One of the most beloved movies of the 1980s,
, was released 35 years ago this week. A unique blend of horror and comedy, it was the fourth-biggest box office hit of 1984, and trails only Batman as Warner Bros.' biggest of the decade. To celebrate, here are some images from the WB Archives, many of them scanned from the original negatives. Gremlins
Gizmo invites you to join him on a driving tour through his favorite movie!
Joe Dante on the Gremlins set. His quirky and parodic touch made him the perfect choice to helm this movie. In addition to the sequel, Dante returned to Warner Bros. for the Oscar-winning (1987) and the wonderful Innerspace (2003), which shares the same go-for-broke spirit of the Looney Tunes: Back in Action films. Gremlins
Keye Luke plays the owner of the Chinatown shop where Gizmo the mogwai is found. Luke is well-known for his role as Master Po in the TV series, but he started his acting career way back in 1934 in MGM’s Kung Fu with The Painted Veil Greta Garbo!
Legendary Warner Bros. animator
Chuck Jones, seen at right with Zach Galligan as Billy Peltzer, makes a brief cameo appearance as himself early in the movie.
Billy plays with the ever-adorable Gizmo. Actor/comedian
Howie Mandel supplied Gizmo’s voice.
Musician and actor
Hoyt Axton gives a wonderful performance as the tireless inventor (and the movie’s narrator) Rand Peltzer. Here he is with another celebrity cameo: s Robby the Robot. ’ Forbidden Planet
Our first sustained look at the gremlins who ate after midnight takes place in the Peltzer kitchen. The appearances of the mogwai/gremlins were a very well-kept secret until the film’s release.
One of the most memorable moments in
takes place when Lynn Peltzer (played by Gremlins Frances Lee McCain) defends herself (and her kitchen) from three Gremlins, who all meet rather unpleasant (not to mention gooey) ends.
The mogwai and gremlin puppets were designed by
Chris Walas, seen here in an affectionate moment with the head gremlin Stripe.
Perhaps the most out-of-control and gag-filled sequence in the movie (and just about any Hollywood movie of its era) occurs when hordes of gremlins invade Dorry’s Tavern, much to the dismay of Kate Berringer (
The lovely chemistry between Cates and Galligan (and Gizmo, of course!) is one of the reasons that the human aspect of
works so well. Gremlins
Another insane sequence: the gremlins take over a movie theater!
Stripe in the final showdown with Billy and Gizmo (note the puppeteer at lower left). Stripe’s voice was provided by
Frank Welker, who has played the voice of Fred for the animated franchise for 50 years, and Scooby himself since 2002. Scooby-Doo
Director Joe Dante with a friend. Luckily, he came back to the Gremlins universe with
, which in some ways is even more anarchic than the original! Gremlins 2: The New Batch
opened on June 8, 1984 (the same day as Gremlins Ghostbusters), and those two films held the top two positions at the box office for six consecutive weeks. stayed in the Top 10 until the end of September, allowing the WB publicity department extra time to have some fun with the ad campaigns. Here is the “Back-to-School” art seen in newspaper ads in early September 1984. Gremlins
In the wise words of Rand Peltzer, “…turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds. Because you never can tell. There just might be a gremlin in your house.”
Available on 4K for the first time, pre-order
today at Gremlins Best Buy. Also available on digital, Blu-ray and DVD.