There are a few rules when it comes to “Gremlins” never get them wet, never feed them after midnight and never expose them to bright lights. Oh, and one more: if you want to watch the new animated prequel series, “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai,” be sure to turn on Max (the newly branded HBO Max/Discovery+ streaming service) on May 23. You can watch the teaser trailer above.
The highly anticipated series, which was given the go-ahead back in 2019, is a prequel to the beloved 1984 film “Gremlins.” Set in the 1920s in Shanghai, the series follows a 10-year-old Sam Wing (voiced by Isaac Wang), the shop owner from the first and second “Gremlins” films, as he first meets Gizmo (voiced by A.J. LoCascio, taking over from Howie Mandel). Gizmo and Sam are joined by Elle (Gabrielle Green) as they travel the Chinese countryside, befriending and occasionally battling creatures from Chinese folklore, while evading an evil industrialist and a growing number of sinister gremlins. It looks like a lot of fun.
“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” was developed by Tze Chun, a veteran of “Gotham” and “Little America,” and features the voice talents of Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong and Matthew Rhys with guests that include Sandra Oh, Randall Park, George Takei, Bowen Yang and original “Gremlins” star Zach Galligan, reprising his role as Billy Peltzer.
This new animated series, the first new installment in the “Gremlins” franchise since “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” back in 1990, is executive produced by Chun and original “Gremlins” producer Steven Spielberg, with original director Joe Dante serving as consulting producer. The 10-episode series had its premiere last June at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, where the episodes were warmly received and the unique animation style was singled out for praise. It’s been too long since we’ve had something new in the “Gremlins” world.