Gremlins: Gizmo, Zach Galligan reunite in MTN Dew Zero Sugar promo

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

With the Gremlins franchise set to be rebooted for the new series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, it makes perfect sense for Billy Peltzer and Gizmo to reunite for the first time in 31 years. While it would have been amazing to see the duo in a new live-action feature, today's new commercial for MTN Dew Sugar Zero will have to suffice.

In the new commercial, we find Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and Gizmo chilling out at home and about to enjoy a refreshing taste of Mountain Dew's new MTN Dew Sugar Zero beverage. After talking up the product, Billy offers Gizmo a taste of his drink. This is when it all goes wrong because immediately after Gizmo guzzles down the sugar-free drink, he begins to multiply. During the fuss, Billy's daughter enters the room with yet another Mogwai atop her shoulder. After taking in the scene, and realizing that they'll have at least a half-dozen more critters running amok, she rolls her eyes and leaves the room. C'mon, Billy! You should know the rules by now, man.

Gremlins, Gizmo, Mountain Dew, commercial

Not only is this advertisement a bit of nostalgic fun, but it's also filled with clever Easter eggs related to the Gremlins film series. For example, a pair of 3D glasses are sitting atop a nearby table, which is also littered with some of Billy's architectural drawings for a project I assume he's working on. Another point of note is that Gizmo looks to be a puppet version of himself, rather than a CGI creation. Plus, original Gizmo voice actor Howie Mandel has returned to voice the character for the commercial.

Recently while speaking with SYFY WIRE about working alongside Gizmo for the commercial, he told the outlet: “It was just really exciting to do the very first live-action Gremlins material in 31 years. I was … not nervous, but apprehensive that the special effects might not be as good as they were. But to my pleasure and subsequent amazement, the technology was razor-sharp, and not surprisingly, but really arguably way better than we had 37 years ago,” Galligan said. 

Also while speaking with the outlet, Galligan revealed that even though they've worked together for decades, he and Mandel have never met in person, nor have they spoken to one another on the phone.

“You know one of the funniest things about Gremlins, in terms of Gremlins trivia, is that for the last 37 years and right up to this very moment, I have never met, or conversed with Howie Mandel, ever in my lifetime,” Galligan explained. “I do not know the gentleman, I have no plans to meet him … I’m not averse to meeting him, I’d actually like to meet him, but I have never met him, and somehow magically we have stayed apart for the better part of four decades, I have no idea why that happened.”

While my first reaction is to cringe when I see characters from my youth hocking products, I must admit that this commercial put a big smile on my face. Both Galligan and Gizmo look great, and even though there are no plans for a live-action sequel to Gremlins: The New Batch, I do hope that a positive response to the upcoming animated series triggers an interest in bringing Gizmo and his trouble-making offspring back to the silver screen.

Here's a synopsis for Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai:

In the animated television adaptation, we travel back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.

Written by filmmaker and TKO Studios’ co-founder Tze Chun and executive produced by Darryl Frank (The Americans, Animaniacs, Amazing Stories!), Justin Falvey (The Americans, Animaniacs, Amazing Stories!), and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!), with Chun and Brendan Hay (Robot Chicken, Harvey Girls Forever) acting as co-executive producers, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will have Dan Krall serving as supervising producer.

Source: Mountain Dew, SYFY WIRE

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.