Are the Minions Mexican? The Internet Seems to Think So!

Lead Photo: Illumination
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With the animated movie Minions: The Rise of Gru hitting theaters last week, fans of the Despicable Me franchise are rekindling rumors that the lovable, yellow troublemakers are, in fact, of Mexican descent.

The idea that the minions are Mexican is a theory that has been around for years. If you haven’t kept up with the series, the original Despicable Me movie debuted in 2010. They returned to the big screen four more times – 2013’s Despicable Me 2, 2015’s Minions, 2017’s Despicable Me 3, and this year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru.

One of the main reasons some fans are declaring the Minions as Mexican is because of the unique language they speak known as “Minionese.” The language, it seems, is a mix of several languages, including Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Hindi, French, Russian and, of course, English (they only say the word “banana” about a million times).

Latine people are mostly focused on the Spanish words the Minions seem to occasionally speak. For example, in the past, they have used “para tú” to mean “for you,” although it should really be “para ti.” They’ve also used the phrase “la boda” to describe “marriage,” although “la boda” in Spanish is “wedding.” Other Spanish words in their lexicon are “bella,” “bomba,” “la piñata” and “te amo.”

Minionese was developed by the franchise’s original directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. In past interviews, Coffin has said that at first, “it wasn’t necessarily the [Minions’] words that were important but rather the way they were said, and the melodic quality—the music, basically—of their language.” It wasn’t until the third film when screenwriter Brian Lynch “came up with the idea that…their language [should] include all the languages of the world.”

During an interview with NPR in 2016, Coffin explained what he likes most about letting the Minions speak Spanish. “What’s super cool about the Spanish language is that it ends with either a [or] o. All these words, for some reason in my head, that’s the Minion language.”