One of my favorite Christmas joys is watching and sharing my favorite animated Christmas specials. This month will be dedicated to these wonderful specials and films.
I have to start off by saying I know, “Gremlins” isn’t technically an animated film, but it is animated with Gizmo and some scary Mogwai.😊
I couldn’t resist featuring “Gremlins” because Gizmo is too darn sweet and Stripe and his cohorts are out of their minds. The story revolves around Billy, (Zach Galligan) a young man who spends his days working in a bank owned by the tyrannical, elderly Mrs. Deagle, (Polly Holliday) but he’s really an artist. A couple of days before Christmas, his father (Hoyt Axton) brings him a very special Christmas gift he purchased in Chinatown – a Mogwai – Gizmo. (voiced by Howie Mandel) His father explains there are 3 rules by which he must abide:
Don’t get Gizmo wet.
Don’t feed him after midnight
Keep him out of bright light
Unfortunately, Rule number 1 (Don’t get Gizmo wet) is broken soon after when Pete (Cory Feldman) a neighbor friend accidently spills a cup of water on Gizmo while Billy is at his drawing desk. Immediately Gizmo begins to shake and convulse as furry looking balls eject off his back. We then find out why Rule number 1 is so important because the furry looking balls turn into other Mogwai lead by the villainous Stripe.
Rule number 2 (don’t feed after midnight) is just as powerful as number 1 because as a result of Stripe tricking Billy into the feeding the Mogwai after midnight, (except Gizmo) they turn into a bunch of “crazy Mogwai.” Yikes!
The “crazy Mogwai” begin their reign of terror at the local bar where Billy’s girlfriend Kate (Phoebe Cates) works as a barmaid. She barely makes it out of the bar by flashing them with a camera as the “crazies” proceed to get drunk, destroy the bar, and start shooting at each other, The bar scene even includes a flasher Mogwai. Too much!😄
My favorite scene is when the “crazy Mogwai” take over a local theater to watch “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” And just like regular people, they’re enjoying popcorn and snacks while singing “Hi Ho” along with the Seven Dwarfs. What a crack-up!
Rule number 3 (No bright light) is really crucial because the light kills Mogwai. Momentarily exposed, Gizmo cries out in the sweetest little voice, – “bright light, bright light.” Too cute.
Finally, Billy and Gizmo are charged with finding and eliminating the “crazy Mogwai” especially Stripe because he’s now creating more “crazies” by purposely getting himself wet.
The fight with Billy and Gizmo forces Stripe – “crazy Mogwai” in charge, to pull out all the stops to keep up his goal of taking over the town. But Gizmo is no easy win and proceeds to give Stripe his money’s worth!
The puppetry is great and the blend of human and puppets is totally fun! Steven Spielberg (Executive Producer) explained: “It’s one of the most original things I’ve come across in many years, which is why I bought it.” Because of the effects and original storyline, (by Chris Columbus), I include “Gremlins” as holiday worthy and recommend checking it out or revisiting if it’s been a while.