Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai tells the story of how the shop owner in the films, Mr. Sam Wing, meets Gizmo. It’s funny, dark, and a bit scary.
Gremlins is coming to a whole new generation with Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai. This new animated series is set in 1920s Shanghai, before the time of the movies. It details how Mr. Wing, who gives Gizmo to Billy, came to cross paths with the mogwai.
The show is stacked with a stellar voice cast, including Ming-na Wen, BD Wong, and James Hong. It’s hilarious at times, and scary at others. Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is family friendly entertainment that is something that lifelong Gremlins fans can now enjoy with their children.
While the target audience is definitely on the younger side, there is a lot that adults can (and will) enjoy as well. This series dives into the lore of the Gremlins, something that we don’t know a whole lot about. Making it a prequel was a brilliant decision because there is a bit more leeway for some things to happen. It’s packed with adventure, intense moments, and a truly terrifying villain — and I am not talking about the gremlins.
But do you have to have seen the Gremlins films in order to enjoy this new series? Absolutely not. Since it is a prequel to the films, there aren’t any plot points that viewers will miss out on. The series does a great job of explaining the lore, in more depth even, so that there is no need to have seen the movies. That being said, the movies are fantastic and classics for a reason. So you certainly should check them out.
The story itself is exciting and intense. There are many edge of your seat moments that will have the whole family glued to the screen. The new characters are great additions to the franchise. Without giving too much away there will be ones you love, and ones you love to hate.
With a stellar voice cast that gives it their all, and smart writing that will have you forgetting you know how things end up, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is an intriguing and exciting watch.
Is Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai Scary?
The choice to make this series animated versus live action definitely helps when it comes to the horror elements that are weaved in. Some scenes are scary enough in animation, that live action would have pushed them too far.
As a big fan of horror films, but also a parent of ten and eleven year old girls, I think that Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is the perfect blend of adventure, action, and horror. The villain is meant to be scary, but he isn’t too scary that kids will want to turn off the show and go hide under their covers.
At the same time, the Gremlins are a bit on the scary side as well. This was true in the movies so it was important to bring that element in so that this series can feel like it belongs in the franchise. The animation, once again, takes away a little of the terror, but they are still something that children won’t ever want as pets, that’s for sure.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai season one is comprised of ten episodes. For the most part, they are all really good. A couple of them drag on a little bit, but it isn’t anything that takes away from the series as a whole. The first two episodes act as a set-up for a greater story, and the show really finds itself by the middle of the season. This is easily a series you could binge watch with your family, or savor and take your time with.
This series blends action, adventure, horror, and quite a few intense moments. Even though a lot of viewers will know how things end up, thanks to the movies, there is enough going on here to keep the audience on their toes. It’s a great way to bring Gremlins to a whole new generation, and something that families will have a blast cuddling up together on the couch to watch.
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai premieres on Max May 23rd.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
About Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” takes viewers back to 1920s Shanghai where the Wing family first meets the young Mogwai called Gizmo (AJ LoCascio). Voiced by Izaac Wang, Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 “Gremlins” film) accepts the dangerous task to take Gizmo home and embarks on a journey through the Chinese countryside.
Sam and Gizmo are joined by a teenage street thief named Elle (Gabrielle Nevaeh), and together, they encounter—and sometimes battle—colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. Along their quest, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist named Riley Greene (Matthew Rhys) and his growing army of evil Gremlins.
CAST: The all-star voice cast includes Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong, Matthew Rhys, Izaac Wang, AJ LoCascio and Gabrielle Nevaeh. The series also features notable guest stars including Zach Galligan who starred as the hero “Billy Peltzer” in the original “Gremlins” films. Additional guest voices include Sandra Oh, Randall Park, George Takei, and Bowen Yang.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.