See Mogwai Cause Some Mischief In New Gremlins Prequel

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is an animated prequel series to the classic horror comedy film franchise.

By Jonathan Klotz
| Published

Gremlins 3

After being in development for what seems like decades, we finally get our first look at the Gremlins prequel. Set in 1920s Shanghai, the animated series focuses on young Sam Wing (the mysterious shop owner from the original film), voiced by Izaac Wang, as he befriends Gizmo and journeys across China to get the Mogwai back to his home. The first trailer sports an incredible animation style and confirms that Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante, the director of both Gremlins movies, are behind the prequel.

The first film was a black comedy responsible for the most horrific Christmas story in movie history, thanks to Phoebe Cates’ portrayal of Kate. Gizmo, the adorable mogwai, was purchased as a gift for Billy, played by Zach Galligan, with three simple rules that had to be followed. Gremlins, and its prequel, go horribly wrong the first time one of the rules, “don’t get it wet,” is broken.

One adorable Mogwai becomes five, as when they get wet, the cute creatures multiply, which shouldn’t be bad, except Gizmo is the only one shown that isn’t sadistic. The trailer gives a brief glimpse of the Mogwai homeland, which looks just as peaceful and idyllic as one would expect from the teddy bear-like creatures, but then it also shows the classically evil Mogwai. At some point during the Gremlins prequel, someone must violate the second rule, “don’t feed them after midnight.”

If that rule raises some questions, don’t worry; the hilarious Gremlins 2: The New Batch also had characters ask, “What if they cross a time zone?” and “What if they have a seed stuck in their teeth?” Both classic horror comedies have a wicked sense of humor, and if the upcoming Gremlins prequel has even a fraction of the wit in its writing, this will be another streaming hit for Max (the rebranded HBO Max). Giving hope that the cartoon is going in the right direction is the incredible voice cast.

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is expected to end with Billy’s dad purchasing Gizmo, as evidenced by Zach Galligan being listed as part of the cast, but for most of the series, it’s all newcomers to the franchise. Joining Izaac Wang are Gabrielle Neveah Green, James Hong, BD Wong, Ming-Na Wen, Gabrielle Green, Sandra Oh, George Takei, Bowen Yang, and Matthew Rhys (via IMDb). The Gremlins prequel has the advantage of being animated when it comes to the crazy antics of the titular creatures, but that cast is a solid live-action line-up as well.

The Gremlin prequel series comes 23 years after the second movie, which disappointed the box office but has developed an enormous cult following in the ensuing decades. A few spin-off video games for the original Nintendo and some collectible toys were the extent of the franchise, leaving fans desperate for something, anything, in the franchise.

It won’t be long before everyone can learn about the Secrets of the Mogwai as the Gremlin prequel is set to debut May 23 on Max.

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