They appeared in comic books, military insignia, as dolls, and in advertisements but Disney’s Gremlins never appeared in an animated film. Or did they?
There are still a lot of animated films made for the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II that are completely undocumented. Recently a military film collector wrote to me asking about a film he had in his collection that contained Disney animation. The film he said, Fundamental Fixed Gunnery Approaches (1943), contained a sequence of Gremlins pulling a plane away from its mission.
I haven’t viewed the film myself, but I had him send me a few frame grabs so I could see what he was talking about. Take a look. What do you think? Five little Gremlins, with the letter “G” on their flight jackets, with large goggles, noses, gloves and aviator caps – similar to the Disney character designs. Could this be the only Disney animation of Dahl’s Gremlins?
Click the thumbnails below to see larger images of the film’s titles and an extreme close-up of the Gremlin frame grab.