It’s been 21 years since the release of “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” but finally, Gizmo has returned to us. He even brought along his pet human Billy Petlzer in order to do an ad for Mountain Dew Zero Sugar.
Zach Galligan returns to play the part of Billy who seems to be living pretty comfortably with the older, but still as curious as ever, Gizmo. The mogwai points towards Billy’s bottle of Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, but apparently in the decades they’ve now spent together, Billy still doesn’t have a handle on the three rules.
In case you need a refresher course in “Gremlins” history, the three rules for mogwai are:
- Keep them away from light, especially the sun.
- Don’t let it get wet.
- Never feed it after midnight.
Given that Mountain Dew is a liquid, you can probably guess which one of the above rules presents a problem here.
The timing of the commercial is hardly coincidental. Later this year, HBO Max is set to release a new animated series entitled, “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.” This prequel is set to be the first new production in the franchise since the 1990 sequel film, or if you REALLY want to get hardcore about things, since the 2002 Game Boy Advance game, “Gremlins: Stripe vs. Gizmo.”
The original film was released in the Summer of 1984 and featured the kind of trifecta of talent one could only dream of at the time. Directed by Joe Dante, written by Chris Columbus, and executively produced by Steven Spielberg, “Gremlins” has become a Christmas classic over the years for a great number of reasons. While the mixture of comedy, horror, and Christmas themes certainly helps the film stand out among its contemporaries, having an adorable mascot like Gizmo certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Unlike its predecessor “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” was not commercially successful and may be responsible for why we haven’t seen anything new from the intellectual property for such a long time. The sequel was hurt by taking six years to follow-up on the original’s success and is frequently misunderstood. “Gremlins 2” was an intentionally subversive deconstruction of the concept of sequels. The humor of it hits much harder today where generic film follow-ups are the norm. It almost makes you wonder if the Mountain Dew Zero Sugar marketing team thought about that when they came up with the slogan of “Just as good as the original.”
While it was only for 30 seconds, the world got a taste of “Gremlins” again today for the first time in decades. Just like the zero sugar soda itself, this may not be the original, but it’s still pretty sweet.