Joe Dante is slamming Disney for what he sees as a case of plagiarism.
The “Gremlins” director spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about the inspiration for the character of Baby Yoda on “The Mandalorian”.
Speaking on the success of his cult classic series, he believed a lot of it had to do with the adorable designs.
“I think the longevity of [‘Gremlins’] is really key to this one character [Gizmo], who is essentially like a baby,” he told the outlet. “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 is one of the adorable fuzzy creatures to feature across the film franchise from the 1980’s, whereas “The Mandalorian” came out in 2019.
While Dante views it as a very obvious rip-off, he’s not interested in pursuing legal action.
Part of it may be due to the resurrection the “Gremlins” franchise is currently experiencing.
HBO Max is producing an animated series “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” which features the voice talent of Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong and James Hong. Dante serves as a consultant on the show.
Regardless of whether other franchises take inspiration from “Gremlins”, he believes that the series will endure the test of time.
“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,” Dante said. “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,” ha added “I’ve seen these pictures over the years many times all over the world, and they always play well in a crowded theater.”
“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” is set to release in the fall.