The Mandalorian is considered by many to be one of the most successful Disney+ projects in recent memory. While fans of the show have regularly taken to social media to express their love for the series as well as for the cuteness of Baby Yoda, acclaimed filmmaker Joe Dante is definitely not one of those fans.
In a recent interview, Dante claimed that the character design of Baby Yoda was stolen from the Mogwai called Gizmo from Gremlins. According to Dante, the reason why people still love the film is because of the lovable Gizmo who is designed like a baby and The Mandalorian used that same formula to replicate its success.
Talking about the similarities between the two, the director explained: “I think the longevity of [the films] is really key to this one character [Gizmo], who is essentially like a baby. 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.”
While Disney haven’t commented on these claims, Gremlins star Zach Galligan said: “People have been bombarding me on social media with comparatives, scale drawings and everything, and coming up with all sorts of theories about whether or not there was any kind of conscious decision behind it.”
Commenting on the mechanisms of social media and public discourse, Galligan added: “All I can say is this: In many ways, it’s really great because it’s always very helpful in media to have a foil. Which one do you like better? Which one was first? It just is another kind of narrative you can use to drive people’s engagement.”