Gremlins, another movie that never was. Sometimes Walt Disney would team with another visionary and work on a joint project, sometimes for years, only to shelve or scrap the project. Destino with Salvador Dali was one such project. And the Gremlins with Roald Dahl was another.
The Author c.1954
The Gremlins is a children’s book that was written by Roald Dahl and published in 1943. It was Dahl’s first children’s book, and was written for Walt Disney Productions, as a promotional device for a planned feature-length animated. With Dahl’s assistance, a series of gremlin characters were developed, and while pre-production had begun, the film project was eventually abandoned, in part because the studio could not establish the precise rights of the “gremlin” story. Warner Brothers used similar characters in some of their cartoons, and the military used the Gremlins as mascots for many of their divisions.
I have a reprint of the book. I also have a Life Savers page ad featuring the characters. And now I have this great little PVC figurine set:
Little stinkers are damaging their own box!
All sides of the box has artwork
It’s truly a shame that this idea never made it into production. The playful and mischievous characters would have made for a great feature, and subsequent Shorts.
Let’s have a closer look at the figures:
I don’t quite know why the box says ‘Gremlin Jamface’ as there are three distinct characters inside.
In September 2006, Dark Horse Comics published The Gremlins: The Lost Walt Disney Production, a faithfully restored and updated version of The Gremlins including an introduction by acclaimed film historian Leonard Maltin. This is the edition of the book that I have.
The PVC figurine set featured in this post was produced in 2007 for Walt Disney Productions by Dark Horse Comics using their Dark Horse Deluxe branding.
NOTE: If there are any spelling mistakes or historical inaccuracies in this post… I blame the Gremlins!