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'Gremlins: Secret of Mogwai' review: Max's animated origin story captures the spirit of the film

Joe Dante’s Gremlins came out just before my seventh birthday and I was instantly hooked. I’ve seen the movie multiple times, read various adaptations, and scuffed grooves on a series of tie-in records distributed through Hardee’s.

Gizmo, the seemingly innocent mogwai, has helped unleash the chaotic waves of evil pixies for the past forty years through the inability of modern humans to follow three very basic rules Ri has been my constant companion as my constant social media avatar.

Gremlins: Secrets of Mogwai

Bottom line Get the cute, zany appeal of the original movie.

If Gremlins attraction to little Daniel is original – Gizmo’s Lizard A Chuck Jones-inspired mess of brain-appealing cuteness and gremlins—subsequent appeals have varied over countless rewatches. Under Dante’s direction, like Frank Capra and Roger Corman’s film spin-offs, Gremlins are both elemental and malleable. Mogwai are expressions of the repressed self, gremlins are the embodiment of unfettered identities. It is a cautionary tale about the right treatment of animals and the careful management of nature, a warning against the encroachment of technology and the fragility of human civilization. In The New Batch, the funnier 80 sequel though less emotionally resonant, the criticism extends to Capitalism and when you try to commodify anything that you don’t fully understand, there’s chaos.

Are mogwai magic creators? alien? Cute mutants or biological hybrids? I didn’t know I should care, so I didn’t.

Created by Tze Chun (executive producing with Brendan Hay), the animated prequel to Max Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai succeeds because while it’s dedicated to Gizmo and his friends – furry and scaly – they probably don’t need an original story , which is more focused on telling a standalone story, capturing a range of tones in the film. Secrets of the Mogwai has an all-star vocal cast and an eye-catching animation style that I love – Season progression, enough unique backstory details to effectively expand the world.

The story begins in Emerald Valley, a fully populated mountain canyon by the merry mogwai. “Oh, so they’re smurfs,” was basically my first reaction to Emerald Valley, followed by an animation flashback to ’80Ewoks series. Fortunately, the show doesn’t wander or pander to this all-mogwai world. Soon, the brave Gizmo (AJ Locascio) saves his village from an eagle attack, only to end up separated from his community.

In Shanghai around 80, we met young Sam Wing (Izaac Wang), who Under the patronage of (Ming-Na Wen and BD Wong), they run a pharmacy. While out grocery shopping with his adventurous grandfather (James Hong), Sam first encounters Gizmo, who plays the enigmatic “dog and cat” in a circus freak show. However, Grandpa knows what a Gizmo is, and knows that bad things can happen to people who aren’t ready for a mogwai.

Grandpa urges Sam to return the mogwai to Yugu, both to protect Shanghai and keep Gizmo from falling into the hands of the evil Riley Greene (Matthew Rhys), a half-wizard, half-industry home, and know of some particularly nefarious uses for mogwai.

Sam travels by train, boat and foot with scrappy orphan Elle (Gabrielle Nevaeh Green), who was once Greene’s indentured servant, as they hope to transport Gizmo to safety. places, encountering supernatural and spiritual forces along the way. Oh yeah, the Gizmo is getting a little dank and there are some post-midnight snacks, so there will be gremlins involved soon.

This series provides an explanation of where mogwai came from and expanded the mogwai maintenance rules, but I’m ultimately not sure how much the expanded mythology really adds. It might even lose a little for its over-reliance on magic and things that can only be justified by or through magic.

It remains a welcome alternative film that oozes the exoticism of Orientalism. The humans in Secrets of the Mogwai have developed a greater understanding of the mogwai in cultural and mystical traditions, rather than being obsessed with their differences. The exoticism of the mogwai in the film shows that it is fin de siècle Western society is not ready for the mogwai. The series makes it clear that, even with the proper understanding and context, there’s nothing ordinary people can do other than exploit the fragile purity that the mogwai represent.

The specific revelation of mogwai’s titular secret didn’t add to my enjoyment, but the infusion of Chinese culture added a lot, starting with the description of of Shanghai, clothing and architecture front and center. The show finds its own unique flavor in the little things, like using goji berries as a sweet accompaniment to tea, and in the big things, like spending full episodes in some sort of mysterious afterlife halfway point. Chun and company’s apparent study and take on of Chinese folklore, including the jumping vampire/zombie creature known as jiangshi, makes the question of why this is a property that needs to be revisited Easy answer.

Pushing the series back 80 would help the writers avoid making Mogwai’s secrets a dependency Contemporary pop culture references and meta-humor as a second film. Instead of winks and nudges throughout, the series is driven by firmly aspirational characters—Elle must learn selflessness, Sam must learn courage—and clever dialogue that uses nods to the film as the occasional spice rather than a crutch . It doesn’t appreciate it, though. It’s like movie star Zach Galligan has a few voice-over cameos that you might not even notice. His presence is a tacit stamp, while making young stars Rhys and Hong, and some great guest voices – my favorites George Takei and Sandra Oh – real stars.

However, the series also understands the raw appeal of the mogwai and gremlin characters. With his huge eyes and floppy pointy ears and a style of communication built around cooing, singing, and basic vocabulary, Gizmo has always been the seed that couldn’t have been born without Baby Yoda, and he’s on display here with those trademark expressive The strength of the peepers and stubby, fast-moving limbs and innate courage intact. Gremlins need more time to show their personalities, but once their anarchy is unleashed, their appetite for slapstick antics and sadistic fun is easily palatable.

The cel-shaded animation style, designed to undercut the more traditional 3-D aesthetic of computer animation, initially comes across as oddly crude and crude, and even, God forbid, cheap. But either I got used to it or it improved and I really enjoyed the texture by the end. 10 Minute episodes are all propelled by Sherri Chung’s versatile soundtrack and narrated by Jerry Goldsmith’s original Gremlins The theme of the moment of truth.

Secret of Mogwai Not as scary as the first Gremlins movie, in It’s also less eye-popping when it comes to dealing with the violent, cartoonish destruction wrought by gremlins, but it has some emotional gravitas, and there’s no shortage of scary green guts when the creature is squashed or sliced ​​to pieces. Of course, the animated form makes it easy to giggle at the sight of a smashed-up imp, and hard to actually care about a gizmo or a human character in danger. It just means that it’s less likely to traumatize younger audiences than the original film was intended to be for kids.

I never thought any remake/reboot/revival would be able to destroy anyone’s childhood, but Gremlins for me It was important enough that I was ready for anger. Luckily, Secrets of the Mogwai got the spirit of the movie. None of the gaps it fills are terribly necessary, but the way it fills them is done with heart, humor and a welcome, correcting truth to the franchise. I’m ready.

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