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Gremlin mascot as a lucky charm of the Royal Air Force from the 1920s to 1945

The figure of the gremlin is a mythical creature and was created in the early 20th century. The British writer Roald Dahl , who had also served in the Royal Air Force , published "The Gremlins" in 1943. The story of the little goblins who cause a lot of nonsense - especially with regard to mechanics and especially aviation - and their aviation adventures should serve as a template for a film on behalf of Walt Disney Studios . This failed, apparently due to coordination problems with the British Air Force. Warner Brothers used the rights to the character in several later films.

The Gremlin, like many other types of goblin , has fun with practical jokes, especially in the mechanical and technical areas. For example, during World War II, a gremlin was accused when planes crashed apparently without cause. American or British pilots who were serving in the Middle East at the time told of alleged little monsters that tore apart their aircraft or were up to mischief in the engine compartment.

There are also frequent reports of scary faces in front of the front window of aircraft that crashed shortly afterwards. The episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet of the US television series Twilight Zone from 1963 processed this as follows: During a thunderstorm, a passenger observes a goblin-like creature as it damages the engines of the passenger plane. In one scene the creature looks into the aircraft through the window and is directly in front of the pane with its face. The rather quirky, bear-like appearance of this creature was changed in the remake of this episode for the Twilight Zone movie ( Unheimliche Schattenlichter , 1983) into an anthropomorphic, but otherwise more amphibian-like, strong, wiry creature without clothing with superhuman strength.

The gremlins also include the Fifinella, female gremlins drawn by Walt Disney , and the widgets, the children of the gremlins.

In the 1980s, the Gremlins gained new attention through the films Gremlins - Little Monsters and Gremlins 2 - The Return of the Little Monsters by director Joe Dante . In this film adaptation, a Mogwai named Gizmo is featured; a gentle and kind little creature from Chinatown . But when it comes into contact with water, it multiplies through sprouts, which are significantly meaner. If you feed these mogwais after midnight, they pupate and become gremlins - scaly, bat-like, little monsters. Although they tend to short-circuit electronics, they also show a great predilection for destruction, panic, vandalism and chaos.

Web links


  • Roald Dahl: The Gremlins: The Lost Walt Disney Production. Dark Horse Books, Milwaukie, Oregon 2006 (reprint and updated copy of 1943 original publication), ISBN 978-1-59307-496-8 .