Gremlins Secrets of the Mogwai on Max
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Tv ‘Lots of Dismemberment’: Animating Gizmo’s Origin Story in ‘Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai’

‘Lots of Dismemberment’: Animating Gizmo’s Origin Story in ‘Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai’

Gremlins Secrets of the Mogwai on Max

Fans of Joe Dante’s “Gremlins” (1984) who want to know how the mysterious shop owner Mr. Wing (Keye Luke) first met Gizmo (Howie Mandel) and the rest of the mogwai creatures finally get an answer in the new animated prequel “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” (streaming now on Max). In this new origin story from showrunner Tze Chun (“I’m a Virgo”) and executive producer Brendan Hay (“Robot Chicken”) , 10-year-old Sam Wing (Izaac Wang) and young Gizmo (AJ LoCascio) attempt to transport the mogwai from 1920s Shanghai to their ancestral home in the Jade Valley.

They are accompanied by teenage street thief Ellie (Gabrielle Nevaeh) and pursued by witch doctor/industrialist Riley Greene (Matthew Rhys), who knows how destructive mogwai can be when exposed to water or fed after midnight and wants them for the own army of assassins.

“I think what Joe did with those original ‘Gremlins’ movies is so iconic, and we really wanted to honor the tone of those original movies that were genuinely scary but also funny and weird,” Chun told IndieWire. “And also the Amblin movies we grew up with. We wanted to create a show that could feel like a modern take on an Amblin movie in the “Gremlins” universe.

“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai”Screenshot/Twitter

“And the fact that we got to do it against the backdrop of 1920s China and weave together all the spirits, creatures and monsters from Chinese mythology that I grew up with (including the jiangshi Chinese vampires/zombies) was a plus in more, but something that was really meaningful to me,” Chun continued.

But it was daunting at first. Luckily, Chun and Hay had the blessing of both executive producer Steven Spielberg and Dante, whom they brought on as consulting producer. “When Joe came to talk to the creative team, he told a lot of stories about the original ‘Gremlins’ movies and what the production was like,” Hay said, “and he was happy that we were doing it in animation. So we could do things like make Gizmo walk and run and do things that were very difficult to do with the puppet.

“Very soon, once we had the scope of the season, we launched Spielberg, and that has obviously been a lifelong dream for me and Brendan,” added Chun. “And he really moved me that the first thing Spielberg said after we finished casting was, ‘Is Joe happy?’ And that was a true testament to his support of other filmmakers decades later.”

1685479349 98 Lots of Dismemberment Animating Gizmos Origin Story in Gremlins Secrets | ManOfTheCenturyMovie
“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai”

The task of translating the 10-episode series into CG animation with a 2D look fell to Blue Spirit Productions. The goal was to achieve quality craftsmanship without sacrificing the mogwai’s puppet DNA. “Everything is textured and we occasionally use 2D backgrounds, so you still have a more hand-drawn quality throughout,” Chun added. “And the whole thing that I kept aspiring to – to use a phrase borrowed from our supervising producer, Dan Krall, who was involved in a lot of the aspect of the show – was an ‘Art of’ book because I didn’t it’s super shiny.”

At the same time, they wanted the dynamic camera movements and direction you get from CG. The best example is the opening roundup at the medicine store run by Sam’s parents (Ming-Na Wen and BD Wong), assisted by his grandfather (James Hong). “It’s our little homage to ‘Tales From the Crypt’ and a way to connect with the movies,” said Hay. And, beyond that shot. have Jerry Goldsmith’s lively score performed on Chinese instruments by composer Sherri Chung (“Riverdale”), the first female governor of the TV Academy’s music branch.

The funniest thing, though, was coming up with original Gremlin fight gags. Hay was the best at brainstorming all day on a whiteboard. He has two favourites. The first is a jazz club filled with chaotic Gremlins that could only be done in animation. The second is a standalone gag of a man versus a Gremlin: “One of my favorite things about this show is that we can do kid-friendly (violence). No blood, but a lot of dismemberment,” Hay said.

Related Post