All I Want For Christmas Is A Mogwai (Or How Gremlins Ruined All Other Christmas Presents)
Way back in 1984, Warner Brothers released one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, Gremlins. No, it’s not a traditional holiday film, although it has surely been used by parents throughout the years to dissuade their children from asking for puppies for Christmas. How could a puppy ever compare to a Mogwai? Especially if that Mogwai is as cute as Gizmo?
Of all the presents ever exchanged on film, I cannot think of a cooler one than Gizmo. He’s like a cuddly little ball of adorableness, he comes with easy to follow instructions, he is well behaved and highly intelligent. Way more intelligent than his owner. Gremlins is meant to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of irresponsible pet care (okay, it’s probably not, but that is what I took away from it), and Billy is a terrible pet owner. He only has to remember three things: don’t get Gizmo wet, don’t expose him to direct light and don’t feed him after midnight. He accidentally pours water on Gizmo roughly an hour after he gets him. Honestly, he deserved to have his town overtaken by tiny monsters with sharp teeth.
If we’re honest with ourselves, wasn’t Spike and company fun too though? They were scary, sure, what with the mass destruction of the city and all, but still weirdly cute. Sort of like hairless cats. I could be down with having a gremlin, you would just need to understand how to handle them. Plopping them down in front of a Disney classic seemed to do the trick. Also, alarm clocks no longer have wires and most people use their phones to tell time so the chances of those crafty little suckers forcing you to feed them after midnight are slim.
Be honest with yourselves; deep down haven’t you wanted a gremlin to call your own since you first heard Howie Mandel cooing as Gizmo? Year after year I’ve settled for scarves, DVDs and other inferior presents. Even my cat isn’t as impressive (I love you, Luna!). Sometimes when I’m watching Christmas movies like say, Jingle All the Way, I have a hard time believing that kid would have wanted a Turbo Man so much if Arnold Schwarzenegger had just shown him Gremlins. Then he could have popped over to Chinatown (yes, the movie did make some questionable representation choices) and saved himself from that much exposure to Sinbad. The kids on Polar Express would have chunked their magic bells back at Santa, and Bridget Jones would have…still been perfectly happy because the one Christmas present on Earth that trumps a gremlin is Colin Firth.
What’s cool about Gizmo in particular is that he’s so bright. He watches Billy dig himself deeper and deeper into a town destroying hole and the look on his little face is clearly screaming, “this kid is super dumb.” He’s so dumb that Gizmo has to save the day and the guy from Chinatown comes to repossess him because Billy is such a terrible owner.
I would do much better with my Mogwai. We would never snack past 10:00 p.m., I would spray him with dry shampoo for grooming purposes and I don’t like spending an inordinate amount of time outside so there’s no danger there. Plus, I have an impressive collection of Disney movies. I could show him Wall-E and then quietly die from the overload of cute.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the year my friends and family members realize all I want for Christmas is my own Mogwai. Or Gremlins on DVD (but not the sequels, those were terrible).
Have you always wanted your own Gizmo or is there another movie Christmas present you’ve been putting on your wishlist every year? Let us know in the comments.
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