Cover of the first edition of The Gremlins
|Illustrator|| Bill Justice |
|Published||1943 Walt Disney Company (original)|
Dark Horse Comics (current)
The Gremlins is a book written by Roald Dahl and published in 1943.
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
It was Dahl's first book and was written for Walt Disney Productions, in anticipation of a feature-length animated film that was never made.With Dahl's assistance, a series of gremlin characters were developed, and while pre-production had begun, the film project was eventually abandoned, in part because the studio could not establish the precise rights of the "gremlin" story, and in part because the British Air Ministry was heavily involved in the production because Dahl, who was on leave from his wartime Washington posting, insisted on final approval of script and production.
The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California.
A gremlin is a folkloric mischievous creature that causes malfunctions in aircraft or other machinery. Depictions of these creatures vary. Often they are described or depicted as animals with spiky backs, large strange eyes, and small clawed frames that feature sharp teeth.
The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.
The story concerns mischievous mythical creatures, the Gremlins of the title, often invoked by Royal Air Force pilots as an explanation of mechanical troubles and mishaps.In Dahl's book, the gremlins' motivation for sabotaging British aircraft is revenge of the destruction of their forest home, which was razed to make way for an aircraft factory. The principal character in the book, Gus, has his Hawker Hurricane fighter destroyed over the English Channel by a gremlin, but is able to convince the gremlins as they parachute into the water that they should join forces against a common enemy, Hitler and the Nazis, rather than fight each other.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, and fought in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The English Channel, also called simply the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Southern England from northern France and links to the southern part of the North Sea by the Strait of Dover at its northeastern end. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.
Eventually, the gremlins are re-trained by the Royal Air Force to repair rather than sabotage aircraft, and restore Gus to active flight status after a particularly severe crash.The book also contains picturesque details about the ordinary lives of gremlins: baby gremlins, for instance, are known as widgets, and females as fifinellas, a name taken from the great "flying" filly racehorse Fifinella, that won both The Derby and Epsom Oaks in 1916, the year Dahl was born.
In aviation, an accident is defined by the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft, which takes place from the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until all such persons have disembarked, and in which a) a person is fatally or seriously injured, b) the aircraft sustains significant damage or structural failure, or c) the aircraft goes missing or becomes completely inaccessible. Annex 13 defines an incident as an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operation.
Fifinella was a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney for a proposed film from Roald Dahl's book The Gremlins. During World War II, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) asked permission to use the image as their official mascot, and the Disney Company granted them the rights.
Fifinella (1913–1931) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. In a career that lasted from 1915 until 1917 she ran seven times and won four races. She was the highest-rated British two-year-old of either sex in 1915 and went on to greater success the following season. As a three-year-old in 1916 she won the Derby and Oaks both of which were run that year at Newmarket. She was the sixth and most recent filly to win the Derby.
The publication of The Gremlins by Random House consisted of a 50,000 run for the U.S. marketwith Dahl ordering 50 copies for himself as promotional material, handing them out to everyone he knew, including the British Ambassador in Washington Lord Halifax, and the First Lady of the U.S. Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read it to her grandchildren. The book was considered an international success with 30,000 more sold in Australia but initial efforts to reprint the book were precluded by a wartime paper shortage. Reviewed in major publications, Dahl was considered a writer-of-note and his appearances in Hollywood to follow up with the film project were met with notices in Hedda Hopper's columns.
Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax,, styled Lord Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was a senior British Conservative politician of the 1930s. He held several senior ministerial posts during this time, most notably those of Viceroy of India from 1925 to 1931 and of Foreign Secretary between 1938 and 1940. He was one of the architects of the policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1936–38, working closely with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. However, after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 he was one of those who pushed for a new policy of attempting to deter further German aggression by promising to go to war to defend Poland.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. Roosevelt served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.
Facing copyright problems and realising that the Air Ministry's "Clause 12" in the original film contract would restrict the studio, Walt Disney, who had a personal interest in The Gremlins, reluctantly began to "wind down" the project. By August 1943, Disney had even reconsidered an animated "short" based on The Gremlins and indicated to Dahl by correspondence that further work would not continue. After a year of story conferences and related research, Dahl realised that his book would be the only tangible product emanating from the aborted film.
Walter Elias Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The story of gremlins appeared in Issues #33-#41 of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories published by Walt Disney Productions between June 1943 and February 1944; it contained a nine-episode series of short, silent stories featuring a Gremlin Gus as their star. The first was drawn by Vivie Risto and the rest of them by Walt Kelly. This served as their introduction to the comic book audience. These comics were subsequently reprinted in 1987 by Gladstone Publishing Ltd.
A special edition of the book was produced to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the United States Air Force and was distributed exclusively through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.The USAF special edition featured a unique dust jacket that bore the commemorative seal of the 60th USAF Anniversary. The inside flap of the dust jacket featured a brief history of the book's role in improving morale for airmen and their families. The initial distribution of the USAF 60th Anniversary commemorative edition sold out at all participating AAFES locations on the first day of sale.
Used copies of the first edition book are highly prized and sought after by collectors of both Roald Dahl's works and Disney's; these copies may be valued anywhere between US$100 and US$10,000.
"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", a 1963 Twilight Zone episode, starring William Shatner, is an homage to the legend of gremlins, one being seen dismantling an airliner during flight. The role was played by John Lithgow in the 1983 movie.
In the book "Myth Conceptions," from the MythAdventures series, Robert Asprin describes a gremlin as a small, blue-skinned creature that has a tendency to vanish when the viewer's attention is distracted.
