Gremlins Creator Says The Mandalorian 'Shamelessly' Copied Gizmo Character with Baby Yoda

·2 min read
gozmo, grogu, baby yoda
gozmo, grogu, baby yoda

Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock; Lucasfilm Ltd. Gizmo, from Gremlins (L); Grogu, from The Mandalorian

Grogu vs. Gizmo?

Joe Dante, director of 1984's Gremlins and its 1990 sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch, recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that he believes the films' cuddly character Gizmo inspired Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda/The Child, in The Mandalorian.

"I think the longevity of [the films] is really key to this one character [Gizmo], who is essentially like a baby," said Dante, 75. "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," he added.

Reps for Disney and Lucasfilm did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Gremlins, Zach Galligan
Gremlins, Zach Galligan

Moviestore/Shutterstock Gremlins (1984)

RELATED: 25 Things You May Not Know About the Gremlins Movies

In Gremlins, Zach Galligan played Billy, who gets a peculiar new pet and soon breaks the three essential rules in caring for the critter — no sunlight, no contact with water and no feeding after midnight. Galligan, now 58, also starred in the 1990 sequel.

Last year, he returned to his Gremlins roots in a commercial for Mountain Dew alongside his furry Mogwai companion. Howie Mandel, who voiced Gizmo in the 1984 film, also returned to give life to the critter in the ad.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly at the time, Galligan said filming the commercial was an "emotional experience."

"There was a time when ... I leaned over to Gizmo and I was like, 'How are you doing, buddy? It's good to see you.' It was so realistic that, after hours of working with it, it has its own reality," he said. "I did get a little choked up, not so much about reuniting with the puppet, but more that it sends you rocketing back 37 years in a way that almost nothing else does."

the mandalorian (2020)
the mandalorian (2020)

Lucasfilm Ltd. The Mandalorian

RELATED: The Mandalorian Season 3 Is on! Find Out When It's Returning to Disney+

Meanwhile, The Mandalorian season 3 is scheduled to hit Disney+ in February 2023, more than two years after its first two wildly successful installments that wrapped in December 2020.

Series star Pedro Pascal, who plays mysterious bounty hunter Din Djarin/the Mandalorian, previously told PEOPLE he was "immediately convinced" to make the series after seeing an illustration of Grogu.

He was so smitten upon first meeting the adorable green alien, he said in November 2020, that he even admitted to "cooing a little bit" on set.

"I'd then have conversations in the same way that we did when we were kids with our own little toys," said Pascal, 47. "It has everything to do with the amount of work that these people have put into it, because it's a very, very special creation, and it feels as such when you see it in person."