Gremlins Reveals Gizmo’s Dark Origin

WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

In Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai, viewers finally learn where Gizmo came from, and this revelation makes his journey through the movies of the Gremlins franchise even better. The original Gremlins movies were surprisingly tight-lipped about the origins of their titular mysterious monsters. Billy’s father brought Gizmo the Mogwai from an enigmatic antiques dealer’s rebellious grandson at the beginning of Gremlins. However, neither this dealer nor his grandson explained where the Mogwai came from. Meanwhile, 1990’s underrated sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch didn’t do anything to clarify this question, mostly because the movie was too busy staging elaborate, cartoony set pieces.


Fortunately, Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai offers an origin story for Gizmo the Mogwai, and this revelation fits perfectly with his character arc through the Gremlins movies. While director Joe Dante’s Gremlins origin theory is not the answer that Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai goes with, the Max show still manages to stay true to the spirit of the classic monster movie series. By revealing that Gizmo was stolen from his home at a young age, Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai explains why the character spends much of the Gremlins movies trying to keep human characters like Billy, Kate, and Pete out of trouble.

Secrets Of The Mogwai Reveals Gizmo’s Sad Origin Story

Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai opens by showing Gizmo’s idyllic Mogwai home habitat, the Valley of Jade. Before viewers can even get accustomed to this pastoral paradise, Gizmo’s bravery leads him to get kidnapped by an eagle that attacks his village. Gizmo is then trapped by humans and forced to perform as a circus act, which sets up an almost constant story of Gizmo having to deal with humanity’s ills. Although Gremlins never got too dark, the human and Gremlin characters of the series mistreat the patient Gizmo, and Gizmo is often called upon to defeat both human callousness and the sadistic machinations of the Gremlins.

According to Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai, Gizmo had a pretty rough time of it long before the events of the first Gremlins movie. This explains why Gizmo seems resigned to his unfortunate fate in the original Gremlins. When Billy’s incompetence leads Pete to get the Mogwai wet, Gizmo sprouts a handful of other, nastier Mogwai and rolls his eyes at this development. Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai reveals that Gizmo reacts this way because he has been through this story before and knows how it will end. While producer Steven Spielberg’s optimism does permeate Gremlins, the original movie still has a cynical streak that Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai justifies.

Secrets Of The Mogwai Makes Gizmo’s Movie Arc Better

By showing just how long Gizmo has been the moral force when dealing with his kindred and people alike, Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai deepens the character’s story. Gizmo was always more than a mere prop in the story of the Gremlins movies, but his bumbling antics can make him seem like a comparatively minor player in the story of the two franchise outings. However, Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai proves Gizmo has more agency over his fate than viewers might think. If the Gremlins franchise hero seems stuck in a loop, it is because he has been cursed to deal with both Gremlin and human problems since Gremlins: Secrets Of The Mogwai.

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