The long-awaited Minions movie is set to open this weekend, and already parents are making a stink. This time, it’s not about the subject matter of a popular kids’ movie, though it has become a favorite parenting pastime to pick apart box office hits, like Frozen. Parents are complaining about the Minions merch, claiming that McDonald’s Minions toys are turning against us.
If your child is anything like my toddler, then they’ve already been begging to see the movie and collect all the adorable little Minions toys doled out in Happy Meals at McDonald’s. McDonald’s is currently promoting the Minions movie with these Happy Meal toys, which parents say are not as innocent as they seem.
Parents, like Taylor King of Columbus, Ohio, claim to have heard a Minions toy say “f**k” in its adorably garbled way. King says after buying a Happy Meal for his 3-year-old son, “It clearly says what it says.”
Another father, Robert Frazier, had a similar experience with a foul-mouthed Minions at McDonald’s. He tells Fox 28 News, “As soon as we heard it, her mom took it away. I listened to it and that’s when we found out that’s what it was saying.”
McDonald’s disagrees. Their official stance is that Minions, as anyone who has seen the movie series knows, speak “Minionese,” a totally made-up nonsense language. Any gibberish spoken by the toy is a mere coincidence. The toy has not been programmed to drop f-bombs, no matter how similar the words may sound.
There are so many parts of this story that I love. First, the McDonald’s and Minions conspiracy theories: Are they in this together? Is Universal Pictures secretly trying to sabotage our kids through lovable characters and delightful plotlines? Or did McDonald’s come up with this cursing toy all by itself as a publicity stunt (which is clearly working very well)?
Then there’s the mind-meld aspect of it all. Just like every other children’s toy you will ever own, this innocent Happy Meal toy is making parents crazy. Some parents swear they heard the cute little guy garble out, “What the f*ck,” while others are questioning their sanity.
Allison Hayes says, “I definitely heard it. I think it was more in my head really.”
As for me, the marketing gimmick worked. I find this story hilarious, and it makes me want to see the Minions movie and go to McDonald’s more than ever. I’d say this story even has a beautiful lesson we can take away from it: The next time my son hears me muttering obscenities under my breath, I’ll just say I was speaking Minionese.