much more than the color of their rubbery, indestructible skin.”
Lynch added that Fumble will also have four eyes that blink at different times and a long sticky tongue she can use to fetch objects or swing from trees and chandeliers.
According to director Kyle Balda, the team had wanted to include an MOC in the first movie, but plans fell through when the Minions origin story became more and more complicated. That draft of the script was eventually scrapped. “If we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to do it for real,” said Balda. “We had a lot of groundwork to lay in Minions 1, and it would’ve broken my heart if we had shoehorned in a MOC without really giving space to develop a fully-fleshed out, compelling, goggle-eyed character. This is it though. We’re going all in.”
While the addition of an MOC has been widely praised as an important first step, some think that Fumble may just be a superficial solution. Cultural analyst Malcolm Harris worried in Salon that Fumble would be tokenized in the animated film, questioning whether Lynch talked to any people of color about the right way to portray the diminutive child-like creature, or simply wrote the character as “a half-assed apology for the sins of White Hollywood.”
Illumination is reportedly in talks with Kristen Wiig to voice Fumble.