When you see Baby Yoda, think Gizmo. At least, that’s the theory of Gremlins director Joe Dante, the longtime science fiction and horror filmmaker.
“I think the longevity of (the films) is really key to this one character (Gizmo), who is essentially like a baby,” Dante said, via Datebook. “Which brings me, of course, to the subject of Baby Yoda, who is completely stolen and is just out-and-out copied. Shamelessly, I would think.”
Gizmo came into being in 1984, when Gremlins hit the big screen. The lovable creature returned in Gremlins 2: The New Batch six years later.
Meanwhile, Baby Yoda is featured on The Mandalorian from Disney+. The show debuted in 2019.
Either way, Dante said he isn’t one to hold a grudge or make a big stink about things. He is more focused on keeping the spirit of Gremlins alive. He will be presenting both flicks at the Castro Theatre on July 16.
“Whenever I host a screening of either of these pictures, I always ask when I introduce it, ‘Raise your hand — how many people haven’t seen these movies?’ There’s always about a third of the audience, usually young, who haven’t seen the movies,” said Dante, age 75. “They’re somewhat different than the run-of-the-mill movie. They’re offbeat in a way that I think is one of the reasons that they’re still popular.
“The people in my generation who loved movies love them because they saw them with an audience. I’ve seen these pictures over the years many times all over the world, and they always play well in a crowded theater.”