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"Your family has taken something of great importance from me!"

Warning! This page contains spoilers regarding the Artemis Fowl film or associated product. Caution is advised.

"Are you ready to get back to work?!"
"I thought you'd never ask!"
―Artemis Fowl and Mulch Diggums[src]

Mulch Diggums is a character in the film Artemis Fowl. He is employed by Commander Root to break into Fowl Manor to rescue Holly Short.

History

Serving time again

Mulch and the Goblin

Mulch vs. a goblin at Howler's Peak

"Tunneling and entering. Repeat offender. 400 years."
"Yeah, that sounds about right."
―An automated computer voice and Mulch Diggums[src]

Mulch Diggums arrived in Haven City, arms bound, a prisoner. He turned to a couple of other dwarves, telling them to keep their eye out, that as dwarves, they have to watch each other's backs. He told them to lay low and he'd get them out, but they replied that he's not even one of them. He answered that he was a "giant dwarf" and a nearby goblin commented that he had a giant mouth for a dwarf. He continued that he wouldn't do so much talking at Howler's Peak, where the goblins did the talking and what they said went. He walked over to a station and was processed as Mulch Diggums, serving time as a repeat offender for tunneling and entering and sentenced to 400 years. An elf named Holly Short appeared and he greeted her warmly, saying that it was good to see her.

She asked what he was in for this time and he replied that it was tunneling and entering, telling her to put in a good word for him, that she knew he was an artist. "Yeah, a con artist," she replied. He answered that great artists were never understood and told her that they would make a great team. She asked if that was really his plan and he said it was more of a lifestyle choice, before holding up a wallet and asking if it was hers. She demanded he stop picking her pockets. He told her to think of his children and she answered that he didn't have any. "Not yet," he shot back. She stated there was a prisoner for processing and walked away. He shouted after her that they were the same: that her last name was Short and her whole body was short. She told him he wasn't short and one of the other dwarves commented that he kept telling him that. "That's just discriminatory" stated Mulch saying that he would write it off as ignorance because he loved her. He then held a device, thanking her for the music. As he was led onto the prison transport, he muttered that he was very much a dwarf.

At the prison, he used earbuds to listen to the music he had stolen, Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." Upon seeing one of his many goblin cellmates looking at him, he looked back and the goblin asked what he was looking at. Diggums replied that he was looking at his eyes and wondering what thoughts lied behind them. The dwarf stood, saying that Diggums liked eating dirt. Diggums answered that he didn't know if "like" was the right term, but that tunneling was something he had to do, an occupational hazard.

"Just don't stand behind you while you're doing it, right?" commented the goblin, slowly advanced towards Diggums with a group of other goblins. Diggums chuckled and the goblin chuckled back and Diggums said things had gotten awkward. The goblin asked if he was laughing at him and he told him that he wasn't, that he was just following the social cues of the other goblins. Diggums then called for the guards as the goblin got in his face. The goblin breathed fire into his own hand, asking if Diggums liked fire as well. He warned the goblin to be careful, as they could all go up in flames, but the goblin replied that goblin skin was completely fireproof. Diggums replied that he had forgotten about that, but then asked if his brain was fireproof as well, pressing his fingers against the goblin's nostrils and pushing him back. Before things could continue any further however, Jasmine Sapwood appeared, telling Diggums that Commander Root wanted to see him. "Exceptional timing!" he declared as he was removed from the cell.

Fowl Manor

Mulch Diggums Cracking Safe

Mulch Diggums cracking a safe in Fowl Manor

"You fairies got magic coming out of your ears. What have I got? Three, four feet I don't need."
"Look, a giant dwarf is exactly what I need right now. A big, fast, hungry tunneler who'll dig their way into that house. It's your choice. Either bring out Officer Short or get back to jail."
―Mulch Diggums and Commander Root[src]


Diggums was brought before Commander Root of LEPRecon, who told him that she had a one-time offer for him: 50 years off his sentence if he would dig his way into Fowl Manor and bring out Officer Short. He started to ask if she would mind if he called her by her first name, before admitting he didn't know her first name and guessing that it might be "Britney." He told her that she had a big problem on her hands: that was like David Bowie if she was a fairy, so essentially, she was David Bowie. Getting back to the point, he told her that 50 years wasn't going to cut it.