The 1984 film Gremlins , produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Joe Dante, is loosely inspired by Dahl's characters, featuring evil and destructive monsters which mutate from small furry creatures.
In September 2006, Dark Horse Comics published The Gremlins: The Lost Walt Disney Production, a faithfully restored and updated version of The Gremlins including an introduction by acclaimed film historian Leonard Maltin as well as creating a series of Gremlin-inspired toys and figurines, that were patterned after the original Dahl-inspired characters as well as a comic sequel miniseries in which the grandson of pilot Gus meets the Gremlins when inheriting his grandfather's house in England.
The Gremlins appear in the Epic Mickey franchise as tiny helpers of Mickey Mouse. Their leader Gus (voiced by Bob Joles in the first game and Cary Elwes in the second) serves as a conscience figure to Mickey (as Jiminy Cricket is to Pinocchio). Unlike in the book, the Gremlins can teleport.
Arthur Floyd Gottfredson was an American cartoonist best known for his defining work on the Mickey Mouse comic strip, which he worked on from 1930 until his retirement in 1975. He has probably had the same impact on the Mickey Mouse comics as Carl Barks had on the Donald Duck comics. 17 years after his death, his memory was honored with the Disney Legends award in 2003 and induction into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.
Charles Alfred Taliaferro, known simply as Al Taliaferro, was a Disney comics artist who produced Disney comic strips for King Features Syndicate. Taliaferro is best known for his work on the Donald Duck comic strip. Many of his strips were written by Bob Karp.
Disney comics are comic books and comic strips featuring characters created by the Walt Disney Company, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr., commonly known as Walt Kelly, was an American animator and cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Pogo. He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. In 1941, at the age of 28, Kelly transferred to work at Dell Comics, where he created Pogo, which eventually became his platform for political and philosophical commentary.
Bucky Bug is a beetle who appears in Disney comics. He first appeared in the Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip, and later appeared as a regular feature in the comic book Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, sometimes abbreviated WDC or WDC&S, is an American anthology comic book series featuring an assortment of Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Mickey Mouse, Chip 'n Dale, Li'l Bad Wolf, Scamp, Bucky Bug, Grandma Duck, Brer Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and others. With more than 700 issues, Walt Disney's Comics & Stories is the longest-running Disney comic book in the United States, making it the flagship title, and it's regarded as one of the best-selling comic books of all time.
Mickey Mouse Adventures was a Disney comic book first published by Disney Comics from 1990 to 1991. It featured Mickey Mouse as the main character along with other characters from the Mickey Mouse universe. Somewhat similar in style to the animated series DuckTales, it was based on the continuity of earlier print material starring Mickey, mainly Floyd Gottfredson's stories in the Mickey Mouse comic strip.
Falling Hare is a 1943 Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Robert Clampett, and starring Bugs Bunny in the Merrie Melodies series. As with many Bugs Bunny cartoons, the title is a play on words; "falling hair" refers to impending baldness, while in this cartoon's climax the title turns out to be descriptive of Bugs's situation.
Going Solo is a book by Roald Dahl, first published by Jonathan Cape in London in 1986. It is a continuation of his autobiography describing his childhood, Boy and detailed his travel to Africa and exploits as a World War II pilot.
A gremlin is a mythological mischievous creature.
Walt Disney Comics Digest was one of three digest size comics published by Gold Key Comics in the early 1970s. The other two were Mystery Comics Digest and Golden Comics Digest. It was the first digest-sized regular Disney comic published in the US.
Some Time Never: A Fable for Supermen is a 1948 book by Roald Dahl, his first adult novel. Dahl began writing it after editor Maxwell Perkins expressed an interest in publishing a novel length book if Dahl were to write it. The book was met with predominantly poor reception and was considered to be a failure, although it is historically noteworthy as the first novel about nuclear war to be published in the United States after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The story is a darker take on the same premise as Dahl's first children's novel, The Gremlins.
The third wave of Walt Disney Treasures was released on May 18, 2004. It was originally planned to be released in December 2003, but was delayed for almost half a year in order to meet an increased demand with a higher number of tins produced. This wave was the first to have a certificate of authenticity with the individual number of the tin on it, replacing the number embossed on the tin. This was the final wave released with side straps.
Mickey Mouse is a Disney comic book series that has a long-running history, first appearing in 1943 as part of the Four Color one-shot series. It received its own numbering system with issue #28, and after many iterations with various publishers, ended with #330 from IDW Publishing.
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was a British author and scriptwriter, and "the most popular writer of children's books since Enid Blyton", according to Philip Howard, the literary editor of The Times. He was raised by his Norwegian mother, who took him on annual trips to Norway, where she told him the stories of trolls and witches present in the dark Scandinavian fables. Dahl was influenced by the stories, and returned to many of the themes in his children's books. His mother also nurtured a passion in the young Dahl for reading and literature.
Mickey Mouse is an American newspaper comic strip by the Walt Disney Company featuring Mickey Mouse, and is the first published example of Disney comics. The strip debuted on January 13, 1930, and ran until July 29, 1995. It was syndicated by King Features Syndicate.
Uncle Remus and His Tales of Br'er Rabbit is an American Disney comic strip that ran on Sundays from October 14, 1945 to December 31, 1972. It first appeared as a topper strip for the Mickey Mouse Sunday page, but after the first few years, almost always appeared on its own. It replaced the 1932-1945 Silly Symphony strip, which had spent its final year on gag strips featuring Panchito from The Three Caballeros.