Baby Yoda is just a green Gizmo from Gremlins, claims Joe Dante.
Dante, who directed Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Baby Yoda is a direct ripoff of his franchise’s featured creature:
“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.”
Baby Yoda is the unofficial moniker for Grogu, an infant member of Yoda’s species who co-leads the Disney Plus Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Grogu is the second popular creature that Dante has accused of being a Gizmo ripoff. During a Reddit AMA from 2012, the Gremlins director recalled how he snitched on the popular ’90s toy Furby to Warner Bros.
“Believe it or not, I alerted Warners to the similarities between Gizmo and the Furby—and lo and behold, soon there was an actual Gizmo Furby!”
Warner Bros. ended up suing the toy’s manufacturer, Hasbro, and won a seven-figure sum.
Although Gizmo and Gizmo Furby were similar enough for a successful lawsuit, fans are split on whether the same is true for Gizmo and Grogu:
You can determine for yourself whether Baby Yoda is a Gizmo ripoff by watching the former in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus before checking out the latter in Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai when it airs on Cartoon Network.