She told him that she knew what he wanted, but she couldn't give it to him. He got down on his knees and pleaded with her, saying that he just wanted to be small, to be normal like the rest of his kind. Fairies like her had magic coming out of their ears, but he only had three or four feet that he didn't need. She replied that a giant dwarf was exactly what she needed: a big, fast hungry tunneler who would dig into Fowl Manor. It was his choice: to either dig into Fowl Manor or go back to jail. He replied that they were grunting at each other like hippos with a throat infection. He asked if she really considered him a criminal, saying that he was an artist, but she told him that he was picking her pocket.

At this, Diggums simply started bargaining, demanding a hundred years off his sentence and a single cell with no goblins. Root eventually agreed to 74 years off and the single cell, so Diggums got to work. "Dwarfus Giganticus," he recited, then unhinged his jaw and started tunneling into the ground, stating that it was feeding time. He emerged from a painting inside Fowl Manor and told the forces outside that he was in. Inside the mansion, the young Artemis Fowl and Domovoi Butler recognized Diggums's arrival. Rather than going for Short, however, Diggums instead located a safe, a TXTL 5000. Domovoi reported this to Artemis, who told him to let him open it, as it was exactly what he wanted. "We meet again" declared Diggums and got to work on the safe. He turned the dials and succeeded, seemingly opening it, only for it to pop back up. He spoke to it like an old nemesis, saying that it was temperamental and had evolved. He continued that he had too, using his specialized dwarf hairs to work his magic on it. "Eight new motion-sensitive tumblers, you devil," he commented, as he wrapped the hairs around, finally succeeding in popping it open. Inside was something he hadn't imagined finding: the most valuable fairy treasure of all, the Aculos.

Holly Short and Artemis Fowl Jr. arrived and saw what Diggums had found. The young Artemis felt that his bargaining position had just gotten a whole lot stronger, saying that those mustn't find out that they had it. Diggums, however, indicated an eye camera and told him that they already knew. With the stakes dramatically raised, the forces outside, now commanded by Briar Cudgeon, prepared to send a troll into Fowl Manor. Holly Short, turning to Domovoi Butler, stated that she would need her gun and Diggums sheepishly produced it, having pinched it in the commotion. The group then battled the troll and Diggums did his part by wrestling it and then swallowing the Aculos to keep it safe. After the battle, Artemis Jr. asked him if he still had the Aculos and he indicated that it was safe in his stomach. The young Artemis then gave the regurgitated Aculos to Holly Short, who used to save Artemis Fowl Sr..

Interrogation and escape

Mulch and Artemis in the Helicopter

Mulch and Artemis in the helicopter

"A tracking device. Designed by the kid. Clap your hands if you believe in fairies. That's my ride!"
"Lockdown. Get back here, you filthy little dwarf!"
"Dwarfus Giganticus!"
―Mulch Diggums and an MI6 interrogator[src]

Afterwards, Mulch Diggums was captured by MI6 forces and taken to a site at sea, the MI6 Red Fort Interrogation Unit in the Thames Estuary of London, England. There, his interrogator told him that unless he told him exactly what happened at Fowl Manor, he would be permanently imprisoned. Diggums told the interrogator that he didn't want him, that he wanted the brains of the operation, the one who stole the Aculos. The interrogator asked what this was, entirely unaware of it. As Diggums started to explain, the interrogator was disbelieving. He called him a common thief that was in league with an uncommon thief and demanded that he tell him everything about the man he worked For. Diggums, however, replied that what had happened wasn't about the father, it was about the son.

He began relating his tale, warning the interrogator not to underestimate the kid and saying that he would show him the infinite possibilities of magic. He began telling his tale of the events he had participated in. He related the young Artemis's past. As his tale unwound, the interrogator only grew more disbelieving, asking if he really expected him to believe that Artemis Jr. would do something so dangerous. As the tale came to an end, the interrogator called it an extraordinary ending to his remarkable fairy tale. He said, however, that they should get back to the thief, that he would be brought to justice. Diggums would not leave until he assisted them.

Diggums shook his head, surprised that the interrogator still didn't believe any of it. The interrogator replied that the only thing he believed about the tale was that he could be bought. He offered Diggums a deal: help them apprehend Artemis Fowl Sr. and he would walk. Diggums winked, saying that he would offer him a deal instead: he would walk out on his own and the interrogator would leave the Fowls alone forever. The interrogator asked why they would ever do that and Diggums answered that it was so they could all sleep at night knowing the fairy tales they told their kids remained beautiful dreams and not living nightmares. He continued that the next time the interrogator saw the Fowls, he should be sure to thank them, as they kept the peace. He explained that the young Artemis had set up his arrest because he knew they would have to believe him, revealing his pointed ears. The interrogator called to alert the guards and Diggums unhinged his jaw and pulled out an object. He explained that it was tracking device, designed by the kid. The interrogator called for a lockdown, but it was too late. The ceiling above Diggums shattered and a ladder appeared. As he climbed it, the interrogator called him a "filthy little dwarf," but he shouted back "Dwarfus Giganticus!" He then boarded a helicopter, and the young Artemis asked him if he was ready to get back to work. He shouted back that he thought he'd never ask. Artemis Jr. then commented that they had some unfinished business, and he replied, chuckling, that he loved his job. Artemis Sr. flew the helicopter into the sunset, Holly Short flying alongside.

Apocrypha

Diggums Playact

Diggums playacting at being scared about losing his magic

"You stay where you are or you'll lose your magic too!"
"Oh no! No! No, not my magic! Oh, no, no, whatever will I do! ... I don't have magic. I'm a giant dwarf, you pompous little pipsqueak. But I do have something far greater. My height."
―Artemis Fowl Jr. and Mulch Diggums[src]


Mulch Diggums appears in a few deleted scenes for the Artemis Fowl film. The first of these deleted scenes, "Mulch's Enhancements," briefly shows Mulch being fitted with his eye-camera, as well as an ear-piece to receive remote instructions. Another such scene, "Safecracker," is an extension of the scene in the film in which Diggums cracks the safe in Fowl Manor. He talks about having cracked versions of the safe in other cities, speaking to it as if it as an old lover and saying that it's "still so cold." He continues that some have said it was tricky and perhaps even impossible, but a little tickle here and a sweet caress there and he's in.

In "Mulch Meets Butler," Holly Short tries to arrest the young Artemis, only for him to tell her that he invited her into the house and within it, she must obey him or lose her magic forever. She then tells Mulch to restrain Artemis or he'll spend the next thousand years in a cell filled with goblins. He tells her to "bring it down," that he's having a little bit of a day. He turns to Artemis, but Artemis tells him to stay where he is or he'll lose his magic too. He then puts on a playact, pretending that he's really scared of his possibility, before telling Artemis that as a giant dwarf, he doesn't have any magic. He then tells him that he has something far greater: his height. Just then, Domovoi Butler appears in the shattered window behind him and he reaches out, feeling him. He asks if it is in fact a man behind him, then turns to the rather taller Domovoi, saying that the good news is that he is at least finally a dwarf. He tells Domovoi that he loves his suit, that he really makes it work with his sheep-style hair and factory-made blue eyes. Domovoi then punchs him and grabs him and he groans and says he knew it was coming.

Personality and traits

"A criminal? A criminal, that's what you think I am? I am so much more than a criminal. Well, um, technically, most of what I do is criminal activity, but I'm also an artist."
"You're picking my pocket."
―Mulch Diggums and Commander Root[src]

Diggums decided to turn to a life of crime at an early age. He is a wisecracker always ready with a joke and loves nothing more than a chance to put one over on the Lower Elements Police. His rivalry with Commander Root goes back decades. He is a Dwarfus Giganticus and wants to be small like the rest of his kind, but it is a wish that Commander Root cannot grant. Versed in human culture, he refers to Commander Root as being "like David Bowie, if David Bowie were a fairy," asking if she thinks that humans will ever find out he was one of them.

Behind the scenes

Mulch-Tunneling-Film

Mulch prepares to tunnel into Fowl Manor

"I just want to be small. I just want to be normal, like the rest of my kind."
―Mulch Diggums to Commander Root[src]
  • While in the novels, Mulch Diggums is simply portrayed as a dwarf, in the Artemis Fowl film, Mulch is "giant dwarf" and his wish is to be like normal dwarves. This change may have been made to accommodate the height of actor Josh Gad, who, while not overly tall, is 5' 6". Prior to the film's creation, author Eoin Colfer met with director Kenneth Branagh regarding casting. The two agreed that the character of Artemis Fowl must be an Irish boy, and that all other roles were up for grabs to those they felt were the best for them.[1]
  • Mulch Diggums serves as a narrator of sorts for the Artemis Fowl film, his story he tells to the MI6 interrogator working as a framing device to explain the events which are happening in the film.
  • Mulch Diggums's line to the interrogator, "Clap your hands if you believe in fairies," is word-for-word the phrase that the character Peter Pan says to audiences in theatrical productions of Peter Pan after Tinkerbell tells him that she could be saved if children believed in fairies.

References

  1. Beloved book series 'Artemis Fowl' comes to life on Disney+ l GMA. Good Morning America via YouTube (May 25, 2020). Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
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